Brett Lee, the renowned Australian fast bowler, has firmly placed Virat Kohli on the pedestal of the greatest ODI batters of all time. Lee’s assertion stems from Kohli’s unparalleled achievements in the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup, where he amassed an astonishing 765 runs in just 11 innings. Kohli’s extraordinary campaign was not merely about the sheer volume of runs he scored; it was also about the quality of his performances.
Virat Kohli struck three centuries and six half-centuries, including one in the high-pressure World Cup final. This remarkable feat propelled him past the legendary Sachin Tendulkar’s record for the highest run aggregate in a single World Cup edition, a record that had stood since the 2003 World Cup.
Kohli’s dominance further extended to surpassing Tendulkar’s record for the most centuries in the ODI format during the semi-final against New Zealand. Addressing this achievement in a conversation with Fox Cricket, Lee emphasized the undeniable power of statistics in supporting Kohli’s claim to the title of the greatest ODI batter.
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Lee lauded Kohli’s inner determination and humility, qualities that set him apart from other cricketing greats. He commended Kohli’s ability to maintain a level head despite his immense stature on the field.
“He’s got the most centuries, so you’d have to go on statistics, yes,” Brett Lee stated. “I’ve always been a massive Sachin Tendulkar fan, I’ve loved his company and enjoyed the way he played. But for Virat Kohli and for him to say those beautiful words after he equaled his record and then went past him, he just said ‘I’m just trying to emulate my hero’.”
He further added, “That’s his mindset, he’s got that inner determination, he’s got that way to be humble enough without being cocky. Because he’s got the presence on the cricket field, but when you know him off the field and I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with him, he’s a terrific guy. But he’s got that inner belief and he’d have to go down as the greatest ODI batsmen, stats prove it.”
Lee’s unequivocal endorsement of Kohli as the greatest ODI batter further solidifies Kohli’s legacy as one of the most prolific and impactful cricketers in the modern era.