Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman may have played some wonderful knocks Down Under, but former India captain Sourav Ganguly ranks Virat Kohli as the best Indian batsman to have performed in Australia.
Kohli, who is presently playing in the ongoing ODI series in Australia, had a poor record against the Aussies in ODIs Down Under with an average of under 16 prior to the first one-dayer in Perth, but the right-hander has more or less made up for it with a string of consistent scores in the series.
Kohli's lowest score in the series has been 59, scored in the second ODI in Brisbane, which speaks highly of his current form. Kohli has already scored two centuries in the series, but unfortunately, both of them have come in losing causes.
With such batting performances against his name, Kohli has improved his batting record against Australia in Ausralia by leaps and bounds. Now, the Delhi batsman's average reads 52.26 after scores of 91, 59, 117 and 106 in his last four innings against Australia.
It is such scores, which must have prompted the 'Dada' of Indian cricket to rate Kohli higher than Tendulkar and Laxman, despite the duo's stellar record against Australia. Tendulkar averages 34.67 in 47 matches in ODI cricket while Laxman is not far behind averaging 35.92 in 16 ODI matches.
Talking about Test cricket as well, Kohli has a good record. Kohli, in eight Test matches, averages 62, with five centuries. Tendulkar, who has played 20 Test matches in Australia, has an average of 53.20, while Laxman averages 52.28 in 15 Tests.
"The only positive from India's tour of Australia is Virat Kohli," Ganguly told India Today.
"He just keeps getting better and better in Australia. I have seen a lot of players do very well in Australia, like Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, but I think Kohli is the best."
With India playing the final one-day international against Australia in Sydney on Saturday, Kohli, with the form he has shown, can improve his one-day record further with another big innings. India, who lost the fourth ODI, after a major batting collapse, have only pride to play for in the fifth ODI.
Ganguly was disappointed with India's failure to chase down Australia's score of 348 runs in the fourth one-dayer, after looking well on course for victory thanks to a brilliant partnership from Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan. The India batsmen, who were in full control, lost the match after their middle and lower-order fell like a pack of cards.
"The lower-order batsmen panicked and the inexperience showed. There should have been some message from the dressing room. Ravindra Jadeja (who remained unbeaten on 24) needed to show them some direction. That is important in close matches," said Ganguly.