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Muttiah Muralitharan says it is too early to compare Virat Kohli with Sachin Tendulkar

Muttiah Muralitharan, the former Sri Lankan off-spinner, has his take on the Sachin Tendulkar-Virat Kohli comparisons.

sachin and kohli
Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli played Tests together from 2011 to 2013

Muttiah Muralitharan, the former Sri Lankan spinner and the most successful bowler in international cricket, stated that Virat Kohli should not be compared with the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, at least for now.

Kohli has been in a rich vein of form lately, which refuses to die down, and has seen him make runs aplenty and become the top limited overs batsman in world cricket at the moment. Muralitharan believes that it is too early to draw comparisons to Sachin, who was considered to be the most complete batsman of his time. 

Murali said: "Sachin has been a legend of the game. It's too early to compare these two. Let Virat play for 15 years and see where he finishes. Then only you can compare."

In a 24-year long international career that ended in 2013, Sachin Tendulkar amassed more than 34,000 runs with a record 100 centuries. He has to his name, among other things, the record for most runs in Test and ODIs, most international caps, and the distinction of being the first man to reach 200 in ODIs. Starting off as a 16-year old in 1989, Tendulkar also won the World Cup at his home ground in Mumbai in 2011. Incidentally, that was also Muralitharan’s last international match.

Kohli, also part of the World Cup-winning team, has been in phenomenal form, consistently racking up runs since his debut in 2008. At the age of 27, he already has 25 ODI centuries, and is also the fastest to 7000 ODI runs. Apart from that, he has close to 3000 Test runs to his credit.

Muralitharan was all praise for Kohli, India’s Test captain, saying "Kohli is in the middle of a dream form, but he has been performing like this for the last two years - not only in the IPL but also international cricket. He is making runs for India and also for his (IPL) franchise. Nobody can stop him at the moment. Hope he continues that way." He also said that he would have had to think hard before bowling to Kohli. "What's important about Virat is that he plays all cricketing shots for his runs", he added. 

Recently, Virender Sehwag had expressed the same sentiment by saying that comparison of individuals of different eras is unfair, and Sachin and Kohli should not be compared.

Muralitharan played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore from 2012-2014, bowling under the captaincy of Virat Kohli from 2013. He also part of the coaching staff of the Sunrisers Hyderabad, the winners of the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL).

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