Yes, Sachin Tendulkar is called God for a reason. Yes, he is a brilliant batsman who hasn’t just broken records, he has gone leagues and miles ahead of anyone who ever played before him.
But then, as they say, even the most intimidating of records are meant to be broken (just like rules). With Virat Kohli already having 30 centuries as compared to Sachin’s 49, and a long career ahead of him, it would be a safe bet to say he’ll surpass 49 and set the bar even higher for future players. His fitness levels are insane, and he might play for another 10 years, if not more.
Yes, you can say that the quality of bowlers during Sachin’s era were much better than what it is now. The Indian team didn’t dominate the opposition as much as they are doing now. But perhaps, this energy and change of attitude has been brought by Kohli’s electric batting and MS Dhoni’s shrewd head. Or maybe, the other cricket boards of the world aren’t paying enough attention to developing and attracting better players of the game.
Another important factor that we mustn’t forget is that cricket has become much more favourable to batsmen, thanks to better bats and flat pitches. This is for a commercial reason, since T20 has made the audiences think that hitting a six is not such a big deal.
LiveMint’s Deepak Narayan had done a similar analysis a while back (in January, this year), and he had cited some stats that tell the story. “After 177 matches, Tendulkar had scored 5,211 runs. After 177 matches, Kohli has 7,692. Tendulkar had scored 12 centuries. Kohli, 27. At this stage in his ODI career, Kohli already seems streets ahead of the man who we thought would be Bradmanesquely untouchable in this format,” he wrote.
Even Sourav Ganguly (a close friend and opening partner to Sachin) said in an interview with India Today, “Kohli is the greatest chaser by far and I am saying this keeping in mind the great man Sachin Tendulkar. Sachin was special but as far as chasing is concerned, Kohli has done better than Sachin. Kohli is unreal.”
Really, if Dada believes so, who are we mere mortals to argue?
But Kohli himself differs. “Honestly I feel embarrassed. It is unfair and Sachin can’t be compared with anyone. Comparisons are not valid from my end. I have looked up to him but want to be myself and definitely draw inspiration from him. He is two levels above any player. Sachin was born with talent and I had to work for it,” he said in an interview with India Today.
So, do you agree with us or are you fuming from within? Do let us know in the comments.