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Virat Kohli better than Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni: Navjot Sidhu says RCB legend ‘the best’ ever

Navjot Singh Sidhu rated Virat Kohli as the best-ever Indian batter ahead of Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni.

Former India batter Navjot Singh Sidhu said ‘best ever’ Virat Kohli is better than Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni. Sidhu’s comments came before the start of IPL 2024 and are certain to spark a debate. Throughout the years, India have always been blessed with some of the best batters in the game. And picking one across generations is considered to be one of the toughest tasks.

Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli(ANI)

In India’s initial years in Test cricket, Vijay Hazare, Polly Umrigar and Vinoo Mankad dominated the batting charts before the emergence of a certain Sunil Gavaskar. He took batting to a different level, scoring 34 Test centuries and becoming the first cricketer to breach the 10000-run mark. During his time, India were blessed to have Gundappa Viswanath, Dilip Vengsarkar, and Mohinder Amarnath in the batting unit but the pundits would always rate Gavaskar higher.

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When the Gavaskar era came to an end, Sachin Tendulkar burst onto the scene and became India’s first global superstar in cricket, reaching households through colour television. Tendulkar was the flag-bearer of modern-day cricket. The world had seen Viv Richards decimating bowling attacks and now they witnessed decimation with copybook batting. Tendulkar had every shot in the book and he became the epitome of batting. Records also followed. The first to play 200 Tests, the first to score 10000 runs in ODIs, the first to score 15000 runs in Tests, the only to score 100 centuries, the first to score an ODI double century – you name it, he had it.

Tendulkar also had the likes of Mohammad Azharuddin, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag and VVS Laxman but he was in a league of his own. It was almost a given that the void after Tendulkar retires would be impossible to fill. But little did the world of cricket know that India would get another stalwart in Virat Kohli even before Tendulkar had called it a day.

The first three format batter of the world, Kohli achieved success in Tests, ODIs and T20Is as if they were a child’s play. He knocked one Tendulkar record after the other, made run-chasing in white-ball cricket his forte and maintained an average of 50-plus in T20Is – the most volatile format of the lot.

Sidhu explains why Virat Kohli is the best

It is because of this quality of Kohli to boss three formats which none of the Tendulkars and Gavaskars had to, that Sidhu rates him as the best.

“I have rated him as the best Indian batter ever. There are eras where I would put up my transistor and listen to Sunil Gavaskar bat against the West Indies, those are the 70s. The great West Indies fast bowlers, bunking school and just going out one period and listening to how he was batting and without a helmet, that was his era. He dominated for almost 15-20 years. Then came Tendulkar, another era. Then came Dhoni, and then came Virat. If you look at four, I would rate him as the best because he has adapted to all three formats,” Sidhu told India Today.

Virat Kohli fitter than MS Dhoni: Sidhu

Sidhu, who is set to return to the commentary box in IPL 2024, said MS Dhoni was the first cricketer to start a fitness revolution in Indian cricket but Kohli became fitter than him.

“In the same way, his technical ability and the fittest of all of them. If you look at all four, he would be the fittest. Tendulkar had problems, in the latter stages of his career. Dhoni, he is fit. Virat is super fit. That holds him in good stead. It elevates him to a level, a few notches higher, that others have not been able to achieve. The longevity factor, gives him a plus. The adaptability factor is Sone Pe Suhaaga,” he added.

Kohli did not play the entire five-match Test series against England due to the birth of his second child. He will return to the cricket field as one of the mainstays of the Royall Challengers Bengaluru batting unit in IPL 2024, which starts on March 22.


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