Kohli might match Tendulkar: Michael Hussey


Michael Hussey was very much a part of the Indian Premier League till the last season. This year, the 41-year-old isn’t playing but is a part of the commentary team. He has been offered the Indian coaching job a couple of times but he has refused to take it up till now. Hussey has done a bit of coaching, though, with the South African team. During a chat, he spoke about a range of issues and waxed eloquent on the brilliance of Virat Kohli. Excerpts:

You juggle between commentary and coaching assignments and look as fit as any of the present-day cricketers. Has Mr. Cricket truly retired?

It feels great to be involved with the game. I am preparing as well as I can for the Caribbean Premier League later on.

Do you miss playing in IPL?

Yes, of course. I love being part of a team and working together for a common goal. You build up many friendships in the dressing room also.

In this IPL, we have seen a trend of teams chasing successfully and experienced players calling the shots.

I feel it just takes out one uncertain variable in the match i.e. what is a good score. When you chase you know exactly what you need to win the game. I feel the pitches are also getting better and more consistent so teams aren’t concerned about changing conditions anymore. Twenty20 ties are always high-pressure games. So the experienced players have a better chance of performing consistently as they have handled pressure before.

As a coach, you have worked with Steve Smith and AB de Villiers. Share with us your experience of working with them.

I simply love watching them bat. The one difference that I noticed was that Smith loves to bat and bat and bat in the nets in the lead up to a match whereas De Villiers prefers to get his skill preparation done and then makes sure he is physically and mentally fresh. But then, not too many can bat like the way De Villiers does.

Besides these two, it’s Virat Kohli who’s grabbing all the attention. Your take?

He has evolved into an amazing player. These three are all probably at a stage now where they know their game inside and out and they stick to it as it has given them so much success over the years.

After Kohli played a match-winning knock against Australia in the World T20, comparisons are being made between him and Sachin Tendulkar.

That was a wonderful innings and sometimes, much like when Tendulkar was playing, you just have to say you were beaten by a better man on the day. One of Tendulkar’s greatest strengths was his longevity and if Kohli can stay fit, he could be well on his way to emulate Tendulkar as a player.

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