Dubai: Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has asserted that skipper Virat Kohli has made a special place for himself "among the Indian greats."
Speaking at the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture, the 53-year-old further praised Kohli for his phenomenal batting skills.
"Even among Indian greats now, he's finding a special place. It's amazing. You talk about dirty Varanasi waters, but Indian waters keep producing these kinds of phenomenal batting talents, year after year, generation after generation," the International Cricket Council (ICC) website quoted Manjrekar, as saying.
"Sunil Gavaskar quit in 1987. We had Tendulkar two years later, in 1989. And as he was winding up his long career, here comes Virat Kohli," he added.
Kohli, who recently scaled to number one ranking in the Test cricket, has been in outstanding form, a glimpse of which was seen during the first Test of the ongoing five-match series against England in Edgbaston.
He played a smashing knock of 149 to pull India out of a miserable situation in the first inning. Kohli followed it up with a useful contribution of 51 in the second inning.
Reflecting on Kohli's qualities as a batsman, Manjrekar said that his self-confidence and self-belief is something that makes him different from other batting greats.
"Where I find him different from other batting greats is his self-belief, his self-confidence. I remember he averaged 13 (13.4) the last time he was here in England. The very next Test match was in Adelaide, and he walked out like he was king of Adelaide," he said.
"His self-confidence doesn't dip, it takes a lot for that to take a beating. That makes him special. The other thing is his fitness. I think he's the fittest, greatest batsman," he added.
Kohli has played a total of 211 ODIs so far, scoring 9,779 runs with a stunning average of 58.21 while in Tests, he has scored 5,754 runs with an average of 58.42 in 67 matches.