Caribbean cricket legend Vivian Richards on Tuesday heaped praise on Indian vice captain Virat Kohli, saying he has already become a One-Day International (ODI) batting legend.
Richards, who was an integral member of the West Indies’ World Cup-winning squad in 1975 and 1979, also listed Kohli in his list of top 10 ODI batsmen.
Richards, considered the most fearsome batsman in the 1980s, put Sachin Tendulkar at the summit spot, followed by compatriots Brian Lara, Chris Gayle, Clive Lloyd, Australians Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, India’s Virender Sehwag, Australia’s Michael Hussey, South Africa’s A.B. de Villiers and current star Kohli.
"The last name on my list, but not the least by any means, is young Virat Kohli. There might be some surprise regarding this pick because he is very young and has a lot of cricket to play still. But in my eyes, he is already legendary," Richards said. Kohli has scored 6232 runs in 150 matches, helping himself to 21 hundreds.
"At such a young age he has twice the number of ODI century than in Tests and he is such a confident player in limited-overs. It is not to say he isn’t so in the longer format, but I really like his aggressive style in ODI cricket," Richards said of the Indian who has recorded 30 fifties and his average is at 51.50.
Talking about the 26-year-old’s rise in world cricket, Richards also hoped the Indian Test captain would get better in the future.
"Look at the way he started his career, and the batsman he has already become today, he is simply magnificent in whatever little time he has played as compared to others. He is only going to get better and better, and add to his list of achievements."