Legendary England all-rounder has heaped high praise on Ben Stokes and current Indian captain Virat Kohli.
Ian Botham heaped high praise on both Ben stokes and Virat Kohli (Reuters)
- Virat takes the game to the opposition: Ian Botham
- I would have loved to play against him: Botham on Kohli
- Ben (Stokes) is better than a mile to Freddy (Andrew Flintoff): Botham
Former England all-rounder Ian Botham seems to be in awe of Indian captain Virat Kohli and has said that he would have loved to play against him. Botham has also expressed his admiration for Kohli’s captaincy credentials, terming him a players’ man.
“Virat takes the game to the opposition, he takes a stand for his players. I would have loved to play against him. He is the right guy to take Indian cricket forward,” Botham said while speaking in an online chat session with Playwrite Foundation.
The legendary England all-rounder is considered to be one of the finest to have played the game. In a career that spanned from 1977-92, Botham played 102 Tests for England scoring 5200 runs including 14 hundreds. Botham was even more lethal with the ball in hand as he picked up 383 Test wickets at a superb average of 28.40.
Since Botham’s retirement, England have waited with bated breath for another all-rounder to fill the large shoes he left. With his stupendous performance for England in the last 2 years, Ben Stokes has staked a claim for that spot. When asked about the same, Botham conceded that genuine all-rounders ‘can’t be manufactured’.
“All-rounders can’t be manufactured, they don’t grow on trees. The workload is double and it obviously takes a toll on your body. Just imagine Kapil? the amount of bowling he did on those Indian pitches, which had very little to offer, that too in the scorching heat of Chennai and Delhi. I can’t see anyone in the present generation being able to do that,” Botham said.
Botham reserved special praise for Stokes though, terming him ‘the best cricketer in the world right now’.
“Ben (Stokes) is better than a mile to Freddy (Andrew Flintoff). Ben Stokes is the closest version of me, he plays like me with his heart on his sleeve. Flintoff was good but Stokes is just exceptional. He is the best cricketer in the world now.”