Mohali, Oct 24: India's limited overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has rated Virat Kohli among the best batsmen in the world and called upon the cricket fraternity to not make comparisons with the former greats of the game. (Kohli equals Tendulkar)
3rd ODI match scorecard; Match report; Series schedule
Last night (October 23), at the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali, Kohli's classy 154 not out piloted India to a 7-wicket over New Zealand. The hosts took a 2-1 lead in the five-match One Day International series. (Series photo gallery)
Dhoni scored 80 and was involved in a crucial 151-run partnership for the 3rd wicket with Kohli as India successfully chased down 286 in 48.2 overs.
After the match, Dhoni was asked about Kohli and where would he rate him among the greats of the game.
Dhoni replied, "The biggest problem with the cricket fraternity is that we always try to compare. Over the period how cricket has been played, has changed. You can't really compare a Sunny (Sunil) Gavaskar to a Virender Sehwag. Both of them may open or bat at the top of the order but the cricket has changed so much that it is very difficult to compare," the wicketkeeper-batsman said.
He continued, "Overall, the shorter format and even the Test match has changed the way it is played. It is slightly unfair to compare two of the batsmen. What I would say is I can comment about Virat (Kohli) as to how good he is. How much he has improved and how consistent he has been. The kind of focus he has when it comes to cricket is very good.
"I feel he is amongst the best. Again, it is not about being the best. Because you can always speculate and have new ways of judging an individual. It is not only about statistics. It is a pleasure to watch him bat. He plays orthodox cricket and he still scores at a very good pace.
"Once he decides to go after the bowlers, he can easily do that. That is where his beauty lies. Without playing high-rish shots, he still maintains a good strike rate. He is just fantastic irrespective of the format. That is because of his hard work and will to learn and improve in every game."
With his 26th ODI ton, Kohli moved to number four in the all-time list of century makers in the format. Sachin Tendulkar heads the group with 49 followed by Ricky Ponting with 30 at number two and Sanath Jayasuriya (28) at three.