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Virat above Williamson, Kiwi can replace Rahane: Panesar

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Monty Panesar has said that he rates Virat Kohli above Kane Williamson. The former England left-arm spinner added that the New Zealand skipper was ahead of Rohit Sharma, and would be an ideal replacement for Ajinkya Rahane in the India Test line-up.

“I think both are extremely good. Both can steady the team in any situation. If you look at T20Is and ODIs, Virat Kohli is the best chaser,” Panesar told Sports Yaari. “But Kane Williamson plays equally well in all three formats. I think his level is above Rohit Sharma but a little below Virat Kohli.

“If Kane was an Indian, he would probably be an ideal replacement for Ajinkya Rahane in the Test batting line-up.”

But Panesar’s former England captain Michael Vaughan had recently claimed that if Williamson had a fan base such as Kohli’s, the Kiwi would have been labelled the best in the world.

“If Kane Williamson was Indian, he would be the greatest player in the world. But he’s not because you’re not allowed to say that Virat Kohli is not the greatest, because you’d get an absolute pelting on social media,” Vaughan had told Spark Sport.

“So, you all say that, purely to get a few more clicks and likes, few more numbers following here. Kane Williamson, across formats, is equally the best. I think the way he plays, the calm demeanour, his humbleness, the fact that he is silent about what he does…”

Meanwhile, Panesar also explained why he felt India were capable of even sweeping hosts England 5-0 in the upcoming Test series. “The first factor is that the matches will start in August, which has the warmest weather in the year. The second factor is that there are five Test matches taking place in a short span of time and India play well when they have the momentum,” Panesar said.

“Thirdly, India’s seam options are brilliant. It wasn’t the case earlier. And the most important is that ever since Alastair Cook retired, England’s top order batting hasn’t been good.”

Cook -- England’s highest run-getter in Tests -- retired after the fifth and last Test of India’s previous England tour in 2018 at The Oval in London, where he scored 71 and 147. India lost the series 1-4.

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Featured image : AFP / Saeed Khan

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