To bowlers bruised and battered, and faced with the frightening prospect of again running into Virat Kohli, spin great Shane Warne offered an advise: bowl at either leg or wide of off stump, but not at the stumps.
“If you’re going to bowl to Virat Kohli, you either bowl at leg stump and protect the on-side, or you bowl wide of off stump and you protect the off-side. You cannot bowl at the stumps, because he can hit you both ways,” Warne was quoted as saying ESPNcricinfo.
“So, I think you’ve to take out one side of the field. Protect just one side of the field, that’s how you bowl to very good players,” the Australian added.
Warne plotted Kohli’s dismissal if he were to actually bowl to him.
“I’d be bowling wide of off stump and letting him try to cover drive with a slip, short cover and some protection out there. So then it’ll be very hard for him to get it over the leg side. That’s what I’d be trying to do and hopefully get a little bit lucky and he mis-hits one.”
Warne said he has not seen anyone “dominate” ODI cricket like Kohli has, but steered clear of calling him the greatest of all time.
“I got asked the question last night and again this morning: Is Virat Kohli the best player in one-day cricket? Is he better than Tendulkar, is he better than Lara? I’m still thinking about it, I’m still trying to work that out.”
Since the start of 2016, Kohli has amassed 3985 runs in 59 ODI innings, maintaining a staggering average and strike rate at the same time.
Warne continued, “The one thing we can say is I don’t think we have seen anyone dominate one-day cricket like Virat Kohli has. The best player I saw — (Don) Bradman’s the best so he doesn’t even come into the equation — but Viv Richards is the best player I saw.
“As a player, playing against them, Lara and Tendulkar were the two best players that I bowled to.”