Virat Kohli Comes Close to Matching Brian Lara, Says Alastair Cook
Virat Kohli (© IANS)

Batting legend Sir Alastair Cook has put India captain Virat Kohli in a group of batsmen who came close to matching the genius of Brian Lara.

During a Q&A session with the Sunday Times, Cook spoke about a game in 2004 when Lara left him stunned hitting century inside a session’s play.

“I was part of an MCC team that played West Indies at Arundel in the first match of their 2004 tour,” Cook recalled. “We had a decent bowling attack Simon Jones, Matthew Hoggard and Min Patel, all of whom were England players.”

He continued, “Brian Lara scored a century between Lunch and Tea which made me realise I was witnessing another level of batsmanship altogether. It was genius at work.”

Lara is the only batsman to score 400 in a Test innings and retired after scoring 11,953 runs in 131 Tests and 10,505 runs in 299 ODIs.

Kohli finds himself in an elite company alongside Australian Ricky Ponting, South African Jacques Kallis and Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka.

“The ones who came close to that when I was playing for England were Ponting, Kallis and Sangakkarra,” Cook, who scored 12,472 runs from 161 Tests, said.

‘Now you would have to put Virat Kohli in that group, especially for his ability to score so freely in all three formats,”the former England captain added.