Former Australian spin legend Shane Warne has heaped praise on Indian skipper Virat Kohli for his frank and honest behavior, terming this very attitude of his as the reason why fans, not just in India but across the world, adore and love him.
Kohli is known as arguably the most animated figure in the cricketing arena. Unlike his peers, he is up for a challenge and is ready to give it back if provoked or confronted. And this is something which cricketing fans across the world admire about Kohli, according to Warne.
"You know what he does? He stands up for what he believes in. He speaks how he feels and he's real. He's emotional, a bit too emotional sometimes on the field. But that's the part of the charm. I think world cricket loves him. Everyone loves Virat Kohli because it's refreshing to hearing him talk so honestly and openly. He loves confrontation. That's why he has those 100s in chases. How many, 23, 24? The next best is how much? I can't remember who's second. That's something inbuilt into you. That's not skill or talent. He's got a lot of that. That is just pure competitiveness and pure desire - to get the job done," the leg-spin great told TOI.
Another point which Warne spoke about was the Tendulkar vs Kohli debate, arguably the biggest when it comes to contemporary cricket. Many feel that Sachin - regarded as 'God of Cricket' - was the greatest to have graced the sport. For others, it is Kohli - called as 'King Kohli' - who has trumped his predecessor with his performances with the bat.
But Warne feels that two batsmen cannot be really compared, given the different generations in which they have played.
"Very hard to judge when someone is playing and very hard to judge eras. Think about the bowlers in the '90s. Different surfaces that seamed. Now they're a lot flatter. The ball swung more. So many invariables. But to think that someone was better than Brian Lara and Sachin - in those mid-'90s - against Wasim, Waqar, Curtly, Courtney, McGrath, Donald, Saqlain, Mushy, Vettori, Murali, myself. You can go on. Virat is breaking all the records, which is great but I want to wait," he added.
The spine maestro then explained that it isn't just runs which makes a player the best, but his overall attitude.
"See, what people miss is this: You can set benchmarks, score those many centuries, average that high, score a lot many runs. But what people are going to remember you for is the way you played the game. Someone should run down the street and ask fans, how many runs did Mark Waugh make or what his average was? They wouldn't have a clue but chances are, here's what they'll say: I loved watching him play. To my mind, what's already evident is that Virat is one of the best players of all time. In One-dayers, he probably has to go down with Viv Richards as the greatest ever, not so much for the record but for the way he plays his game. But I'll judge him at the end of his career," Warne further mentioned.