Mike Gatting: Virat Kohli deserves the ‘great’ tag

Former England captain Mike Gatting is impressed with Kohli for his commitment towards Test cricket.

Former England captain Mike Gatting at the launch of the book ‘Fortune Turners’ in Mumbai on Thursday.   -  Vivek Bendre

India captain Virat Kohli has time and again spoken about the importance of Test cricket. Former England skipper Mike Gatting has praised Kohli’s commitment towards the longer format of the game.

“He has said Test cricket (is important) for him, if you have to be regarded as a great player, you have to play Test cricket. This is fantastic,” Gatting said on Thursday after launching ‘Fortune Turners’ — a book written by Aditya Bhushan and Sachin Bajaj.

“The fact that he (Kohli) plays all forms of cricket with such greatness that I don’t think you see from a lot of other people and possibly might not. Yes, Kane Williamson is very good now. 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 without doubt…” Gatting reasoned.

After the World Cup, there were speculations that Kohli could skip the tour of West Indies but he travelled with the team for the three-match T20I series and is set to play the ODIs as well.

Before leaving for the Caribbean islands, he had reiterated that the World Test Championships will add context to Test cricket.

“Test cricket really needed a boost. The players were always putting in the effort but from a global point of view, an incentive attached in a way which the Test Championship presents. I think for all the cricketers involved now, every session and every game will be more intense, there will be more on the line. So it will be challenging, but all the more exciting and all the teams I am sure are going to enjoy a lot through this whole journey of the Test Championships,” Kohli had said.