Kevin Pietersen has compared India star Virat Kohli to Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo, describing the pair are "right at the top" of their respective sports.
Kohli has been enduring a tough time in the IPL so far, with the 33-year-old averaging just 20.66 and getting out for nought three times in just ten innings. However, he showed some signs of form with a half-century in Royal Challengers Bangalore's recent clash with Gujarat Titans, ending a run of five innings where he had failed to pass 12.
Despite reaching the landmark, Kohli took 45 deliveries to get there, making it the second slowest of his 48 IPL half-centuries. When he was eventually out for 58 off 53 balls, Kohli's strike rate of 109.43 was his slowest in all T20s.
In the end, Bangalore scored 170-6 in their innings but Gujarat were able to chase that down in the final over, leaving Kohli's side without a win in their last three matches. Despite criticism of Kohli's slow scoring rate, Pietersen believes the fifty could help him rediscover his best form.
Speaking on Star Sports, Pietersen compared Kohli to Ronaldo, saying: "What he needs to do is to have a look at Manchester United and Cristiano Ronaldo. Two similar brands in their different teams and in their sports.
"You have Virat Kohli right at the top of cricket, his brand is right at the top of cricket. Cristiano Ronaldo is right at the top of football.
"One plays for Manchester United, and one plays for RCB and India. Those are big brands and they are going to be talking points.
"Those big brands also want to maintain their status in the game by winning. Virat Kohli's greatest attribute, how many games he has won for India while chasing.
"Virat Kohli is my greatest batter in this country because he has won so many games for India chasing. That is something you look at, that is something he cherishes and is so proud of.
"This knock [against Gujarat], he would be looking and thinking some beautiful shots, absolutely fantastic shots and I felt good. But I know he is a champion, he is a winner and I know that he would be fuming that those weren't enough for the win."
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