New Delhi: With the cricket fraternity in awe at Virat Kohli’s phenomenal feats in the ongoing Indian Premier League Season 9, veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh on Thursday said that the India ODI captain was playing in a different league altogether and was an “inspiration” for all.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore captain on Wednesday smashed an unprecedented fourth century to become the tournament’s highest ever run-scorer in the IPL. The Delhi batsman scored 113 off 50 balls to reach 4,002 runs, surpassing Suresh Raina’s record of 3,985 in the Twenty20 competition.
“Virat is a terrific batsman and his dedication to the game has been exemplary. He is batting in a different league altogether. He has also set the benchmark with his fitness standards,” the Mumbai Indians off-spinner said at an event here on Thursday.
“Not only juniors, I believe seniors like me are now hitting the gym for extra workout following Virat’s footsteps. He has been an inspiration for all of us with his training routines.”
Lavishing more praise on the 27-year-old’s consistency, Harbhajan said there was no doubt Kohli would take Indian cricket to a new level in the next 10 years. “I have been working closely with him in the last 3-4 months. He always wants to be the best. He has already set a benchmark and is someone who will take Indian cricket to a different level,” the volatile spinner said, adding that his side still had plans to tackle Kohli’s onslaught.
The 35-year-old also picked his teams for the play offs in the IPL. “My prediction is MI, Sunrisers Hyderabad, KKR and RCB.”
‘Dravid, Zaheer ideal choices for India coach’
Harbhajan felt that former captain Rahul Dravid would be the ideal choice as India’s new head coach and backed Zaheer Khan for the bowling job.
“I feel someone like Dravid will be a very good choice to be India’s head coach. For the bowling department, Zaheer fits the bill. That will be a great combination. But that is just what I feel, as it all depends on the people sitting in the BCCI,” Bhajji said.
Recently, Kohli had suggested former New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori (also head coach of IPL team RCB) as India’s coach’s job. Harbhajan too felt that Daniel is a good candidate for the role.
“Daniel has been a great cricketer during his playing days. He has played a lot for New Zealand and got a good knowledge of the game, he will definitely make a good candidate.” He, however, sounded disappointed at being ignored time and again during India’s string of series including the Australia tour, the Asia Cup and World T20.