Cricket pundits and fans across the globe might have divided opinions on who is the best batsman in the world right now but former England all-rounder is quite convinced that India skipper Virat Kohli is ‘head and shoulders’ above his contemporaries.
Speaking to The Metro, the Ashes-winning English star said:
“He’s absolutely on his own. You look at the four main captains; Steve smith, Kane Williamson, Joe Root and Virat Kohli. They’re all very, very good players but Virat is head and shoulders above all of them.”
Speaking on Kohli’s batting in Test cricket, Flintoff added:
“You watch him play and the one thing that’s so impressive is that in Test cricket he’s got all the shots and tricks but decides to get his head down and grind runs out.
2016 saw Kohli scoring heavily in the longest format of the game. He began the year without a single double century in Tests but finished with three double tons to his name. The double-centuries came in three consecutive series before he added another in the one-off Test against Bangladesh last month.
Flintoff further said Kohli’s control while playing his shots in the shorter formats has put him above the likes of Smith, Root and Williamson.
“In the short-form of the game he just hits boundaries without looking like taking a risk. He’s in complete control. The other three I mentioned are very good players but Kohli is on a different planet,” he said.
Flintoff also said Kohli would do well when he visits England next time. The 28-year-old, who has managed only 134 runs in 10 innings in England till now, has been criticised by many for his failure on seaming wickets. England bowler James Anderson had even taken a slight dig during the series in India last year by saying the batsman was doing well only because of the helpful Indian tracks which lack pace and movement. But Flintoff is convinced the Indian batsman would rectify his mistakes on his next visit to the country.
“It frustrates me when everyone says “he just does it in India, wait until he gets to England. That’s nonsense, he’s a fine player. When he comes to England the ball will nip around a bit and he’ll adapt his game accordingly,” Flintoff concluded.