Brian Lara: Huge gulf between Virat Kohli and other batsmen

Indian batting great Sachin Tendulkar remains Lara’s all-time favourite but in today’s era, he said it is Kohli who is the best.

Brian Lara conferred with the Doctorate in Science (Honours Causa) by the D. Y. Patil University in Nerul.   -  Yogesh Mhatre

West Indies batting great Brian Lara has said Virat Kohli is a run-machine who is way ahead of other batsmen in world cricket today.

“No doubt there is a huge gap between Kohli and the rest of the world in all forms of the game. Rohit Sharma might have got four centuries in this World Cup, (Jonny) Bairstow or whatever, if you want somebody to bat in T20, T10, 100 balls or Test cricket, it is going to be Virat Kohli today,” he said, adding Tendulkar’s impact was in a way responsible for the rise of Kohlis and Sharmas.

“The (impression) Sachin left on the game is just unbelievable, because he sort of bridged that period, where you felt that when Indian batsman leaves Indian soil, Indian pitches, they are not that good. But Sachin was good on every surface and all of the Indian batsman are good on every single surface today, I think simply because they took a page out of his (Sachin's) book,” he said.

On a day the West Indies took on Afghanistan for the battle for the wooden spoon in the World Cup, the Trinidadian mourned the fact that the Caribbean cricket has been unable to gape out of a hole for a little too long.

“My only disappointment in 2019 is that we have been turned into a corner for pretty long time. Every country, every sports team goes through a little bit of cycle, but we seem to be, you know (stuck in it) for quite some time, which is unfortunate,” Lara said after being conferred with Doctorate of Science (Honours Causa) by the Dr. D.Y. Patil University in Nerul on Thursday.

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West Indies, one of the two teams that entered the World Cup through a qualification tournament, started the tournament on an impressive note but fizzled out as its campaign progressed. Lara hoped that its recent success in white flannels versus England will pave way for a revival of sorts.
“What I am excited about is the fact that we are now starting to be good at home. We beat England in the Test series and we drew the one-day series but it doesn’t mean that we are going to leave our shore and be the same,” Lara said.

“And India is a country very similar to that. Back in ’80s and ’90s, you come to India, you could not beat them, but the minute India travelled, they did not look the same team. But today, at home they (West Indies) are bad and away from home, they are even badder (worse),as we would say in Jamaica.”

The legendary batsman who finished the game at the top of Test charts at the time of retirement in 2006 picked his long-time friend Sachin Tendulkar’s achievements to be greater than run-machine Virat Kohli. However, Lara had had no hesitation in marking Kohli as way ahead than any of his contemporary.