New Delhi: Describing Virat Kohli as “head and shoulders” above his international contemporaries, former England captain Andrew Flintoff says the Indian skipper is “on a different planet”.
“He’s absolutely on his own. You look at the four main captains; Steve Smith, Kane Williamson, Joe Root and Virat Kohli. They’re all very, very good players but Virat is head and shoulders above all of them,” Flintoff was quoted as saying in the Cricket Australia website.
“You watch him play and the one thing that’s so impressive is that in Test cricket he’s got all the shots and tricks but decides to get his head down and grind runs out.
“And then in the short-form of the game he just hits boundaries without looking like taking a risk. He’s in complete control. The other three I mentioned are very good players but Kohli is on a different planet,” he added.
In his only Test series in England in 2014, Kohli was dismissed four times by English seamer Jimmy Anderson as the right-handed batsman could not cross the 50-mark in any of his 10 innings.
However, Flintoff said Kohli will silence his critics, who believe he can’t bat on seaming tracks, when India tours England next time.
“It frustrates me when everyone says ‘he just does it in India, wait until he gets to England’,” Flintoff said.
“That’s nonsense, he’s a fine player. When he comes to England the ball will nip around a bit and he’ll adapt his game accordingly. I would’ve loved to have a bowl at him but I honestly don’t know (what his weaknesses are).”
Kohli is currently recovering from a shoulder injury that he sustained on the first day of the ongoing third Test in Ranchi against Australia while fielding at the boundary line.
However, medical reports said that there were no “serious concerns” and treatments will assist Kohli to participate in the rest of the third Test.