Hailing Virat Kohli as the “finisher for all time”, former Australia captain Ian Chappell said the aggressive Indian batsman has surpassed legendary West Indian Brian Lara when it comes to “placement of shots”.
“Of modern players, Brian Lara, I thought was the best placer of the ball. I think I have got Brian in the second spot now,” Chappell told ESPNCricinfo in his post-match analysis after Kohli’s classic 82 not out took India to the semi-finals of the ICC World T20 beating Australia.
“This is the best T20 innings I have ever seen. He is the finisher for all time. He had built a reputation out and today he just cemented that. It was exhilarating,” Chappell was all praise for Kohli’s epic knock.
“I hate to remind Mahela (Jayawardene) that I had the pleasure of watching Virat chase down 300 plus score (321 in 36.4 overs vs Sri Lanka at Hobart). I never thought someone could better that while chasing.”
Chappell said that he has seen some great batsmen gifted with supple wrists but not someone with such enormous power.
“I have seen wristy players like Azharuddin, VVS (Laxman) or had the pleasure or pain of playing against Zaheer Abbas. Zaheer had rubber wrists but Virat does it with power. He hits the ball hard with that wrist-work. There were times during the match when I thought the ‘Predictor’ had gone wrong but then I realised that I was mad and ‘Predictor’ was right,” said Chappell.
Chappell also said that Australia’s Michael Bevan, who was known as a “finisher” in 50-over format during the ’90s and early part of 2000 did not carry the kind of burden that the Indian superstar carries.
“He (Virat) is called a finisher and there is a reason why. Michael Bevan was known as a finisher and he did it in a few short overs. But this man comes in at No 3 and does it for such long periods,” said Chappell.