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. <p></p> <p></p>During a Q&amp;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. <p></p> <p></p>"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." <p></p> <p></p>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." <p></p> <p></p>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. <p></p> <p></p>Kohli finds himself in an elite company alongside Australian Ricky Ponting, South African Jacques Kallis and Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka. <p></p> <p></p>"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. <p></p> <p></p>'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.