Former India, Bengal cricketer and now a renowned commentator, Arun Lal, on Saturday, praised Test skipper Virat Kohli for his recent heroics with the bat. According to Lal, who had recently defeated jaw cancer and came back into the commentary box last month, feels Kohli has triggered a paradigm shift in cricket and raised the bar for budding cricketers.
“Virat Kohli is the paradigm shift. He has taken the bar, the level up for every budding cricketer. He is a game changer, like Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly,” Lal told reporters at Eden Gardens, on the sidelines of the Annual Awards Ceremony of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB). He was the Chief Guest at the function.
Of late, Kohli has been a prolific run scorer for the National team as well as for his Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise. In the course of the ongoing Antigua Test, Kohli, became the first Indian captain to score a double hundred outside India. Batting at No. 4, Kohli dominated the West Indian bowling and helped India to post a huge total in the first innings.
Meanwhile, Lal, who was an integral part of Bengal cricket during his playing days, inspired the budding cricketers by saying, there is no substitute for hard work. He also added that talent is “overrated”. Lal played in 16 Tests and 13 One-Day Internationals (ODI) for India.
“Charles Paddock (US athlete) was short and people told him he could never win the 100 meters. But he believed in himself, he left his native place, sacked his coach and worked really hard. He went onto win the gold medal in the 100 meters sprint in the Olympics in 1920. His secret was: If you can, you can. My advice to all the youngsters will be to work hard and believe in oneself,” he narrated this story during his speech.
The 60-year-old former cricketer, who was a member of Bengal’s Ranji Trophy winning team in 1989-90 season, also added that the CAB President Sourav Ganguly is the right man to take the organisation forward.
“He was a great player, he is a great administrator. No one better than him,” Lal said.