All he took is just one inning to further stamp authority on his throne of ‘world’s best batsman’, Virat Kohli single-handedly took India on the brink of a memorable victory in the first Test against England at Edgbaston. All eyes were on the Indian skipper whose performance was under the scanner after a horrendous outing during the 2014 tour. He could only manage 134 runs in five Tests at a poor average of 13.40. Also Read - Dream11 IPL: MS Dhoni Has Left Behind Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar in Terms of Popularity: Sunil Gavaskar
It takes immense self-confidence and belief to what Kohli did at Edgbaston, he put all speculations to rest by comfortably going past his total from the entire 2014 season in the first innings itself by scoring a memorable hundred (149-run knock). In the second innings, the India captain followed up with a brilliant half-century to keep the hopes alive for the visitors but failed to guide India past the finish line as England won by 31 runs. Also Read - MI vs CSK Dream11 IPL 2020: Rohit Sharma Could Edge Virat Kohli's Record Against MS Dhoni's Team
On Monday night, opener Jason Roy, who is not part of England’s Test squad, lauded Kohli’s self-confidence which doesn’t take a beating, even after defeats. The explosive opener also termed the Indian as a greatest and the fittest batsman around in the current lot.
“His self-confidence doesn’t dip, it takes a lot for that to take a beating. That makes him special. The other thing is his fitness. I think he’s the fittest, greatest batsman,” said Jason Roy in a debate during the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture.
However, the 28-year old Englishman was quick to deny that the hosts are not afraid of him despite his brilliance on the field. “Not scared of him, no. He’s obviously a great player, and rightly so, you’ve given him such kind words. He’s an extremely good athlete, an imposing batsman, an imposing figure on the field. We’ve got to find ways of dismantling him somehow, so we can’t give him too much praise right here,” he added.
Roy’s sentiments were echoed by former India batsman and now commentator Sanjay Manjrekar, who was also a part of the Cowdrey Lecture. “Even among Indian greats now, he’s finding a special place. It’s amazing. You talk about dirty Varanasi waters, but Indian waters keep producing these kind of phenomenal batting talents, year after year, generation after generation.”
“Sunil Gavaskar quit in 1987. We had [Sachin] Tendulkar two years later, in 1989. And as he was winding up his long career, here comes Virat Kohli.”
“Where I find him (Kohli) different from other batting greats is his self-belief, his self-confidence,” said Manjrekar. “I remember he averaged 13 (13.4) the last time he was in England. The very next Test match was in Adelaide, and he walked out like he was king of Adelaide,” he added.
Kohli became the first batsman after legendary Sachin Tendulkar (2011) to top the ICC Test Rankings for batsmen. He dethroned Australia’s Steve Smith, who is currently serving the ban under ball-tampering saga in Cape Town.