Former Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Yousuf feels that the Indian skipper Virat Kohli is not like in the league of legends of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, and VVS Laxman.
The Pakistani former said to Geo Super Channel that “The quality of cricket nowadays does not match the quality we had in the past. Virat Kohli is a very good batsman and I like to watch him play but I don’t think he is in the same league of Tendulkar, Dravid or Laxman.”
The 42-year-old former Yousuf, who had played from 1998 to 2010 in 90 Test and 288 ODI, scored 39 centuries and 97 half centuries in the two format a total of 17,250 runs.
Yousuf said “Some might not agree but I don’t think today we have the same quality bowlers or batsman that we had when I played. Look at Australia’s present bowling lineup they have no one to match Glenn McGrath or Shane Warne, India has Anil Kumble, Srinath, and some very good bowlers.”
“South Africa and West Indies also had strong bowling attacks while Sri Lanka relied heavily on Muralitharan. The rules have also been changed to make life easier for the batters while the pitches nowadays have also become more batting friendly. In the era, I played you encountered different pitches in Australia, England, West Indies, South Africa. Nowadays more or less they are same everywhere.”
This is why Yousuf believes Tendulkar or Dravid in a different league from the current Indian batsman. Yousuf said “Yes they are getting runs but against weaker opposition and on similar pitches. I think Tendulkar and Dravid are greats because they scored runs against quality bowlers and teams.”
He added, “To get runs against the likes of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar or Saqlain Mushtaq was no joke. I always thought Tendulkar and Dravid were perfectionists and spent so much time on improving their game. I learnt from them. I am not saying Virat is not a class act. He is, but times have changed now.”
Talking about playing against India, Yousuf said “Yes we had tough matches but after the game was over we got along well. Rivalries were left on the field. Even the Indian teams and players of the past were aggressive. Sourav Ganguly is an example.”
“When we played them our players were also pumped up but at the end of the day we always appreciated a good performance even from the opposition because the quality of cricket was high.”