New Delhi: Former Australian captain Ian Chappell feels India skipper Virat Kohli’s penchant for playing copybook cricketing shots and his incredible fitness make him the world’s best batsman across formats among the current generation of cricketers.
“Of that group (including Steve Smith, Kane Williamson, Joe Root), Kohli is the best in all three forms. That’s unquestionable,” Chappell said on ‘The RK Show’, which is hosted by Radhakrishnan Sreenivasan on YouTube.
“His record in all three forms is quite unbelievable, particularly his record in the shorter forms.”
Chappell’s comments come after former England batsman Kevin Pietersen said that Australia’s batting mainstay Smith was nowhere close to Kohli.
Kohli, who has scored 70 international hundreds and more than 20,000 runs, averages more than 50 in all three formats.
Explaining his reasons on why he feels Kohli is the best, Chappell said: “I like his approach to batting. We did an interview with him last time India were in Australia, and one of the things he talked about was why he didn’t play the fancy shots, the innovative shots of particularly T20 cricket.
“He said he didn’t want those to creep in his batting in the longer form of the game. The best short-form player in the time I played was Viv Richards, and he just played normal cricket shots but he placed the ball so well he was able to score at a very fast rate. And Kohli’s the same. He plays traditional cricket shots, and he plays them really well.”
The Australian said Kohli’s fitness also makes him stand apart from his contemporaries.
“The other thing that stands out about Kohli is his fitness and running between the wickets. The way he pushes himself, he’s incredibly fit. Some of his performances are quite amazing,” said Chappell.
Chappell also expressed his admiration for Kohli’s captaincy.
“The one thing that stands out to me is that Kohli is the one (captain) that doesn’t fear defeat. He’s prepared to lose a game in trying to win it. You’ve got to be that way as a captain in my opinion. I like that approach.
“I thought when he took over the captaincy that he was so emotional, it might affect his captaincy adversely but I think he has reined that in a little bit. He has made that work for him in his captaincy rather than work against him. He’s a pretty smart cricketer,” the legendary skipper said.