MS Dhoni praises Virat Kohli after match-winning knock at Mohali
Dhoni feels Kohli should not be burdened with unnecessary comparisons and is confident that the 27-year-old can impress even more.
Indian skipper MS Dhoni might have played an instrumental part in his side’s victory over New Zealand at Mohali, scoring an aggressive 80 after promoting himself to the No 4 spot, but the 35-year-old was all too happy for Virat Kohli after the Indian vice-captain produced a match-winning knock of 154 to continue his outstanding run of form in 2016.
Remaining unbeaten at the crease as India chased down the target of 286 with seven wickets in hand and ten balls to spare, Kohli looked in total command at the crease thus further enhancing his reputation as an outstanding finisher in the game, especially when it comes to chasing big totals.
Superlatives may be running out for those trying to express Kohli’s brilliance, but according to Dhoni, it is Kohli’s ability to remain aggressive with the bat despite not going after the big shots that stand him out from the rest.
"I can comment on how good he (Kohli) is, how consistent he is. He is certainly amongst the best. One great thing about him is that he maintains a good strike rate even without playing high-risk shots," said Dhoni.
The duo shared a 151-run stand for the third wicket that all but secured the victory for the hosts on Sunday and Dhoni said that it was easy spending time in the middle with Kohli.
“All I can say I batting with Virat is great. He helps in building partnerships. He is fantastic,” Dhoni said.
Kohli’s stupendous rise in world cricket has already seen him being talked about as a future legend of the game with comparisons already being made with Sachin Tendulkar, but according to Dhoni, it is always unfair to compare cricketers, especially when they spanned across different generations in a game which is rapidly evolving with the likes of T20 cricket and now, day-night Tests.
“Our biggest problem in the cricket fraternity is that we try to compare. How cricket is played has changed drastically. We can't compare a Sehwag with a Gavaskar. Even the approach in a Test match has changed a lot. It is unfair to compare,” he said.
Continuing his praise for Kohli, Dhoni said that Kohli has already written his way into the record books for India and is confident that the right-hander can continue his fine scoring form in the coming years as well.
“Right from the start, he is somebody who always wanted to improve to win games for India,” Dhoni said. “He is somebody who has learned a lot and he is somebody who knows his strengths really well. It’s very difficult to say what the top level is in cricket, but Kohli has done India proud.”