India batsman Virat Kohli has all the potential to become the next big superstar of world cricket, and if he continues with his staggering form as consistently as he has since his inception to the big stage, then he might go on to emulate legendary Sir Vivian Richards' achievements, according to sports journalist Rob Smith.
Smith said Kohli was India's standout performer during their 4-0 drubbing against Australia in the Test series Down Under, and the humiliating series defeat could have a similar effect on the flamboyant batsman what a similar thrashing there did for Richards in 1975-76.
"Kohli has achieved a staggering level of consistency over the past year. This was only his third single-figure score in 34 innings for India this year, most of which have been in the shorter, risk-demanding forms of the game," Smith wrote in his column for the Guardian.
"He is developing an aura. At the age of 23 he has 13 ODI hundreds, more than anyone else in history at the same age. He has brought a Test-match consistency to Twenty20, in which he averages 39 for India," he further wrote.
"And after a slowish start to his Test career - he was omitted in England in 2011 - a breakthrough hundred at Adelaide last winter was followed by a century against New Zealand at Bangalore," he added.
Smith further wrote: "Nobody was going to get in his way, certainly not any punkass, loudmouth opponents. Any sledging is usually returned with interest, and he came through a seriously challenging tour of Australia last winter with a gold star."
"India lost the Test series 4-0, but Kohli made their only century of the series and top-scored in both innings when they were duffed up at Perth. Hardship begets hardness; that tour may have done for Kohli what a similar thrashing there did for Viv Richards in 1975-76," he concluded.