Aamer Sohail, former Pakistani opening batsman has hailed the greatness of Virat Kohli, saying that his mere presence has improved every player around him in the Indian team over the last few years.
Comparing him to former Pakistani batting great Javed Miandad on his YouTube channel, Sohail said, “The most important point for me is that big players break out. They are individually great, but their greatness does not help the team at all. When you talk about Pakistan’s cricket history and its greatness, the first name that comes to mind is Javed Miandad. His greatness is still talked about to this day because he used to raise the level of play of the rest of the team. When you stitch a long partnership with him, you used to learn so much, and get inspired that you want to improve more.
“This is what Kohli has done as well. If you look around Kohli, every player has improved alongside him and this is why Kohli gets the tag of a great player,” Sohail, who has played 156 One Day Internationals for Pakistan, scoring 4,780 runs and taking 85 wickets with his left arm orthodox spin, said.
Sohail continued, “Let me explain why Virat Kohli has become a great player? When he burst onto the scene, he was flamboyant, aggressive, and liked to team up with life. Very quickly, he realised that I need to separate my professional life with my personal life. That really benefited him. The guidance he received after that you need to do away with certain things to become a consistent player for India, and he did so. He improved his defensive technique.
“When he got a chance to play for India in 2008, and then when he made a move to T20I in 2010, and then he made his debut in 2011, during this time he found his game. He realised what were his strengths, and how he needs to take them forward. He also realised what was his weakness, and how can he improve upon it, or camouflage it. He kept improving his game, and he dominated in world cricket.”
Sohail then gave a few on reasons as to why Kohli became a legend. He said, “But here are four major reasons I believe why he became a great player. The first point is passion and determination. An average player, when they represent their country, they are happy with the performances as long as they can stay in the team. They are just satisfied with that. But great players do not let their passion and determination deteriorate. This cannot be taught, this comes from within when you respect the game, your fans, and the colours that you wear and the country you represent.”
“The second point is to desire to become a better player and be coachable, this is what has been seen in Kohli. In the beginning, he used to hit shots. But then he was told that you have to play like this, so he realised himself and kept on improving.”
“His adaptability has come because of this. In different countries, with different bowling attack, in different situations, he has different trigger movements all the time. He uses his footwork accordingly. He has dominated every bowling line-up in the world.”
“When you play like this, it makes a player ready to accept challenges. This is why Virat Kohli’s mental toughness is increasing,” Sohail concluded.