Michael Vaughan has labelled Virat Kohli the best batsman in the world across all formats after the India skipper registered his 23rd Test ton on Monday to put the visitors in command of the third Test against England at Trent Bridge.
Kohli followed up his 97 in the first innings with a 103 in the second as India imposed a target of 521 for England to chase in the final innings.
The former England skipper believes Kohli’s ability to succeed in all three formats separates him from the rest of the pack.
“There are many really great players but he is the stand-out across all the three formats of this era by a country mile,” Vaughan told BBC’s Test Match Special.
“He’s got the gift to play all around the wicket in every single format,” he added.
The India skipper has banished his demons from the 2014 tour of England where he could only garner 134 runs in 10 innings at an average of 13.40.
He is currently the leading run-scorer in the series by some distance having scored 440 runs in six innings at an average of 73.33.
England’s Jonny Bairstow is the second highest run-scorer in the series with 206 runs.
“He is a wonder player. There were questions about if he could bat in English conditions. No question in my mind; he is the best batsman in the world across all three formats. He is an unbelievable player,” said Vaughan.
His views were echoed by England’s assistant coach Paul Farbrace who believes his side’s batsmen could learn from the way Kohli has gone about his business in the series.
“You would be hard pressed to argue against him being seen as the best player in the world at the moment,” Farbrace said.
“The way that he has developed, he has played fantastically in this series. I like the way that he plays the game. It’s fantastic to see someone playing the game in that way.
“He’s a high-quality player and he’s shown that he’s learned a lot on this tour alone. He deserves the runs that he’s scored.
“Our bowlers might argue that he’s been given too many chances, but he’s shown he is high quality.
“I’m a big believer in players learning from players. Our players should be watching the way he has played.”
Former ICC President Ehsan Mani is now set to take the vacant role after being nominated by the country’s new Prime Minister and former Pakistan skipper Imran Khan.
Sethi’s future had come under fire ever since Imran Khan’s political party won the country’s recent general elections. Sethi and Imran Khan have not enjoyed the best of relationships and with the PCB constitution permitting the Prime Minister to change the chairman, the former’s days at the helm were numbered.
“I was waiting for the new Prime Minister to take oath before submitting my resignation as PCB Chairman, which I have done today. I wish PCB all the best and hope our cricket team goes from strength to strength. Eid Mubarak. Pakistan Zindabad,” Sethi tweeted on Monday along with an image of his resignation letter.
I was waiting for the new Prime Minister to take oath before submitting my resignation as PCB Chairman, which I have done today. I wish PCB all the best and hope our cricket team goes from strength to strength. Eid Mubarak. Pakistan Zindabad. pic.twitter.com/uiIVoiRAtq— Najam Sethi (@najamsethi) August 20, 2018
“You have said on many occasions you have a vision for Pakistan cricket. Therefore, it is only proper that you should assume charge and responsibility for assembling a management team for PCB that enjoys your full confidence and trust,” he wrote in the letter.
Minutes later, Imran Khan announced Ehsan Mani as his choice for the PCB role.
I have appointed Ehsan Mani as Chairman PCB. He brings vast and valuable experience to the job. He represented PCB in the ICC; was Treasurer ICC for 3 yrs and then headed the ICC for another 3 yrs.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) August 20, 2018
“I have appointed Ehsan Mani as Chairman PCB. He brings vast and valuable experience to the job. He represented PCB in the ICC; was Treasurer ICC for three years and then headed the ICC for another three years,” the Pakistan Prime Minister tweeted.
Sethi had taken over as PCB chief in 2017 and had previously served in the role in 2013 and 2014 too. Mani’s nomination for the role is contingent to an election process which set to be all but a formality.
The visitors resumed from their overnight score of 124-2 with skipper Virat Kohli (8) and Cheteshwar Pujara the two unbeaten batsmen at the crease. After a sedate start on Monday morning, the pair has taken the score to 194-2 before lunch was taken with England’s pacers enduring a frustrating time. Both the batsmen registered their individual fifties as India notched up 68-0 in the first session on day three. They also brought up a 100-run stand for the third wicket as play continued in the second session. Their partnership was finally broken by Ben Stokes who had Pujara (72) caught at first slip by Alastair Cook.
Kohli continued to march on after Pujara’s departure as he found another able ally in Rahane. The India skipper was unbeaten on 93 when tea was called with the total at 270-3. In the final session of the day, Kohli survived a couple of nervous moments against James Anderson in the 90s before bringing up his 23rd Test ton. Moments later, his innings (103) was finally brought to an end by Chris Woakes.
Rishabh Pant was sent in ahead of Hardik Pandya to help India accelerate, but lasted just six deliveries before giving Anderson his first wicket of the innings.
Pandya came out and consolidated with Rahane, and after the India vice-captain fell, Pandya raced to a run-a-ball 50 before Kohli called his batters in, declaring at 352/7 and setting England an unlikely target of 521 to win the Test and series.
England openers Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings, who have been struggling for form this series, just about survived a tough nine-over burst from India’s bowlers to end the day at 23/0, with Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, and Ravi Ashwin – struggling with his hip injury – all beating the bat on occasion without getting the breakthrough.
On Sunday, India’s pacers bowled out the hosts for just 161 in their first innings with Hardik Pandya (5-28) stealing the show with a terrific 29-ball burst. That came after India’s first innings had culminated on 329 runs following excellent contributions from Kohli (97) and Ajinkya Rahane (81).
The hosts currently lead the five-match series 2-0 after wins at Edgbaston and Lord’s.
Do not miss any of the action from day three at Trent Bridge by following the live ball-by-ball updates below.