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Kevin Pietersen Explains Picking 'freakshow' Virat Kohli Over Steve Smith

Kevin Pietersen said Virat Kohli's ability to handle pressure makes him special whether he is compared to Steve Smith currently or even Sachin Tendulkar.

Kevin Pietersen

Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli is arguably the best batsman in modern-day cricket. Virat Kohli's consistency and his ability to adapt quickly to different formats of the game is what makes him a special player. When Sachin Tendulkar retired, there was a huge void left in the team, which was filled by Virat Kohli. Kohli draws huge comparisons with past players and contemporaries alike.

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Kevin Pietersen draws comparisons between Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli's careers

Because of his consistency and aggressive batting, Virat Kohli has drawn a lot of parallels to Sachin Tendulkar. Like Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli has broken a plethora of records which also include several records of the 'Master Blaster' himself. Sachin Tendulkar holds the record of scoring 100 international tons while Virat Kohli is not too far behind with 70 centuries.

This has often led to comparisons between the two champion batsmen. Now, former England captain Kevin Pietersen has had his say on the comparisons between the two stalwarts of Indian cricket.

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While speaking in an interview with Zimbabwean commentator Pommie MbangwaKevin Pietersen claimed that it will be difficult for Virat Kohli to break Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 100 international tons because of the former having to play in more matches and all the 3 formats of the game, which increases his chances of getting injured and as a result, hamper his longevity. Pietersen also opines that Tendulkar was much more relaxed than Kohli on the field due to his nature and the fact that he did not have to play T20 cricket for most of his career. However, Pietersen chose Kohli over Tendulkar for his ability to master run chases and play well in all 3 formats, despite having to feature in more matches.

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Kevin Pietersen says Steve Smith nowhere close to Virat Kohli

On being asked to have his pick between Kohli and former Australia captain Steve Smith, Kevin Pietersen chose the former. The 39-year-old explained his answer by saying that Kohli is a 'freakshow'. He lauded the Indian captain's record to win games for India while chasing. Kevin Pietersen further said that with the amount of pressure Kohli lives under and succeeds to deliver more often than not, Steve Smith doesn't even come close.

While Smith has predominantly ruled the roost in Test cricket throughout their careers so far, Kohli has worked gradually on the longest format of the game to become arguably the most complete batsman in the modern game courtesy his ODI and T20I records. Many believe that the Smith-Kohli comparison is similar to the Lara-Tendulkar one of the 90s.

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