Virat Kohli deserves tag of a great player without a doubt, says Mike Gatting


Gatting, whose side lost the 1987 World Cup final to Australia at Kolkata, said Kohli deserved the tag of a great player following his consistency in all the three formats of the game.

Shared News| Updated: August 9, 2019 9:33:33 am
Virat Kohli scored a half-century against West Indies in the third T20I (Source: AP)

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Former England captain Mike Gatting on Thursday fell short of labelling India’s Virat Kohli the greatest batsman of his generation for consistency across formats.

“Yes, Kane Williamson is very good now. Yes, Steve Smith has reignited his career and his ability to play one-day cricket… but to see someone like Virat perform so regularly and so well in all three formats, he does deserve that tag of great (player) without a doubt,” Gatting said.

Gatting, whose side lost the 1987 World Cup final to Australia at Kolkata, said Kohli deserved the tag of a great player following his consistency in all the three formats of the game.

“He (Kohli) has said Test cricket for him… if you have to be regarded as a great player, you have to play Test cricket. This is fantastic. The fact that he plays all forms of cricket with a greatness, that I don’t think you see from a lot of other people and possibly might not,” said Gatting.

Gatting was speaking after launching the book ‘Fortune Turner’, penned by Sachin Bajaj and Aditya Bhushan, at the Royal Bombay Yatch Club here on Thursday.

The book is based on the famous Indian spin quartet of Bishan Singh Bedi, B Chandrasekhar, Erapalli Prasanna and S Venkatraghvan.

Gatting also lavished praise on Smith, whose twin hundreds powered visiting Australia to a big win over England in the Ashes opener at Edgbaston.

“He (Smith) has been huge for Australia. One thing he does is he gets his head still on the off-stump and he is good at manoeuvring the ball around, which is a great skill.

“And yes, without doubt, he (Smith) has made a huge impression this Ashes series. It’s just a question of whether we (England) can get him out early,” said Gatting.

Gatting said that it will be an uphill tasks for the hosts to make a comeback.

“I think England have got a huge hill to climb now. I still think it’s going to be an interesting series because every Test match is going to have a result. It’s going to be about who does recover quickly after every match.

“It’ll actually be interesting to see how Australia cope with that if England can dismiss Smith fairly quickly. I’m not saying Australia are not the favourite team but am saying their batting order is slightly fragile. Obviously Australia is in a good place for now,” he added.

Gatting, who is also the chairman of the World Cricket Committee of the MCC, said that they have spoken about the concept of umpire’s call.

“That’s something that we have talked about. One or two guys rightly pointed out that the same ball can be ruled out or not out despite hitting the stumps.

“Anyway, that’s another one that we have been discussing. The pros and cons, is there a slight discrepancy about technology. That’s another one that will need some more discussion.”

England were awarded six runs by the umpire in the World Cup final after a deflection off Ben Strokes’ bat, and Gatting said mistakes have been made.

“Look, let me put it this way. Mistakes have been made. I don’t think that really is a real reflection of it. The New Zealand team was absolutely fantastic. They didn’t even mention it after the game, which was actually tremendous,” he said.

Test cricket has introduced name and number on jerseys, and Gatting said he was not totally against it.

“I hope the ICC can possibly look at three slots a year to only play T20s. I don’t approve of T10 but for T20, 50-over and Test cricket to survive, they will have to be regulated better.”