Mohammad Yousuf believes Virat Kohli is not in Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid's league
Yousuf feels that while he is a “very good batsman”, Virat Kohli is not in the same league of former Indian cricketers.
What’s the story?
Mohammad Yousuf, the former Pakistan iconic batsman, feels that while he is a “very good batsman”, Virat Kohli is not in the same league of former Indian cricketers, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid.
Speaking on Geo Super channel, Yousuf said, "The quality of cricket nowadays does not match the quality we had in the past. Virat Kohli is a very good batsman and I like to watch him play but I don't think he is in the same league of Tendulkar, Dravid or Laxman.
"To get runs against the likes of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar or Saqlain Mushtaq was no joke. I always thought Tendulkar and Dravid were perfectionists and spent so much time on improving their game. I learnt from them," he added, "I am not saying Virat is not a class act. He is, but times have changed now."
In case you didn’t know…
Yousuf, who is 42 years old now, served the Pakistan national team for 12 years from 1998 to 2010. In that span, he featured in 90 Test matches and 288 ODIs, registering 39 centuries and 97 half-centuries in the two formats and amassed over 17000 international runs.
He played at a time when the likes of Tendulkar, Dravid ruled world cricket.
Virat Kohli, on his part, has been dominating ODI cricket for the last few years. In Tests, as well, he is coming off age and recently brought up his 17th century thus drawing comparisons to Tendulkar.
The heart of the matter
Yousuf conceded that some people might not agree with him but the current bowlers do not have the same quality as compared to the likes of Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Anil Kumble or Muttiah Muralitharan.
The former Pakistani batsman also reckoned that the changes in the rules have made life easier for the batsmen and the pitches as well have become more batting-friendly. He felt that the current Indian batsmen are scoring runs against weaker opposition and on batting-friendly pitches all over the world, unlike Tendulkar and Dravid.
India are currently touring Sri Lanka. While the Lankan team no longer have bowlers like Chaminda Vaas or Muralitharan, they do have some decent bowlers. Kohli can certainly notch up a few more centuries and impress Yousuf.
When you think about it, Yousuf is not too wrong. The rules have certainly been made more favourable for the batsmen while most of the pitches too have little to offer for the bowlers. This has led to an overall slump in the quality of the current bowlers as compared to those of the past.
Virat Kohli is definitely one of the best batsmen of this generation but to match the likes of Tendulkar or Dravid, he needs to stay consistent for another good 5-6 years.