Former Sri Lanka cricket skippers Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, on Monday praised Men in Blue captain Virat Kohli. Sangakkara said that Kohli can go all the way to become one of the greatest -ever cricketers, while Jayawardene stated his admiration for the Indian for his ability to separate bating from captaincy.

“Everything about Virat’s game stands out. I think he is head and shoulders above anyone else in world cricket today. And I think going forward, he will be one of the greatest ever cricketers, if not the greatest ever,” Sangakkara told India Today.

“He has this incredible knack of scoring runs and has a very very solid method that he believes in and is very repeatable and if you see the tempo which he bats with, it hardly changes. He does read the situation very well. He is a very passionate guy, you see that in his expressions on the field so I think it’s not just one aspect, it’s the overall aspect of both the person and how he has sorted his batting and his attitude,” added Sangakkara.

Jayawardene was also singing praises about the Indian cricket captain, who recently won the ICC best-cricketer across all three formats of the game.

Jayawardene was admittedly impressed with Kohli’s ability, like that of Sachin Tendulkar, to handle pressure off the field.

“It’s not just about the ability Virat has but to understand the way to handle pressure not just on the field but also off the field and the expectations. We grew up with Sachin who had to perhaps experience the same thing. And for the next generation, it’s probably on Virat’s shoulders, with MS Dhoni carrying on for a while. Virat has a good group of guys around him as well. If you ask the Indian fans they would want Virat to win the game and that is something he has managed to control really well,” said Jayawardene.

“Being the captain as well is not an easy thing. He has managed to understand that the captain’s role is on the field but when he is batting it is that which is very important. So those are little things that define a personality and that is what he has been able to do really well,” concluded Jayawardene.

Kohli and his men are now preparing for Australia’s tour of India. The first T20I between India and Australia will be held on February 24 in Bengaluru followed by the second T20I on February 27 in Visakhapatnam.