"I don't want to take anything away from Kohli. He is an exceptional talent. But I rate Tendulkar much higher because of the era he played in, against the best teams, fast bowlers and spinners," Yousuf told PTI in an interview.
"Nowadays, the quality of players is not the same as it was say in the 90s and until 2011. After 2011 World Cup the quality has come down. Tendulkar was a world class player and this can be judged by the number of runs and hundreds he scored against strong opposition in all conditions and in all formats," Yousuf said.
"I played a lot against Tendulkar and he was a masterclass and produced match winning knocks many a times. I don't think Kohli is facing the same quality bowlers or opposition."
Yousuf, 42, who ended with an impressive average of 52.29 and 41.71 in 90 Tests and 288 ODIs, also slammed the Pakistan team for losing the Test series in Australia by three-nil.
"This was one of the weakest Australian teams we have seen and a series we should have won ended up three-nil. The tragedy is that the last two Tests could have been drawn easily by us but our batting failed miserably on good batting tracks," said Yousuf.
He also dismissed observations by head coach Mickey Arthur that Pakistan's bowlers had let the team down in New Zealand and Australia.
"It was the batting which let us down badly in all five Tests in both countries," Yousuf said.
He also advised Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq to call it a day and retire gracefully instead of trying to prolong a career which was already extended.
"It is time for him to go and it is time for a new mindset to come into Pakistan team in Tests and ODIs. We have become a very passive team constantly playing in the UAE. This has damaged our cricket badly and the PCB needs to organise home series anywhere but UAE."