Mumbai, Mike Gatting, the former England captain, said India captain
Virat Kohli deserves to be considered a “great” of the game, not just for his batting
feats across formats, but also for his commitment towards Test cricket.
Kohli, who is atop the MRF Tyres ICC Batsmen’s Rankings in both Tests and
ODI’s, has consistently set new standards, averaging a staggering 57.30 across the
all formats since January 2018. His immaculate batting prowess and a never-ending
appetite for runs has earned him laurels from across the cricketing fraternity.
Gatting’s views are no different. He lauded Kohli for his consistency across formats,
while drawing comparisons with his contemporaries, Kane Williamson and Steve Smith.
“The fact that Kohli plays all forms of cricket with such greatness, that I don’t think
you see from a lot of other people, and possibly might not,” he said on sidelines of a
book launch here on Thursday.
“Yes, Kane Williamson is very good now. Steve Smith has reignited his career, and
his ability to play one-day cricket, but to see someone like Virat perform so regularly
and so well in all three formats, he does deserve that tag of great without doubt,”
“He has said Test cricket (is important) for him, if you have to be regarded as a
great player, you have to play Test cricket. This is fantastic,” said Gatting
The 62-year old was impressed by Smith, whose twin hundreds powered Australia
to a 251-run win in the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston.
“He has been huge for Australia,” said Gatting. “He has been one of those guys who
is in form. He is difficult to bowl at.”
“One thing he does is, he gets his head still on the off-stump, and he is good at
maneuvering the ball around, which is a great skill. And yes, without doubt, he has made
a huge impression this Ashes series. It’s just a question of whether we (England) can
get him out early,” Gatting said.
Despite England’s big loss in the opener, Gatting, who led them in 23 Tests and to
the finals of the 1987 Cricket World Cup, said a few exciting matches were in store.
“I still think it’s going to be an interesting series, because every Test match is going
have a result,” he said.
“It’s going to be about who recovers quickly after every match. I’m not saying Australia
is not the favourite team, but their batting order is slightly fragile. Obviously, Australia is in
a good place for now. There will be further results. For England, they will have to get
players finding form soon,” he added.