While former Australia captain Michael Clarke has made consistent assertions that Indian skipper Virat Kohli is destined to be among the pantheons of all-time, this time he has termed Kohli to be the ‘greatest ODI batsman to have ever played the game’.
Kohli, the World’s No.1 Test and ODI batsman, led India through a historic tour of Australia, during which the team won the Test and ODI rubbers and drew the T20 International series.
“To me, Virat Kohli is the greatest batsman to have ever played one-day cricket. I have no doubts after seeing what he has achieved for India,” Clarke, himself a former World Cup-winning captain, told PTI.
Kohli has already scored 10,385 runs in 219 ODIs with an astounding average of 59 plus, including 39 hundred.
An unabashed Kohli fan, Clarke said that the 30-year-old Indian’s passion is unmatchable. “You have to respect Virat’s passion to win games for his country. Yes, he has aggression but no one can question his commitment, how much he has achieved. He is the greatest in ODIs,” Clarke asserted.
While Kohli’s craft continues to evoke awe, his predecessor Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s current form has the cricketing world divided. But for Clarke, the 37-year-old former India captain should be left alone to play his game.
“MS knows how to react to any given situation. He has played 300-plus ODIs so he knows how to go about his job,” Clarke said.
Asked what Dhoni’s batting position in the World Cup be, Clarke said, “Any position No. 4, 5 or 6. He is good enough to bat at any position and I believe Virat will use him accordingly.”
Asked if India are favourites to win the World Cup, Clarke felt that the Men in Blue have a fair chance. “Certainly one of the favourites with the kind of bowling talent India have at the moment. The batting was always strong and they also have wonderful young spinners,” said the man, who played 115 Tests and 245 ODIs for Australia.
(With PTI inputs)