Legendary Indian all-rounder Kapil Dev has raised fears that playing too much cricket might lead to Virat Kohli facing a potential burn-out in the future. Dev believes that with the rate at which Kohli is moving towards greatness, there is a good chance that he might fall down sooner, rather than later.
Comparing his ascension in the international scene to West Indian great Sir Viv Richards and Indian icon Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev said, “It’s scary how fast he is going (towards greatness). And when you go that fast, there is also fear (inside you).He is a mixture of Vivian Richards and Tendulkar. People will talk of him ahead of Don Bradman if he can go on.”
Dev also praised the attitude and approach at the crease of the Indian skipper. “How does Kohli have so much impact? Because he can tell the bowler after hitting him for four,`go and bowl’. Virat has that attitude. He is not from the Mumbai school of batsmanship, where you hit a bowler and put your head down so you don’t anger him.”
With the rate at which he is going, Kapil Dev believes that Virat Kohli could surpass the greatest ever batsman in his book, Sir Viv Richards. “Right know everything is going his way , even the DRS. When we used to play, we would say, judge a player by how many Diwalis and Eids he has seen. Right now Viv is the top in my book, but Virat might surpass Viv.”
Kohli is a notch above another modern day great, AB de Villiers, if Kapil Dev is to be believed. “Kohli has excellent technique and sometimes he will pick the length very early and play a shot which will surprise you. AB is technically not as good as Kohli but he has better eye-hand co-ordination. We always say hand-eye batsmen cannot go on beyond a point, but hats off to the way AB has carried on.”
Finally, Kapil Dev fears that the pace at which Kohli is rising and the form which he is enjoying, he might burn out soon. “Cricketers are the least fit of all sportsmen. But Kohli has also set the benchmark for fitness. Sometimes I think he is over-fit. When you train that hard, your muscles can burn out faster. With that much fitness training, you’re worried about getting injured also.”
Dev isn’t wrong in his assertion that Kohli will soon face a dip in his performance levels, but until then, India will continue to bear the fruits of his brilliant form in international cricket.