Kohli Best Batsman of All Time? Bring on the Debate

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If you need a haircut, you go to the stylist, a medical diagnosis requires a doctor, and if you want to know who is the best batsman in the world of cricket, legendary Ricky Ponting would seem to be a more than adequate source for an opinion.

Ponting has spoken, declaring India’s Virat Kohli to be the best of the best, better than Steve Smith and his 60-run Test cricket average, or Joe Root, last year’s top run producer.

Ponting’s declaration contained a little bit of wiggle room and no small amount of hedging, as he said, “Is he (Kohli) the best batsman in the world? Yeah, he probably is.”

That would almost seem a case of damnation by faint praise were it not for the numbers that support the case for Kohli.

In 2016, Kohli score 2595 runs in the three international formats, carrying an 86.5 average and notching seven centuries across 41 innings. Three of those tons surpassed double ton status in the Test arena.

Ponting went on to add additional qualification to his assessment of Kohli. One thing is that Kohli, at 28, is still too young to be called a great of the game, even though he has already moved to fourth on the all-time ODI cricket century maker’s list with 27 from 179 matches.