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Virat Kohli better than AB de Villiers, says Shane Warne

India Today logo India Today 28-05-2016

Former Australian spin wizard Shane Warne sought to settle the debate on who the best batsman in the world is by claiming that Virat Kohli was better than his Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate AB de Villiers.

Kohli has had a majestic run this year, amassing runs in one-day internationals and T20Is with complete ease before turning his focus on the Indian Premier League, where he has so far scored 919 runs and smashed four hundreds in 15 innings.

De Villiers has not been far behind, hammering 682 runs in 15 innings at a strike rate of 170.07. Two of his innings included a brutal 129 not out off 52 balls and a composed unbeaten 79 in the first qualifier against Gujarat Lions. The second knock helped RCB book a spot in the final for the third time.


A lot has been said about the on-field chemistry between the RCB duo. Mr Nags, who hosts the more than passable RCB insider shows, even tried to bring to light what was cooking between Kohli and de Villiers. Kohli had always maintained that AB de Villiers was better than him. After de Villiers' match-winning effort against Gujarat, Kohli reiterated why he had rated his teammate above himself.


However, Warne doesn't seem to buy Kohli's argument. He sheds light on why he thinks the RCB skipper is better than de Villiers in a chat "De Villiers is a 360 degree player. He plays reverses, the lapses and all those sort of things but hasn't really played too many of 'those' innings Virat Kohli has played," Warne said.

De Villiers has found a lot of success playing unorthodox shots that takes the bowler by surprise. When he is on song, the opposition captain has the biggest headache of getting the right men at the right spots. More often than not, the time taken to set fields go futile as de Villiers finds the gaps on the field with some unimaginable strokeplay.


Warne, however, feels de Villiers tries too much and sometime outsmarts himself in doing so. "He outsmarts himself too much and tries too many unbelievable shots."

On the other hand, Warne seems to be in awe of how Kohli goes about his innings in the shortest format of the game.

"Even the innings the other day (113 against King XI Punjab), there wasn't one reverse shot. There was nothing funky, there were just cricket shots. It needs an amazing amount of skill to do that consistently in T20 cricket." he said.

"Kohli's determination and finding a way during crunch games just puts him ahead of de Villiers," he added.


Speaking about the unbelievable numbers Kohli has against his name, Warne said, "If you look at their records, Virat Kohli has done it, he has an average of more than 100 when chasing scores, it's just insane to see that sort of numbers."

"There is not much between them. But I think Virat Kohli just pips him."

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