Have used Kohli as an example for my players: Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur
Indian skipper Virat Kohli is the hottest thing going on in world cricket at the moment. (Getty Image)

As Pakistan get ready to battle Australia in what promises to be a fiercely-contested Test series, coach Mickey Arthur remains hopeful that Pakistan will replicated the success of 2014 when they clean swept the opposition 2-0. However, Arthur is a man who observes matters keenly and doesn’t shy away from implying the same for the betterment of his side.

Keeping up with that trend, Arthur wants Pakistan to inhibit the qualities of India skipper Virat Kohli, who recently became the first Indian batsman to record 1000 Test runs in three straight calendar years. In an interview with The Telegraph on the eve of the first Test in Dubai, the former Australia coach revealed how Kohli has so much to offer to cricket, other than his flawless batting.

“Virat has grown even more. In fact, he’s an unbelievable cricketer,” Arthur said. “Virat’s hunger and desire to be the best sets him apart from the rest. Everything Virat does is almost fanatical. The way he lives his life, trains and plays his cricket. For Virat, it’s about becoming the best he can be. I have used Virat as an example for my players. The way he changed his lifestyle, the accent on fitness. I have enjoyed watching Virat grow as a cricketer.”

Not too long ago, Kohli, Joe Root, Kane Williamson and Steve Smith were considered the best batsmen the current generation has to offer. But in the last 18 months, Kohli has raced miles ahead of the rest. During India’s five-Test series against England, where no other Indian batsman could leave a mark, Kohli dominated with the bat with 593 runs at an average of 59.30.

In 2017, he made 1059 runs in 16 innings at an average of 75.64, with five centuries and a fifty. Of these, three were double-centuries. In 2016, Kohli stacked up 1215 runs from 18 innings at an average of 75.93, with four centuries and two fifties. Here too he scored three Test double-centuries.

So far in 2018, Kohli leads the Test run-charts for all teams with 1018 from 17 innings while averaging 59.88 with four hundreds and four half-centuries.

“Virat’s the best in the world. Purely as somebody passionate about cricket, he’s one of three batsmen I’d pay a lot of money to watch – AB de Villiers and David Warner being the other two. AB has retired completely from international cricket and Warner is currently ineligible to play for Australia. So, Virat’s the only one playing international cricket and that too all three formats… Kane Williamson, I should add, is in the same league,” Arthur said.

That said, Arthur was slightly sceptical of Kohli’s leadership skills, adding that the Indian skipper could really do by keeping his aggression in check.

“Going by some of Virat’s reactions on the field, I think he needs to tone down a bit. I’m sure Virat will work that out and (head coach) Ravi Shastri should help him channel things in the right direction… As I told you in London during the Champions Trophy, Virat has brought about a cut-throat attitude which looks good from the outside. He’s also brought real energy to the India team,” he said.