'Brilliant chaser' Virat Kohli exceeds Sachin Tendulkar: Graeme Smith

Graeme Smith lauds Virat Kohli as a 'brilliant chaser', saying he believes the India captain even surpasses Sachin Tendulkar in quality. Kohli is just one century away from equalling Sachin Tendulkar's record of 49 ODI tons.
'Brilliant chaser' Virat Kohli exceeds Sachin Tendulkar: Graeme Smith

Mumbai (Maharashtra) | Former South Africa captain and SA20 league commissioner, Graeme Smith, hailed Virat Kohli as a brilliant chaser saying that he believes that India's batting talisman even exceeds the legend Sachin Tendulkar with the quality that he has produced right through his international career.

Kohli is just one century away from equalling Sachin Tendulkar's record of 49 ODI tons.

"Virat's career has been incredible. But I think when you dig into his one-day stats and record, it is mindblowing. I think the quality that he has produced right through his international career, in my opinion, he exceeds Sachin. He is brilliant, in particular with Chase. The way he controls chases. His ability to play one day game no matter what the situation is around him and he is a key figure alongwith Rohit Sharma at the top of the order in terms of managing pressure as the tournament goes on and how well they play with the bat and just a superstar. I mean there is so much said about Virat Kohli but I don't think that enough gets made about on how insane is Virat Kohli's ODI record. His one-day record is mind-blowing," Graeme Smith said in an interview.

The Indian team is in sensational form in the World Cup so far, winning all six matches convincingly to remain unbeaten in the tournament. The entire team is gelling and performing as a unit, firing a billion hopes of a third ODI World Cup.

"They have not found themselves under pressure at all they have played such good cricket. India are always strong at home but in a big event like the World Cup there is extra pressure but it doesn't seem to be impacting them. The big players are performing with both bat and ball. The only blip they have is injury to Hardik Pandya on how to balance their side but playing an extra bowler has worked well for them, They have a very attacking batting lineup and a very attacking bowling lineup. At their best, they can demolish any opposition. As expected they are a dominant opposition and a team to beat in the tournament," Smith said.

The only worrying factor for India is injury to all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who suffered an ankle injury in the game against Bangladesh. The star all-rounder has since missed out on both the ODI matches against New Zealand and England. The SA20 league commissioner believes that he can play a crucial role for India like Jansen is doing for the Proteas.

"As Jansen has been impressive for South Africa as an all-rounder at no.7 with bat and the ball. India are lucky that they have a Jadeja to play the role of an all-rounder as well but to lose an all-rounder. I think at the moment India have tried to go with more of frontline bowling options and not play the extra batter. So, far it is working for them. They would want him to recover well for the knockout stage but again the quality they have in the squad. Last time against England they got pushed. They just stepped up," Smith added.

From the way this tournament has panned out so far, Graeme Smith feels that the current top-4 in the ICC World Cup 2023 points table will make it to the semi-finals.

"Always tough to predict. I think in my mind. India at the top, South Africa two, New Zealand three and Australia at four. I think potentially that is going to be your potential Top-4 for the knockout stages," Smith signed off saying.

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