Former Australia captain Steve Waugh said on Thursday that he is reminded of the legendary Sachin Tendulkar whenever he watches star India batsman Virat Kohli in action.
“The greatest T20 batsman right now is Virat Kohli. He has an average of over 50 and an amazing strike rate. I see a bit of Tendulkar in him everytime he walks in to bat,” Waugh told Sports Today.
India have been placed in a difficult group along with arch-rivals Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and Bangladesh at the ongoing World Twenty20 and Waugh felt that Kohli will be key if the hosts were to win the trophy for a record second time.
“If India have to win this World T20, Kohli will have to score a lot of runs,” he said.
Waugh said Kohli’s aggression put him at par with a lot of good Australian cricketers.
“Kohli is a lot like an Australian player. He loves playing against Australia and loves the aggressive Australian crowds. Kohli is the ultimate cricketer but the only question for him is if he can keep his cool under pressure,” the 50-year-old said.
India suffered a jolt at the very start of their World T20 campaign as they lost to New Zealand by 47 runs in the tournament opener on Tuesday. The Super 10 Group 2 match in Nagpur saw both sets of batsmen struggle on a turning pitch.
The Indian batsmen, renowned for their ability to play the turning ball, showed poor application and shot selection with nine of them falling to the Kiwi spinners — a T20 record.
Waugh however, felt that the Indians will be able to recover from the shock and go on to do well in the rest of the tournament.
“If you ask Indian players if they mind playing playing on a turning, they would not mind, because they are used to that. I don’t think that is an excuse. Maybe they were caught out by the quality of the New Zealand bowling the other night. Maybe they were a little complacent. Having said that, they have not beaten New Zealand in a T20 game,” Waugh said.
“Maybe it was one of those days where everything goes awry, nothing goes right. They need to move on and focus on the next game,” he added.