New Delhi: Chris Gayle has seen Virat Kohli go from a talented batsman trying to find his feet in international cricket to be regarded among the game’s finest, in all formats.
Virat Kohli also shares a bond with Chris Gayle as the two have been teammates of Indian Premier League side, Royal Challengers Bangalore since 2011, the year the current India Test skipper made his debut in the longest format of the game.
That plunge in the West Indies five years ago proved a big test against the fast bowlers, but Kohli not only found his footing, but has been virtually unstoppable in the last two years.
As Virat Kohli struck a career-best 235 to help India crush England by an innings in the fourth Test in Mumbai and clinch the series, the ‘boss’ of cricket, as the Jamaican loves to proclaim, was all praise for his IPL skipper.
“He was always elevated as Superman,” Gayle, who was also in Mumbai as India were giving finishing touches to the match, said.
“I have said it before, these things are just showing up now. I am sure there are many more (knocks) to come from Virat. He will do so much things… (it will be) unbelievable. I hope the youngsters can follow in his footsteps,” he said, pointing to Virat Kohli’s fabulous run since the end of 2014.
Virat Kohli’s double centuries
Virat Kohli has struck three double centuries in quick succession, with four centuries in all, to enjoy a dream 2016.
Gayle’s comments during an event to promote road safety also point to Virat Kohli’s versatility. He hit four centuries in IPL 2016, after playing exceptional knocks in the preceding World Twenty20 to defeat arch-rivals Pakistan as well as Australia to steer hosts India into the semifinals.
Virat Kohli has aggregated 640 runs in the four Tests, the second time he has surpassed the 600-mark in a series. In the 2014-15 series in Australia, he hit four centuries to amass 692 runs.
The India skipper’s transformation from a combustible youngster to a calm leader was also in full view when he stepped in to separate Ravichandran Ashwin, who told James Anderson on Monday what he thought of his media comments suggesting Virat Kohli still didn’t have the technique to succeed in seaming conditions in England.