“Virat's [Kohli] attitude is very different. He's right on your face, it's a bit like Viv Richards. He's an aggressive player and that's his strength. If you take that away from him, you won't get the best out of Kohli,” Allan Lamb told Sportstar on Monday.
Interestingly, 28 years ago, Lamb had witnessed the rise of another Indian champion — Sachin Tendulkar.
The Englishman had dropped him at slips in Manchester in 1990 — the Test match where Tendulkar, at 17 years and 112 days, became the youngest to hit a century in England.
Ahead of India’s tour opener against England in Birmingham on Wednesday, the former England batsman could foresee a Tendulkar in Kohli.
“He's going to upset some people in the way but if he keeps scoring runs like this, he could come close to Tendulkar's record (100 international hundreds) especially with age on his side. He also plays all three formats of the game,” said Lamb, adding, “Sachin was very lucky because I put him down at slips. I made his career!”
Turning the clock backwards, Lamb recalled the situation when India was struggling at 108-4 that day.
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“The shot he played against Devon Malcolm was probably the only rash stroke. He snicked it to me at head height and I palmed it over my head for four! I should've caught that,” he reminisced.
Lamb had scored a sturdy hundred, 109 off 141 balls, in that Test but the youngster outclassed his effort.
Like an ‘old pro’
“For a 17-year-old to come in and bat like that; you could see it straightaway. When he came out in Manchester, he just had so much time to play his shots. He was very selective in his strokeplay, very mature for a player of his age. He didn't play too many rash shots and was good all around the wicket." he said.
"I also remember he took a brilliant catch (at long-off) to get me out at Lord's. He was at deep mid-off and he ran in — a brilliant one-handed catch it was."
By the time Tendulkar got into the second year of his international career, his reputation had started to precede him. "Even before the series began, there was chatter in the dressing room about this young, bright star named Tendulkar coming to England."
And — had that catch been taken — who knows, England might even have won the Test.
Instead, Tendulkar, who went to England as a promising young player, returned home after an innings which, to put it in the words of the then England captain Graham Gooch, resembled "an old pro."
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