In February last year, Richards had hailed Kohli as "legendary" in the One Day International format after his exploits with the bat. The West Indian had also stated that he likes his aggressive style and saw a bit of himself in the Indian youngster.
The 27-year-old Kohli, who is smashing records with the latest being the fastest to 7,000 runs and 25 tons in the 50-over format, said today (January 22) that it was surreal to hear comparisons with Richards. (Nothing wrong in Kohli's attitude: Richards)
On Friday, on the eve of the 5th ODI against Australia, Kohli was asked about commentators putting him and Richards in the same league, he said, "It's a good thing we're not able to hear commentary when we're playing. Otherwise we'll be in dreamland and probably get out the next ball. It's good that it's left to the people who're actually doing the job at that time and we have to focus on our job.
"I feel grateful that people make those kind of comments because as a youngster you wouldn't have thought of being compared to some of the greats of the game."
He continued, "It's surreal to think about it. It's better not to think about it. Because somewhere you feel that you don't deserve that comparison because I always believe that people who played in the previous era had it more difficult because of the lack of quality of protective gear and no helmets.
"If you're talking of Viv Richards, I can't even think of playing in a cap. He played all his career in a cap anywhere in the world and he hit fast bowlers with the new ball across the line for sixes over square leg. Even thinking about it sends chills down your spine. That is a different kind of belief and motivation which is very hard to recreate. As I've said before, I only try to go out there and do what I can do best."
Kohli and his Indian team-mates will face Australia in the 5th and final ODI in Sydney tomorrow (January 23) hoping to avoid a whitewash after being down 0-4 in the series. Kohli has struck 2 consecutive hundreds and will be aiming to continue his run and end up on the winning side this time.