Former Sri Lankan captain Aravinda de Silva compared Virat Kohli to West Indies great Viv Richards, stating that the current Indian captain reminds him of the all-time great.
“It’s the way he approaches his game, and also his arrogance and confidence. I think he reminds me a lot of some of the past greats like Viv (Richards),” the former Sri Lanka batsman said in an interview with TOI.
“The way he took on the mighty Australians in Australia was something very special. Like Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and then Sachin Tendulkar, who all changed the complexion of Indian cricket, Kohli has it in him to take Indian cricket to a different level.”
The 51-year-old was at the Sinhalese Sports Club when the hosts tried putting up a strong resistance against India’s spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, but eventually succumbed to the duo on Day 4. The away side emerged victorious by an innings and 53 runs, taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Speaking of Sri Lanka’s performance in the last two Tests, the former batsman believes that plenty needs to be done behind the scenes to improve the on-field performances.
“It is very sad to see our team not winning but I think we need to seriously sit down and formulate a plan so as to take cricket in the right direction. We need to have a long-term plan,” he said.
While there was not much for the home side to celebrate, Sri Lanka could take solace in the innings played by Kusal Mendis and Dimuth Karunaratne. The former played an aggressive knock on a turning track, smashing 17 boundaries on his way to scoring his third Test century. Aravinda pointed out that similar aggression will be needed from the younger generation to be successful, drawing parallels to the aftermath of India’s 1983 World Cup win.
“The kind of aggression you need when you are an underdog, like how (Kusal) Mendis batted in this Test must be appreciated. You just need to go out there and play fearless cricket. I hope the younger generation is able to do that consistently. Like what happened with India after Kapil Dev led the country to the World Cup win in 1983.”