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Ricky Ponting believes Kohli has long way to go to come in league with Tendulkar

Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting. (Photo credit anesh debiky/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting was one of the greatest captains to have ever played the game. With 2 World Cups to his name, Ponting took the Australian cricket to new heights. Apart from being a prolific leader, he was an elegant and powerful batsman too. No wonder he holds a string of batting accolades in the game’s history.

As per the quotes in the Gulf News, the former skipper recently spoke at length about the modern day master of the game – Virat Kohli. Kohli has been in a prolific form and is arguably the best batsman in world cricket at the moment.

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Speaking about Virat Kohli, Ricky Ponting could not agree any more to this. He was in all praise for the Indian skipper in a conversation with the Gulf News at Abu Dhabi recently. He quoted that Kohli was always on top of the charts but with his recent performances, he has managed to take things to a whole new level. He was very impressed with the way Kohli amassed 655 runs in the England Test series at an average of 109.16.

“Is he the best batsman in the world? Yeah, he probably is. I thought he was six or seven months ago and he’s probably taken it to another level since then. He’ll continue to improve, especially now that he’s the captain as well and his team’s winning,” quoted Ricky Ponting, who is the second leading run scorer in Test cricket history.

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Adding further, he pointed out that it is too early to call him the best player ever. He mentioned that he is definitely the one in ODIs at present, but needs to prove his longevity in the Test cricket. He cited that the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara played close to 130-200 Tests. Kohli, for the time being, is nowhere close to it.

“Is it too premature to call him the best ever? You can probably say that right now as far as his One-day cricket is concerned. His One-day record is outstanding and probably better than anybody that’s ever played the game given how many hundreds (27) he’s made, but let’s give him a few years yet in the Test series side of things,” said Ponting.

“It’s too early yet to be taking about him being one of the greats. I think the great players we always talk about, the Tendulkars, the Laras, the Kallises, those guys played 120, 130-200 Test matches. Virat’s not even halfway along that path,” he added further.

Crediting the former India cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting lauded the longevity of the little master. “Oh, absolutely. The great thing about Sachin was his longevity in the game. To think about someone playing 200 Test matches is quite remarkable and still maintain the standards over such a long period of time,” said the former Australian skipper.

Australia are scheduled to play 4 Tests in India in a couple of weeks time. They have had a terrible run in the subcontinent in the recent past. Ponting’s teammate, Mike Hussey, had recently said that he would not like to fire up Kohli on the tour. Ponting disagrees to that and says that it could work either way on the day.

“The one thing about Virat Kohli is whenever there’s any confrontation, he does get a little bit outside of his comfort zone. You can see that he gets ultra-aggressive, which may be a good thing for him or maybe good for the opposition,” he conceded.

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