Former Australia skipper Steve Waugh hailed Indian captain Virat Kohli as the current best batsman in Test cricket. Speaking in an interview to Cricket Australia, the 53-year old said that Kohli has the best technique among all the current players. “He (Kohli) has got the game to survive anywhere, I think he’s got the best technique of anyone in world cricket,” the former Australia international said. “He and AB de Villiers have got the best techniques, and AB de Villiers is not playing Test cricket so that makes him (Kohli) the stand-out player,” Waugh added.
Kohli recently surpassed banned cricketer Steve Smith to become the top-ranked batsman in ICC Test Batting rankings, after the first Test against England at Edgbaston in which he scored a century and a fifty. “I think Steve Smith is probably the hungriest batsman but he’s obviously not playing for 12 months, so Kohli really is the premier batsman in world cricket,” the 1999-World Cup winning player said.
“And he likes the big occasion. Like (Brian) Lara and Tendulkar and (Viv) Richards and Javed Miandad, and all the great batsmen, they want the big occasion and that brings out the best in their cricket,” Waugh added.
With India set to travel to Australia in November for 3 T20Is, 4 Tests and 3 ODI series, Waugh said Kohli’s desire to win a Test series in Australia might put him in under pressure during the tour. “He’ll be putting a bit of pressure on himself, this (a series win in Australia) will be the feather in the cap if he can pull this off,” the former right-hand batsman said.
“Steve Smith had an incredible series (in India last year) and made three centuries and scored about 500 runs, and Virat hardly scored a run. So that would have been deflating for him, and he will look to square the ledger when he comes back to Australia,” Waugh added.
He further said that Australia should play positive cricket and put on big totals in the first innings, and the bowling attack can take care of the rest.
“I think the best way to control him is for our guys to play really positive cricket, to concentrate on executing the team plans and to score 300-plus runs in our first innings so we can put pressure on their batting line-up. Our attack is as good as anyone’s and, in our conditions, he’ll have to be on his game and particularly if he’s chasing some big scores that Australia have put on the board. That will put pressure on his batting,” he said.