Former australia captain Ricky Ponting said whoever among Virat Kohli, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson will master the mind games will end up becoming the best player of this generation. Ponting also said it was too early to compare Kohli with Sachin Tendulkar, while expressing concerns over the state of one-day cricket. Excerpts from an interaction at an Australian High Commission event in New Delhi on Monday:
On the best batsman right now
To tell you the truth, I don’t really care (who is the best batsmen at the moment). I just love to see all these guys playing (Kohli, Smith, Williamson and Root). There are a number of current players who are probably on a similar career path. Kohli probably has got age on his side. His ODI career till this stage has been incredible. We also know what he did in last year’s IPL (hitting four hundreds). He is an ultra-skilled and talented player. More importantly, he has got the attitude to want to be the best he can be and wants to lead his country in the best way possible. Smith and Williamson are in the same boat. Whoever I guess masters the mind games the best will be the one who ends up with the best career record.
On Virat vs Sachin debate
Let’s wait till Virat finishes his career. Virat is still very young. He could have a bad injury tomorrow and not play another game and then probably there will be no comparison with Sachin having played 200 Tests and Virat 50 or 60 odd. So there will be no comparison.
On two-tier Test system
I am all for adding as much context to all formats of the game as possible. The Test championship and the two division competition have been talked about for a long time and here we are now, still have not been able to come up with the right program. I think the question is more important for ODIs than Tests. ODI is the format which is lacking the most context. You have a one off series, like Sri Lanka played Australia recently. It doesn’t mean anything. It is a great challenge.
On Kumble as India coach
Anil’s appointment has been a good one. He has been one of the stalwarts of the game and has had great success both as player and captain. I got the chance to work with him at Mumbai Indians. He has got great knowledge of the game. But it is down to the players to say and comment how great he is a coach.