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Without doubt, Virat deserves the tag of great: Gatting

Source: PTI
August 08, 2019 21:39 IST
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Virat Kohli

IMAGES: ‘Virat Kohli plays all forms of cricket with a greatness, something I don't think you see from a lot of other people and possibly might not.’ Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Former England captain Mike Gatting fell short of labelling India's Virat Kohli the greatest batsman of his generation for consistency across formats, on Thursday.

"Yes, Kane Williamson is very good now. Yes, Steve Smith has reignited his career and his ability to play one-day cricket... but to see someone like Virat perform so regularly and so well in all three formats, he does deserve that tag of great (player) without a doubt," declared Gatting.


Gatting, whose side lost the 1987 World Cup final to Australia at Kolkata, reasoned why Kohli deserves the tag of great player.

"He (Kohli) has said Test cricket for him... If you have to be regarded as a great player, you have to play Test cricket. This is fantastic. The fact that he plays all forms of cricket with a greatness, that I don't think you see from a lot of other people and possibly might not," said Gatting.

He was speaking after launching the book Fortune Turners, penned by Sachin Bajaj and Aditya Bhushan, at the Royal Bombay Yacht Club, in Mumbai, on Thursday.

The book is based on the famous Indian spin quartet of Bishan Singh Bedi, B Chandrasekhar, Erapalli Prasanna and S Venkatraghvan.

Gatting also lavished praise on Steven Smith, whose twin hundreds powered visiting Australia to a big win over England in the Ashes opener at Edgbaston.

"He (Smith) has been huge for Australia. One thing he does is he gets his head still on the off-stump and he is good at manoeuvring the ball around, which is a great skill.

"And, yes, without doubt, he (Smith) has made a huge impression this Ashes series. It's just a question of whether we (England) can get him out early."

IMAGE: (from left to right) Aditya Bhushan, co-author Fortune Turners, former England captain Mike Gatting, Sachin Bajaj, co-author and founder Global Cricket School, and former India Test cricketer Yajurvindra Singh Bilkha, at the launch of Fortune Turners, at the Royal Bombay Yacht Club in Mumbai on Thursday.

Gatting was of the view that it will be an uphill task for England to stage a comeback.

"I think England have got a huge hill to climb now. I still think it's going to be an interesting series because every Test match is going to have a result. It's going to be about who does recover quickly after every match.

"It'll actually be interesting to see how Australia cope with that if England can dismiss Smith fairly quickly. I'm not saying Australia are not the favourite team, but am saying their batting order is slightly fragile. Obviously, Australia is in a good place for now," he added.

Gatting, who is also chairman of the World Cricket Committee of the MCC, said that they discussed the concept of umpire's call.

"That's something that we have talked about. One or two guys rightly pointed out that the same ball can be ruled out or not out despite hitting the stumps.

"Anyway, that's another one that we have been discussing. The pros and cons, is there a slight discrepancy about technology. That's another one that will need some more discussion."

England were awarded six runs by the umpire in the World Cup final against New Zealand after a deflection off Ben Strokes's bat, and Gatting said mistakes have been made.

"Look, let me put it this way. Mistakes have been made. I don't think that really is a real reflection of it. The New Zealand team was absolutely fantastic. They didn't even mention it after the game, which was actually tremendous," he said.

Test cricket has introduced name and number on jerseys, and Gatting said he was not totally against it.

"I hope the ICC can possibly look at three slots a year to only play T20s. I don't approve of T10, but for T20, 50-over and Test cricket to survive, they will have to be regulated better."

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