Former England Test captain Alastair Cook, who has played against legendary Indian batsmen like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, feels Virat Kohli is the closest from the current lot to match West Indies legend Brian Lara’s genius, whom he picked as the best batsmen he has played against.
“I was part of an MCC team that played West Indies at Arundel in the first match of their 2004 tour,” the 35-year-old said in a Q&A with The Sunday Times.
“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 realise I was witnessing another level of batsmanship altogether. It was genius at work,” the left-handed Essex opener opined.
“The ones who came close to that when I was playing for England were Ponting, Kallis, and Sangakkara,” England’s record run-scorer added.
“Now you would have to put Virat Kohli in that group, especially for his ability to score so freely in all three formats.”
Kohli, who scored 593 runs at an average of 59.30 and finished the four-match Test series against England in 2018 as the highest run-getter after a disastrous tour in 2014, was the only current cricketer in the list.
The Indian captain has scored 7240 runs in 86 Tests, and 11867 runs in 248 ODIs. The 31-year-old has scored 27 tons in Test matches and 43 hundreds in one-day internationals.