Virat Kohli has 70 international tons at the moment, said former Pakistan cricketer Salman Butt while reacting to ex-England skipper Michael Vaughan's recent assessment of the current India captain. Vaughan also hit back at Butt and reminded him of his role in the spot-fixing scandal.
Vaughan recently said that Kane Williamson would have been the 'greatest player in the world' if he was Indian, adding that the Kiwi spearhead is 'silent about what he does'. Vaughan, who led England to 2005 Ashes glory, also opined that Williamson gets overshadowed by Kohli due to the latter's massive fan-following on social media.
“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," he said.
Downplaying the comparison between the two ace batsmen, Butt pointed to the Indian skipper's 70 international tons and added that Kohli enjoys a bigger fanbase as he hails from a country with 'huge population'.
"Kohli belongs to a country which has a huge population. Obviously, he would have a bigger fanbase. On top of that, his performance is better too. Virat has 70 international tons at the moment, no other batsman from this era has that many.
And he has, for a long period, dominated the batting rankings because his performances have been outstanding. So I don’t understand what and where is the need to draw comparisons," Butt said on his YouTube channel.
Butt, who was sentenced for his involvement in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal, also took a dig at Vaughan and said that the former England captain hasn't got a 'single century in ODIs'. He also described Vaughan's Kohli-Williamson debate as 'irrelevant.
"And who has compared the two? Michael Vaughan. He was a brilliant captain for England, but the beauty at which he used to bat, his output wasn't on par. He was a good Test batsman but Vaughan never scored a single century in ODIs.
"Now, as an opener, if you haven't scored a century, it's not worth discussion. It’s just that he has a knack for saying things that stir up a debate. Besides, people have a lot of time to stretch a topic."
"Williamson is great. He's a top-class batsman and the best in the world. There is no doubt. Williamson may take the points in terms of captaincy, but he (Vaughan) hasn't discussed captaincy. In terms of players, there is a huge cap. Kohli's stats and performance and the way he has won India matches, especially chasing, it's outstanding. Since the time both are playing, no one has been as consistent as Kohli. What Vaughan has said is irrelevant," said Butt.
"No idea what the headline is... but I seen what Salman has said about me ... that's fine and he is allowed his opinion but I wished he had such a clear thought of mind back in 2010 when he was Match fixing !!!" Vaughan later wrote on Twitter while responding to Butt's comments.