Melbourne [Australia], Feb.8 : Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting, who is one of the most prolific run-scorers in the history of cricket, has labelled Indian skipper Virat Kohli as the best batsman in the world at the moment and `probably` the greatest one-day international cricketer ever.
"Is he the best batsman in the world? Yeah, he probably is.Is it too premature to call him the best ever? You can probably say that right now as far as his one-day cricket is concerned.
His one-day record is outstanding and probably better than anybody that's ever played the game given how many hundreds he's made," cricket.com.au quoted Ponting as saying.
Ponting further went on to say that Kohli would now continue to improve, especially after taking reins as captain of the Indian side in all formats of the game.
The 42-year-old batting legend, however, insisted that Kohli still has a way to go in Test cricket before admitting that it is too early to compare the latter with the likes of master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, former South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis and stylish West Indies legend Brian Lara in the longest form of the game.
"Let's give him a few years yet in the Test series side of things. It's too early yet to be taking about him being one of the greats," he said. "I think the great players we always talk about, the Tendulkars, the Laras, the Kallises, those guys played 120, 130-200 Test matches.
Virat's not even halfway along that path," Ponting added. Kohli's international record is astonishing; his batting averages in all three formats are currently more than 50, the only person ever to achieve the feat.
The 28-year-old also sits fourth on ODI cricket's all-time century-makers list, with 27 centuries in only 179 matches.
Only Tendulkar (49 hundreds), Ponting (30) and Sri Lanka great Sanath Jayasuriya (27) have more ODI tons than the India skipper, and all three of them had played more than double the amount of games than Kohli has.
In 2016, Kohli also became the first Indian Test captain to score three double hundreds in a year..