"He is world class clearly and is a phenomenal player. It's a real joy to watch (him play). He plays proper cricket shots in all forms of the game, even in T20 cricket. The four hundreds in a row he scored in the IPL were beautiful to watch,” said Hadlee.

“He stamps his impression on the game and looks to dominate the bowlers. It takes a brave batsman to do that and he is showing no fear. (He's) beautiful to watch," Hadlee added.

Sir Hadlee, who scalped 431 wickets in 86 Test matches for New Zealand from the early 1970s till he retired in 1990, was in the city as the guest of Tata Trusts and spoke to the reporters at the Bombay House, its headquarters.

Asked whether Kohli is currently the best batsman in the world when there are players like Kane Williamson and England's Joe Root, Hadlee said, "They are different sorts of players. Kane Williamson is a fantastic player. He, without doubt, will be our best-ever batsman”.

"He (Williamson) will break all the New Zealand batting records in time and again, he plays normal cricket shots. He just places the ball, sometimes he has the power-hit, but (generally) he plays normal cricket shots”.

"(AB) De Villiers is another of those really destructive and orthodox players who can take the game away. So they are the top three in world cricket and rankings would reflect that. They are different and a joy to watch," he said.

Kohli has been in superb form and scored heavily for India in the ICC World T20 championship before carrying on his sublime form into the IPL by scoring four hundreds for Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Asked whether the Indian star should lead in all the three formats, Hadlee said,"I don't want to interfere with what India do. It's not unusual to have different captains in different forms of the game. That's the the decision for local authorities (to take)".

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