It’s become a habit to witness Indian skipper Virat Kohli be the team’s go-to man in crisis situations, just like against New Zealand during the first ODI of the series on Sunday. The Kiwis might have eventually edged India out in a sweaty Mumbai outing, but the Delhi lad, playing his 200th ODI, had earlier smashed his 31st one-day hundred to help the Men in Blue register a competitive total of 280 for 8 following a dismal start.
In the process, he also dislodged Ricky Ponting (30) at number two on the list of the highest ODI hundreds and is now only behind the maestro Sachin Tendulkar (51). But the question is that is he a greater limited overs player than the original Indian superstar and his own hero already?
— sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) October 22, 2017
A purely statistical analysis of both players’ figures at the 200th ODI junction could clear the air around this debate.
Overall, Sachin had amassed 18 hundreds, notching up a total of 7,305 runs at an average of 41.74 en route. On the other hand, Virat, by the end of the first ODI from the ongoing series, has no less than 8,888 against his name at a staggering average of 55.55.
It’s also interesting to point out that 5,200 of these have been scored away from home, including 18 centuries of the 31. On the other hand, Sachin had scored 4,618 runs in 130 away/neutral games out of his first 200 matches. He averaged a shade under 40, breaching the triple-digit mark on 10 occasions.
In his 200th ODI though, against Zimbabwe on September 30, 1998, Sachin could muster only a couple of runs from his bat whereas Virat went on to collect 121. Incidentally, this is only the latter’s fifth hundred in a losing cause. At the same stage in his career, Sachin’s hundreds had contributed in 14 wins as compared to 26 from the Royal Challengers Bangalore captain.
Talking of contributing in victories, Virat has bagged 25 Man of the Match awards up till this point in his career, four short of Tendulkar. The master blaster leads the Man of the Series column, although marginally, by five to the former Indian Under-19 skipper’s four.
Stats clearly point out Virat’s greater impact on the team than Sachin during the first half of his career. Critics argue that playing conditions and the rules of the limited overs game have only helped the Batsman’s cause over the years, but the consistency with which Virat has piled up runs is only paralleled by Hashim Amla (and to a certain extent an ageing AB de Villiers) on the ODI circuit right now. No one in history has a better record than Virat.
Moreover, Kohli has also been at the helm of things for over a year now and his record as a captain has only gotten better, both as a leader and an individual. Sachin Tendulkar, as we all know, could never make for a successful captain.
The only factor against Virat is his age. He turns 29 in three weeks’ time while Sachin was in the 26th year of his life by the time he had already played a couple hundred one-days. However the current Indian captain is one of the most successful cricketers of his generation (miles ahead of the former Indian number 10). So it won’t be surprising if he hangs his boots much later than Sachin did and even breaks the records we though no one ever could by then.
|Sachin Tendulkar||Virat Kohli|
|Age: 25||Age: 28|