Makhaya Ntini justifies why Virat Kohli is superior to Steve Smith and everybody else
"Kohli shoulders the responsibility of bringing a smile to a billion faces like a true champion," he quoted.
Updated - Jan 24, 2018 6:16 pm
Former South African cricketer Makhaya Ntini is closely following the ongoing India’s tour of South Africa. Albeit his loyalties are with the South African side, Ntini looks very impressed with Indian captain Virat Kohli. Over the last couple of years, there has been a lot of discussion about who the best cricketer in the world is.
It all boils down to two gentlemen – Steve Smith and Virat Kohli. Different people have different takes on this. Makhaya Ntini, in a conversation with Cricket Next, had a very justified answer to the question. He took the name of Virat Kohli to be the best in the world. He noted that the very fact that Kohli has to shoulder the hopes of a billion fans is something that sets him apart from everyone else in the league.
“Firstly, the fans need to let Kohli breathe. But to be honest, in a country where cricket is an obsession, Kohli shoulders the responsibility of bringing a smile to a billion faces like a true champion. At times, it almost feels like he is a run-machine and not a human,” quoted Makhaya Ntini.
“His dedication and work ethic is exemplary and the consistency with which he scores runs — the huge level of expectation notwithstanding — sets him apart from any player in the modern era. No denying that Smith is an equally brilliant batsman, but the Aussie skipper doesn’t have half the pressure from fans that Kohli has to face every time he marks his guard,” he added.
On India’s fight in South Africa
Commenting on the plight of the series, Makhaya Ntini admitted that the Indian team missed the trick in the Test series. In his opinion, they should have fielded Ajinkya Rahane in the first two Tests. However, he is firm in his opinion that the Virat Kohli-led side is more than capable of bouncing back in the limited overs cricket.
Makhaya Ntini remarked that the Indian team plays a very aggressive brand of cricket in the limited overs. Hence, it is pretty much expected that they will put up a much improved show in the ODIs and the T20Is.
“India might have failed to get the desired result in the Test series, but they have played an aggressive brand of cricket and that has seen the momentum shift time and again in both the Test matches – in Cape Town and Centurion. Kohli knows his game and he had the bowlers who could get him 20 wickets. The batting did disappoint and not having Ajinkya Rahane in the XI meant that the visitors missed the trick. But then, it will be a completely new chapter when the ODIs start and trust me the wounded Indians will come out all guns blazing,” Ntini conceded.