Kohli-leader at the crease - not much can be done

Cricket legend Brian Lara calls Virat Kohli a ‘leader’ that cricket has now

Only ONE T20, & One Test & One ODI at the MCG – Tickets as low as $10/kids, $30/adult or $65/family

Mumbai, 3 November: Of late almost all commentators have been comparing the two great Indian cricketers – Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar. Heaping praise on Virat Kohli for his achievements is the new normal for anyone and everyone who is associated with or is a fan of the game.

Then, how could Brian Lara – who is in India to participate in a golf championship – resist the opportunity presented to him by the media.  The West Indian Legend has opined that he is happy to see that the game, which is undergoing continuous transformation in its administration and presentation “has a leader at the moment” – in Virat Kohli.

“Whatever Kohli is doing today is phenomenal. The rate of scoring, his fitness, and the importance he gives to a lot of different things. It is great to see that the game has a leader at this moment,” Lara told PTI during an interaction on Saturday.

Virat Kohli, lately has been munching records and milestone in cricket like children munch their Weetbix for breakfast every morning. That has the record keepers and commentators in overdrive all the time. Thus whether playing Golf in India or elsewhere, current players and legends – all are watching Kohli’s cracking cricket. Lara himself dominated the TV screens for more than a decade with his shots all over the ground – at almost every ground in the world.

In the city to participate in the fourth edition of Krishnapatnam Port Golden Eagles Golf Championship, Lara refused to comment on the Kohli-Sachin Tendulkar “who is better” debate.

Lara said he and Tendulkar never bothered about comparisons. He also surmised that Kohli is focussed on his game rather than comparisons.

“I am sure Kohli also does not pay much attention to these things. I think everyone gets it wrong. Everyone grows up in a different era and you have to appreciate what anyone brings to the table.”

Lara feels judging a player by comparing one to another is not right. He believes it is wrong to try and compare and declare whether Sir Vivian Richards was better than Sir Garfield Sobers or Sachin Tendulkar was better than Australia’s Ricky Ponting.

But Kohli, as he is on fire and on his way to visit Australia this summer, these comparisons and records are bound to capture attention. While Indians are getting ready for the tour down under, Australian cricket’s woes are bound to make things worse for the Aussies.

Any sport – when played – no matter who you barrack for, you would want to see a good competitive game and with Kohli on fire, the Aussies have to be up to the job with their bowling and fielding.

Although India has one just one of the nine series they have played outside Asia, they are confident of their preparations and lessons learnt from their defeats for their tour Down Under later this month. Kohli feels good about India’s pace attack and the Aussies without Steve Smith and David Warner will be a weaker side.

And to really gain advantage, Kohli has a plan:

“The progress has been there… we need to recognise when the situation is in our favour and how to solidify that situation even further, and make sure that the opposition cannot get back in to the game.”

“More often than not we have given the advantage to the opposition rather than them brilliantly turning around a situation… we need to make sure we are in the right frame of mind to be able to do all the things right to strike first.” 

Kohli is known for his aggression and he is not a quitter. The Aussies will have to thrown in all they have to throw a challenge to the Indians.

And the very fact that the Australian players who will have the home grounds advantage, can also collect themselves quickly – offers the hope that we are in for a real good summer of cricket. With Indians playing only one T20, Boxing day Test match and one ODI in Melbourne, it is highly recommended that the fans get their tickets (available from as low as $10 kids, $30 adults & $65 family) as quickly as possible.

After all, a world leader of cricket – Virat Kohli is coming Down Under!

                  -Vir Rajendra

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