Virat Kohli rightly qualifies as the No.1 batsman, says Sourav Ganguly

Virat scored 200 runs in the 1st Test and thus rose to the top of the Test rankings for batsmen.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli of India. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Virat Kohli is just one win away from pushing him to the third place as the all-time successful captain that India has produced in Tests but that doesn’t deter Sourav Ganguly from expressing his admiration for the player who has taken modern-day cricket by storm. The former captain has backed Kohli’s ascent to the top slot in Test batsmen rankings saying the latter’s iron-hard focus and determination made him the worthy topper.

Kohli toppled former Australian skipper Steve Smith, who is serving a year ban at the moment, from the No.1 batsman’s position in Tests after accumulating 200 runs in the first Test at Edgbaston against England. It brought to end Smith’s 32-month stay at the summit. Kohli is also the No.1 batsman in ODIs, leading second-placed Babar Azam from Pakistan by 86 points.

Virat is extraordinary

“Virat Kohli’s conviction and determination in difficult situations, his selection of shots, and ability to dominate the bowlers in every sphere of the game is extraordinary. He is rightly the No. 1 batsman in the world. He may not have been at his fluent best at Birmingham but his attitude of not giving up stands tall,” Ganguly told Times of India.

“This is also an example of batsmanship: Even if it’s not your day, you still make the runs. It’s a huge statement that the other batsman need to stand up. I believe that this batting line-up has the ability to score runs in these conditions. Virat, the leader, has a job on hand. He will have to get this team going. The confidence needs to be brought back: It’s more in the mind and that will be his challenge on this tour,” he added.

Kohli was dropped on 21 and 51 in the first innings at Edgbaston and he went on to hit 149 off 225 balls, eclipsing the criticism he has been facing over not succeeding in English conditions since the ordinary tour of 2014. He came up with another fifty in the second innings though could not see India home in the match, thanks to a lack of company from any other batter.

The former captain, who is among the few Indian captains who returned undefeated from England in Tests, also praised the way the first Test progressed, saying it showed why the longest format still remains the ultimate test the game offers.

“It was a humdinger of a battle with the pendulum swinging this way and that every now and again. Ultimately, the team that held its nerves and delivered when it mattered came out on top,” Ganguly said.

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