'Big Distance Between Virat Kohli And Next Best Test Batter In Team India': Sanjay Manjrekar

'Big Distance Between Virat Kohli And Next Best Test Batter In Team India': Sanjay Manjrekar

Sanjay Manjrekar feels India should be thankful that they have someone of Virat Kohli's calibre in their batting lineup in red-ball cricket.

Aakash SinghUpdated: Monday, January 08, 2024, 12:54 PM IST
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Virat Kohli scored 172 runs at an average of 43 in the 2 Tests in South Africa | BCCI

Former India cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar heaped praise on ex-skipper Virat Kohli for his performances with the bat on the recent tour of South Africa.

Kohli was India's highest run scorer and the second most prolific batter in the two-Test series behind Dean Elgar (201) with 172 runs at an average of 43 with one fifty to his name.

King Kohli stands tall with the bat for Team India

Even though he did not score big in the two Tests, his crucial knocks of 38, 76 and 46 helped India bounce back and draw the series 1-1 in Cape Town despite losing the opening game by an innings and 32 runs at Centurion.

Kohli looked the most comfortable out of all the other Indian batters on the difficult South African pitches against the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Nandre Burger and Marco Jansen.

Manjrekar's high praise for VK

And that is why Manjrekar feels India should be thankful that they have someone of Kohli's class in their batting lineup in red-ball cricket.

“Virat Kohli will no doubt play (Test cricket) as long as possible and thank god for India, we have a Virat Kohli.

"He showed on this trip the kind of the challenges that batters face that there’s a big distance between him and the next best Test batter in India at least until Rishabh Pant is back,” Manjrekar said on ESPNcricinfo.

Manjrekar on Rohit Sharma's Test future

Manjrekar also opined on Rohit Sharma's future in Test cricket, saying that the skipper has no competition for his spot in the playing XI just yet.

“Rohit Sharma will be the man to let us know by his action on how much he wants to play Test cricket. These (Rohit and Kohli) are still batters from the old school.

"All the new guys will have to adapt to Test cricket. If Rohit Sharma wants to extend his Test career, it’s in his hands, there’s no competition,” he added.

India have a short 3-match T20I series against Afghanistan from January 11 to 17 after which they will get ready to face England in five Tests, starting from January 25 in Hyderabad.

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