Harbhajan, who witnessed Kohli's unbeaten 82-run masterclass against Australia in the ICC World Twenty20 in Mohali on Sunday (March 27), praised the Delhi batsman for his "brilliant innings". (10 facts about Ind-WI semis)
Thanks to Kohli's heroics with the bat, India successfully chased down 161 and booked a spot in the semi-finals, where they face West Indies on March 31 (Thursday) in Mumbai.
"He is tremendous. I have seen lots of the greats playing brilliant innings from time to time, but this is Virat Kohli's time and he is the number one batsman in the world. There is no doubt about it," Harbhajan Singh told the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) website after India's 6-wicket victory over Australia at the PCA Stadium.
"The way he looks after himself, the way he prepares is just outstanding. He is a champion player," he added. (Kohli breaks Gayle record)
After yet another stellar performance with the bat, many Indian fans started comparing Kohli with batting legend Tendulkar, who retired with 100 international centuries and several records. (Kohli bows to Tendulkar at Eden)
And Harbhajan has no doubt that if the 27-year-old Kohli carries on in same fashion, he can be the next Tendulkar. ('Kohli knock on par with Sachin's sandstorm 143')
"If Virat continues to work hard and do the things that he has been doing now in the years to come, then he could be the next Sachin Tendulkar. It will be a proud moment for me if that happens because we were backing a young Kohli since his early days. It is so good to see him flourish and express himself and I am happy for him. Hats off," Harbhajan said.