You cannot bowl at Kohli's stumps, Warne tells bowlers
To bowlers bruised and battered, and faced with the frightening prospect of again running into Virat Kohli, spin great Shane Warne offered an advise: bowl at either leg or wide of off stump, but not at the stumps.
"If you're going to bowl to Virat Kohli, you either bowl at leg stump and protect the on side, or you bowl wide of off stump and you protect the off side. You cannot bowl at the stumps, because he can hit you both ways," Warne was quoted as saying 'ESPNcricinfo'.
"So, I think you've to take out one side of the field. Protect just one side of the field, that's how you bowl to very good players," the Australian added.
Warne plotted Kohli's dismissal if he were to actually bowl to him.
"I'd be bowling wide of off stump and letting him try to cover drive with a slip, short cover and some protection out there. So then it'll be very hard for him to get it over the leg side. That's what I'd be trying to do and hopefully get a little bit lucky and he mis-hits one."
Warne said he has not seen anyone 'dominate' One-day international cricket like Kohli has, but steered clear of calling him the greatest of all time.
"I got asked the question last night and again this morning: is Virat Kohli the best player in one-day cricket? Is he better than Tendulkar, is he better than Lara? I'm still thinking about it, I'm still trying to work that out."
Since the start of 2016, Kohli has amassed 3985 runs in 59 ODI innings, maintaining a staggering average and strike rate at the same time.
Warne continued, "The one thing we can say is I don't think we have seen anyone dominate one-day cricket like Virat Kohli has. The best player I saw – (Don) Bradman's the best so he doesn't even come into the equation – but Viv Richards is the best player I saw. As a player, playing against them, Lara and Tendulkar were the two best players that I bowled to."
The Indian has just scored his 41st ODI century, inching closer to Tendulkar's record of 49 tons.
"You know records are different in different eras and it's very hard to judge. All you can judge is how a player is in their era, and Virat Kohli is so far ahead in one-day cricket than everybody else – in hundreds made, especially while chasing – that sets him apart from everybody else that is playing," said Warne, known for his aggressive approach in his heydays as the world's best leg-spinner.