Former Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq is the latest ex-player to jump on the bandwagon in comparing India captain Virat Kohli with batting legend Sachin Tendulkar.

In an interview with PTI, England’s spin consultant Saqlain said, "As a batsman, Sachin was a very big player. I cannot compare (two eras) but today Virat is the only one who comes close."

With the current five-Test series between India and England 2-1 in favour of the latter, Saqlain feels the outcome of the rubber will depend on Kohli’s form in the remaining two matches.

"We were talking amongst the English support staff about how he played at Trent Bridge. In this third Test alone, Jimmy Anderson beat his outside edge 40 times, and yet he played the next ball with so much confidence. Virat plays ball by ball, run by run and session by session. He has a tremendous hunger for runs and victory. When you have someone hungry like that, he can do anything to satisfy his hunger," Saqlain, who played 49 Tests and 169 ODIs, said.

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He continued, "The way Virat is scoring runs, it is ominous for England. During the first Test, I saw a signboard that said it is 'England versus Virat Kohli'. If you take him out of the equation, it will be very easy for England. If you see from a coaching point of view, it is because of him the others have scored runs whilst batting with him. Having a world class batsman like Virat in your team certainly boosts the entire batting line-up.”

Talking about Ravichandran Ashwin, Saqlain said, “Today, he is a world-class spinner. I remember four or five years ago, I spoke that he is a good bowler but not yet a world-class bowler. Back then, I saw potential in him. But it was important for him to play outside India, perform and learn, and only then he would be a ready bowler.”