India vs England, 1st Test: Kumar Sangakkara tips Virat Kohli to become India’s greatest batsman

Virat Kohli‘s 22nd Test century, a rather astonishing effort of 149 that helped India to 274 in their first innings when the next highest contribution was 26, has been the biggest talking point of an enthralling  series opener between India and England  at Edgbaston . While the praise has flown thick and fast from all corners, one man, and a true cricketing legend in his own right, has tipped Kohli to become the most successful Indian batsman ever.

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“The way he is playing, Virat can well become the greatest ever Indian batsman,” Kumar Sangakkara told The Times of India during the third day’s play in Birmingham. “In terms of Sachin’s legacy both in terms of cricket and the way he has dealt with pressure, he is unique. But Virat is well on his way to match that. He is comfortably the best in the world of his generation and with time, he will mature even more. If he understands himself a bit better and keeps improving his game, he will break quite a few records.”

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Thursday’s 149 took Kohli’s international century count to 57 (in ODIs, he is already at 35, second behind Tendulkar’s record of 49). Overall, he is at fifth place for centuries in international cricket behind Tendulkar (100), Ricky Ponting (71), Sangakkara (63) and Jacques Kallis (62).

IN PICS: DAY THREE

Asked about the prospects of Kohli surpassing Tendulkar’s 100 international hundreds, Sangakkara said: “It’s up to him how long he plays and if he does for a while, a few serious records will be broken.”

Kohli, for the record, has acknowledged this 149 at Edgbaston as his second best century after the 141 he scored against Australia in Adelaide in 2014.

At the close of day three, Kohli was 43 not out with India 110/5 in pursuit of a target of 194.