Virat Kohli recently led India to unprecedented Test and One-day International (ODI) bilateral series wins in Australia, followed by a biggest-ever victory in an ODI series in New Zealand. The Indian captain led the team from the front on both the occasions as he accumulated 282 runs in four Tests and 153 runs in three ODIs in Australia and 148 runs in three ODIs of the five-match series in New Zealand. Following Virat Kohli's remarkable batting show, Sri Lanka's legend Kumar Sangakkara claimed that the 30-year-old Indian is well ahead of his contemporaries and destined for greatness.
"Everything about Virat's game stands out. I think he is head and shoulders above anyone else in world cricket today," Sangakkara told a news channel.
"And I think going forward, he will be one of the greatest ever cricketers, if not the greatest ever," he added.
Run-machine Kohli capped a memorable 2018 by becoming the first to win the International Cricket Council's (ICC) cricketer, Test and ODI player of the year awards last month.
Considered part of the elite group also featuring Kiwi Kane Williamson, Australian Steve Smith and England's Joe Root, Kohli has surged ahead after a stupendous 2018 and is currently the top-ranked Test as well as one-day batsman.
With 39 centuries from 222 one-day matches, Kohli is second only to compatriot Sachin Tendulkar, who scored 49 from 463, in the 50-over century makers' list.
He has also scored 25 hundreds in 77 Tests.
Sangakkara is amazed by Kohli's ability to success across formats without tinkering his basis game.
"He has this incredible knack of scoring runs and has a very, very solid method that he believes in..." said the former Sri Lanka captain.
"... if you see the tempo which he bats with, it hardly changes. He does read the situation very well.
"He is a very passionate guy, you see that in his expressions on the field... it's the overall aspect of both the person and how he has sorted his batting and his attitude."
Sangakkara's former team mate Mahela Jayawardene lauded how Kohli handled the pressure of leading the team of a cricket-mad nation of 1.3 billion.
"It's not just about the ability Virat has but to understand the way to handle pressure not just on the field but also off the field and the expectations," said the former Sri Lanka captain.
"We grew up with Sachin who had to perhaps experience the same thing. And for the next generation, it's probably on Virat's shoulders..." Jayawardene said.
(With Reuters inputs)