Cricket: Miandad hails Kohli as a genius

Former Pakistan batsman talks about Indian captain’s skills and Under-19 cricket

14:52 February 8, 2018

Dubai: Javed Miandad, the hero of Pakistan cricket, who once in the 1986 Austral-Asia Cup at Sharjah Cricket Stadium hit the last ball for a six to defeat India in the final, has hailed India’s captain Virat Kohli as a genius and the best batsman in the world.

In an interview with, Miandad, who is the hero to many UAE fans due to his sterling performances in the Cricketers Benefit Fund Series held at the Sharjah Stadium, said: “Kohli is a genius who is the best batsman in the world.”

Kohli has won many admirers through the prolific run spree in all three formats of the game and had steered India to a victory over South Africa on Wednesday through his 34th One Day International century.

Elaborating on why Kohli is the best, Miandad said: “Kohli’s batting method is what allows him to score runs not just once but almost every time he comes in to bat. If a batsman’s technique is bad, he can put some runs on the board once in a while, but he will not be able to do that consistently which is exactly true in Kohli’s case. To me the mark of a great batsman, like Kohli is the fact that he can vary his technique by quickly understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the bowlers.”

Miandad’s remark comes at a time when Kohli, through his 34th hundred is only batsman behind Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 centuries and that he is only 29 years of age.

Miandad also commented on India Under-19 team’s victory in ICC Under-19 World Cup and on Pakistan’s defeat in the semi-final. “The loss to India in the ICC Under 19 World Cup was by a big margin of 203 runs which is hard to take but if truth be told, our team was lucky to have progressed that far given the inexperience of our players. Of course, victory and defeat are part of any sport, but we need to accept that there was a huge difference in terms of skills between both teams. Also, we should not be too hard on our boys as we saw how recently in South Africa, the Indian senior team which has some very big names failed miserably in two of the three Tests, so such things can happen, and we cannot be too harsh on the Pakistan Under 19 team.”

Miandad then went on to praise India Under-19 coach Rahul Dravid. “Having a coach like Rahul Dravid sounds very exciting but I have never been a great supporter of big name coaches at such a level. At this level, it’s more about guidance than someone teaching you the basics of the game as that should have been done at the earlier stages of a player’s development. In sports, teams lose and get relegated in leagues, but the blame is never put on coaches alone. The fact is that if your raw material i.e. the quality of the players for the team is questionable then how can one expect a coach to fix that and make them a winning unit?”

Miandad reminded that India is a huge country and hence will have plenty of talent. “India is a huge country with a bigger population than Pakistan, yet our players are able to challenge India in cricket which tells me that we have the potential, but we simply do not have the system that can support and get the best out of that potential.”