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Virat Kohli reminds me a bit of Sachin Tendulkar: Steve Waugh

India Today logo India Today 17-03-2016

Virat Kohli has received plenty of accolades throughout his short yet illustrious career but Steve Waugh paid him the ultimate respect by comparing the young Indian batting sensation with Sachin Tendulkar.

Kohli has been in stunning form this year and was on fire in Australia during India's short limited-overs tour Down Under earlier this year. The Delhi dasher smashed 381 runs in the five-match ODI series before hammering 199 runs in the three-match T20 series. He was in top form again during the Asia Cup T20 and stood out with a knock of 49 against a hostile Pakistan pace attack on a green pitch in Dhaka.

Kohli has taken over as India's leading batsman since Tendulkar retired from international cricket in 2013. His is now the most prized wicket for the opposition and the 27-year-old seems to relish that.

Waugh, speaking exclusively to Sports Today, said he saw a bit of Tendulkar in Kohli. "I see a bit of Tendulkar in him (Kohli) everytime he walks in to bat."

Waugh said Kohli will be key if India were to lift the World T20 for a record second time. "If India have to win this World T20, Kohli will have to score a lot of runs."

Kohli's form will be crucial for India as they try to battle past Pakistan, Australia and Bangladesh in their next three encounters. But he looks primed to take on the responsibilty as Tendulkar did back in 1996 and 2003. 

Waugh said Kohli's aggression put him at par with a lot of good Australian cricketers.

"Kohli is a lot like an Australian player. He loves playing against Australia and loves the aggressive Australian crowds," Waugh said. "Kohli is the ultimate cricketer but the only question for him is if he can keep his cool under pressure."

That question has already been answered by Kohli several times in the recent past. Every time Australia's fielders tried to sledge him, Kohli got the better of them and ended up smashing two hundreds from five one-dayers.

Meanwhile, Waugh felt India were still favouries to win the World T20 and said that the defeat against New Zealand would serve as a wake-up call for the hosts.

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