Former South Africa skipper AB de Villiers said that Sachin Tendulkar is a great example for everyone including him and Indian captain Virat Kohli.
During an Instagram Live Session, Pommie Mbangwa asked De Villiers to choose between Tendulkar and Kohli as a better batsman. To which the former Proteas player said Tendulkar is a role model for both of them and has a set benchmark for everyone else.
“Sachin for both (him and Kohli) of us is like a role model. The way he stood out back in the day in his era and the things he achieved and with the grace he did all of that, it’s a great example for everyone, De Villiers said.
However, De Villiers claimed Kohli is the best batsman when it comes to chasing a target and he even topples Tendulkar in that aspect.
“I think Virat will also say that he’s (Tendulkar) the main guy, he’s the dude. He set the standards for guys like us to follow. Personally for me, specially in a chase I’d say Virat is the best I’ve ever seen in my life. There’s no-one that beats him when it comes to… the opposition scores 330 and you’ve got to go chase it down.
“Sachin was amazing in all formats, all sorts of situations but Virat tops him there when it comes to chasing under pressure. For me, that’s where I rate sportsman, when it comes to tennis, golf… the Tiger Woods of the world. When the heat is really on you feel like your whole body is numb, but he (Kohli) stands up and he does amazing things. That’s what Virat does under pressure,” de Villiers said.
When asked who is a better batsman between Kohli and Australia’s Steve Smith, de Villiers compared the two to a pair of tennis legends – Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
“It’s a difficult one, but Virat is definitely the more natural ball-striker, there’s no doubt about that,” de Villiers said.
“In tennis terms, I’d say he’s more like a (Roger)Federer whereas Smith is like a (Rafael) Nadal. Smith is mentally very strong and figures out a way of scoring runs – he doesn’t look natural, but he ends up writing records and doing amazing things at the crease. I think mentally, Smith is one of the best I have ever seen. Virat has also scored runs all over the world and won games under pressure,” he added.
de Villiers, who shares the dressing room with Kohli for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL), further said that the current India captain is “much deeper than just a cricket player”.
“He’s much deeper than just a cricket player (…) I think most people realise after a while that there’s more to life than just cricket,” the former Proteas captain said.
“I think we all fall into that bubble initially. But Virat’s always been a thinker, he experiments (with) a lot of things, he loves trying new things out – gym wise, what he puts in his mouth. He thinks a lot about life after life – what’s to come, the different religions, we talk about everything,” he added.
In normal circumstances, both the batting stalwarts would have been currently playing in the 13th edition of IPL had there been no outbreak of novel coronavirus.
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