Anil Kumble has watched Virat Kohli play his way into the India national squad and reckons he is a perfect candidate to fill the number 3 batting spot.
However, Kumble, a former Captain of the Indian team, also mentioned that Kohli needed to control his aggression, and let his batting do the talking.
“I have followed Virat closely since his India U-19 days and he has matured a lot. I am impressed in the manner he has improved in the past one year in terms of game, discipline and overall fitness, he has quickly adapted to rigors of international cricket and for a 23-year-old to do that is phenomenal. He has a Test hundred in Australia and I believe he has the right game to fit in at No 3” Kumble said.
But, Kumble, stated that it would be impossible for anyone to fill the shoes of Rahul Dravid, who was India’s premier number 3 batsman for many years.
Dravid, who recently announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket, represented India for the past 16 years, and currently is second on the list for the most runs scored in test matches, trailing behind the iconic Sachin Tendulkar.
“However, there is no one who can replace Rahul Dravid. He has been an achiever for past 16 years and it’s certainly not easy to score 23,000 international runs” Kumble said.
He also paid tribute to Tendulkar’s 100th international century, saying that he had the gift of being able to adapt to different conditions with no problems whatsoever.
Kumble, who was Tendulkar’s teammate for a long time, reminisced about how lucky he felt to be in the same team as the ‘Little Master’.
“I have been a witness to 80 of those 100 hundreds and at least on 20 occasions, I have been at the other end. I would invariably arrive when he would be in his 80’s and the second new-ball would be due. My job on each and every occasion was to ensure that I don’t give my wicket easily which would help him to get his hundred” he said.
With Kohli starting to get recognition from some of the world’s greatest cricketers, India, are hoping that Kohli will become more mature and concentrate on restoring the pride and honour that India have lost in the eyes of many members of the cricketing community.