Photo Credit: Royal Challengers
Former England captain Alastair Cook rates Virat Kohli as one of the five all-time greats. Cook named Kohli in his list of batsmen who came close to matching the legendary Brian Lara.
Former Windies great Brian Lara is the only cricketer in the history of the game to have scored 400 runs in an innings of a Test match. Lara retired with 11,953 runs in 131 Tests, while in 299 ODIs the left-hander scored 10,505 runs.
Cook, during a Q&A session with the Sunday Times, recalled the genius of Brian Lara from 2004 when the England captain was part of the MCC squad that played against Windies.
“I was part of an MCC team that played West Indies at Arundel in the first match of their 2004 tour. We had a decent bowling attack – Simon Jones, Matthew Hoggard, and Min Patel, all of whom were England players. Brian Lara scored a century between Lunch and Tea which made me realize I was witnessing another level of batsmanship altogether. It was a genius at work,” he added.
Apart from Kohli, Cook also named Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis, and Kumar Sangakkara among from his playing days as players who could come close to Lara. “The ones who came close to that when I was playing for England were Ponting, Kallis, and Sangakkara,” said Cook.
Cook, who captained England in 59 Tests, thinks that Kohli’s ability to perform in all the formats of the game puts in the league of extraordinary gentlemen.
“Now you would have to put Virat Kohli in that group, especially for his ability to score so freely in all three formats,” he said.