Allan Border: ‘I like watching Virat Kohli play’

"I think Kohli is a world-class player and probably you can argue that he will end up with all the statistical records for himself. I like his captaincy because he is a very feisty sort of competitor," says the former Australian captain.

Allan Border... "Rivalry between Australia and India has been phenomenal and it probably dates back to the tied Test match in 1986.”   -  M. VEDHAN

Former Australian skipper Allan Border was full of admiration for Virat Kohli. He said the Indian Test captain might end up breaking all records.

According to Border, who is in the city to witness the second semifinal and final of the inaugural Tamil Nadu Premier League, the big task for Kohli as captain would be to steer his team successfully on overseas tours.

“I like Virat Kohli very much. I think he is a world-class player and probably you can argue that he will end up with all the statistical records for himself. I like his captaincy because he is a very feisty sort of competitor,” Border said.

 

“His captaincy will develop more and more as he takes to the job over the next few years. I suppose the real test for him now will be when you go away from home and play — South Africa, Australia and England in particular. That will be the real test for Virat Kohli and the Indian boys, on how develop their cricket in conditions that usually don’t suit them. The real test will be on how he takes the side ahead. But I am big fan of his cricket already.”

When asked about who is his favourite among Joe Root, Steve Smith, Kohli and Kane Williamson, Border further praised the Indian Test captain.

“I like Joe Root, but those four are all good. It is very hard to pick one. I have seen Virat Kohli do very well in Australia but struggle in England. Root is also a good player. Steve Smith has made runs at most places.

“I like watching Virat Kohli play. I also like Steve Smith, but his style is different. He is not your classic technician. He is very fidgety at the crease. He jumps around. As far as pure technique is concerned, Virat Kohli is as good as it gets.”

However, Border added that if there is one out of the four he would prefer, it will be Williamson.

“I must admit if I wanted someone to bat for me for life, he (Kane Williamson) is probably up there. I have seen him play some superb knocks in difficult conditions. He deserves to be in the bracket of those top four,” Border said.

Border, who captained Australia in 93 Tests, was of the view that India’s limited-overs captain Dhoni may have not been successful in the longest format because the latter may have let the game drift away sometimes.

“M. S. Dhoni was more of a short form exponent. He did a great job in Test cricket while playing here. Sometimes he let the game drift a bit. Having said that, last time when we were here he beat Australia four-nil. I might be bit harsh because he is a phenomenal cricketer.”

If he were to select one name each from India and Australia to name a similar series like the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, who they would be? “Tendulkar has to be in there. From Australia, Steve Waugh; he is very popular in these parts. So may be Waugh-Tendulkar. Rivalry between Australia and India has been phenomenal and it probably dates back to the tied Test match in 1986,” Border said.