XtraTime Web Desk: Indian Premier League franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli and AB de Villers are just like Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer of cricket in their skills and approach, said Australia’s Trent Woodhill.
Woodhill, who has worked with both batsmen as part of the coaching staff of the Indian Premier League franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), was all praise for the duo, who occupy the top two spots on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Rankings for batsmen.
While Kohli’s strength was his fitness and the extra sharpness it gave him, the South African was all about training smart, said Woodhill.
“(Kohli) is the most impressive sportsman I’ve had the pleasure to work with – in any sport. He’s in the same stratosphere as Roger Federer, Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi,” said Woodhill in an interview to a group of reporters on the sidelines of the IPL.
“His approach to his own cricketing career and everything involved around it is extremely professional.
“He’s definitely fitter than he’s ever been. What that allows you to do is under pressure, you’re able to replicate technique and replicate movement patterns. So he’s less likely than others to play a lazy shot or not execute the way he’d like because his fitness and his mind is so sharp. And that’s where that brilliance lies.”
As for de Villiers, he added, “he’s mastered the art of replicating what he needs to do in a period of time in training to be able to move on”.
Both Kohli and de Villiers stood up and delivered for their sides when the two teams met earlier this year for a Test series. And as with the tennis duo, they share a strong respect and friendship, given their time playing together in the IPL.
“It’s tough to pick who is the best of them,” said Woodhill. “AB and Federer share a similar DNA I think, and the same with Nadal and Kohli.
“The point’s never dead for Nadal, and the point’s never dead for Virat. And AB, he finds a way as Federer does, in conditions where others struggle.”
As for the fans, it’s always a special chance to see two of the greats in action.