Virat Kohli was seven-years-old when Sachin Tendulkar took it upon himself to see India lift the World Cup at home in 1996. They were unstoppable with Tendulkar in Bradmanesuqe form but their campaign ended in disaster in the semi-finals at the Eden Gardens. (Also read: Virat Kohli better than Brian Lara, says Ian Chappell)Maybe Kohli was too young to realise the heartbreak and the disappointment that swept the entire country. Maybe Kohli has heard tales of how Sri Lanka celebrated when Tendulkar was dismissed on a raging turner. Maybe he would have seen YouTube videos of Vinod Kambli leaving the field in tears after crowd trouble forced the umpires to call the match off. Tendulkar that night, fought a lone battle. India were chasing a massive target on a wicket that was turning square but the others imploded against Muttiah Muralitharan, Kumara Dharmasena and Sanath Jayasuriya. India’s World Cup campaign ended in disaster.India redeemed themselves 15 years later but that’s another story. (Kohli shames trolls on Twitter for targeting Anushka Sharma)Cut to 2016, 20 years after that painful night at the Eden. India, in another world event at home, started off with a shock loss to New Zealand. It was another raging turner, this time against New Zealand.Kohli, now the world’s premier batsman, met with a rare failure while chasing. The format of the tournament was such that India had to win all their following games to qualify for the semi-finals. (Also read: Virat Kohli best batsman in the world, says Sunil Gavaskar )advertisementKohli decided to lead India’s fightback, much like Tendulkar had done before him. The strapping 27-year-old smashed a classy, unbeaten 55 and helped India chase down another tricky score at the Eden Gardens. He was then again at his best against Australia, hammering an unbeaten 82 off 51 balls while the rest of his colleagues looked like they would much rather be somewhere else. (Kohli better chaser than Tendulkar: Ganguly )That knocked sparked off comparisons with Tendulkar and Brian Lara. Former India captain, Sourav Ganguly, said Kohli was a better chaser than Tendulkar while Ian Chappell, the hard-nosed former captain of Australia, reckoned Kohli’s ball placement was better than Lara, the great West Indian stylist.One knock and two of the most level-headed commentators of the game draw parallels with two of the greatest batsmen in the modern era.But this was a long time coming, really. Kohli now averages 122.88 in successful chases for India in T20Is. His 27 ODI hundreds have come in record chases and bowling attacks of varying strength.A photo of Kohli and Ashish Nehra that went viral a few months ago, speaks volumes of Kohli’s achievements.In the still, a young Kohli is seen receiving an award from Nehra, who was then at the peak of his abilities. The two are now teammates, Kohli the more prominent one. Tendulkar debuted when Kohli was barely a year old – today Sachin feels Kohli’s is the one who would go on to break his record of 100 international hundreds.Rohit Sharma debuted for India way before Kohli and Yuvraj Singh was an established star when Kohli walked into the dressing-room. Shikhar Dhawan was a superstar in Delhi as Kohli watched on with starry eyes. Suresh Raina was a limited-overs star before Kohli made a name for himself in the international arena.Kohli has surpassed all of them. None of these players ever drew comparisons with Tendulkar. Not many around the world did. For you to be spoken of in the same breath as Tendulkar and Lara, that is as big as it gets for any batsman.It’s scary to think of the damage Kohli would do to bowling attacks around the world in the years to come. He will score many many more runs in all formats of the game. That is a given.But for now, it is just a treat to watch him play with such total control and calm. Kohli is no more the dreamy-eyed kid with Nehra in that photo – he is the biggest batting superstar in the world.