Sachin Tendulkar vs Virat Kohli :Who Is The Best Indian Batsman?

The biggest Comparision between Indian fans has always been Sachin Tendulkar vs Virat Kohli

It is the Indian  cricketing equivalent of Messi vs Ronaldo

Fans of each justify their opinions by comparing the statistics, amount of 100s & 50s, total runs, strike rate of Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli but this is irrational as there are a lot of  differences between the two batsmen and their eras

Early Career of Sachin Tendulkar & Virat Kohli

Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar made his debut for Mumbai in the Ranji trophy aged just 15 years old, on his debut he scored 100 not out in that match against Gujurat making him the youngest Indian to score a century on debut in first-class He was picked or the Mumbai team after they saw him play Kapil Dev at the Wankhede nets. Tendulkar finished the 1988 Ranji Trophy as Bombay’s highest run-scorer with 583 runs

Sachin thereafter caught the eye of Raj Singh Dungarpur who was the chairman of the selection committee

Tendulkar was selected for India’s tour of Pakistan where he made his debut against Pakistan in Karachi in 1989 aged 16 years and 205 days, He made his ODI debut in the same series on 18 December 1989 v Pakistan

Virat Kohli

Kohli was selected in the India Under-19  on its tour of England in July 2006 after impressing in the Delhi u-17’s. He had an average of 105 in the three-match ODI series against England Under-19s

Virat made his first-class debut for Delhi against Tamil Nadu in November 2006, at the age of 18 but scored only 10 in his debut. He made his name in December when he decided to play for his team against Karnataka the day after his father’s death and went on to score 90 in that match

In February 2008, Kohli captained the  Indian team to victory at the 2008 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in Malaysia

Following the Under-19 World Cup success Kohli was bought by RCB on an IPL youth contract.

In August 2008, Kohli was included in the Indian ODI squad for the tour of Sri Lanka and the Champions Trophy in Pakistan this was a surprise to many

He made his international debut against SriLanka   at the age of 19 Kohli batted as an opener in this series due to injuries

STATISTICAL COMPARISION OF SACHIN & KOHLI

SACHIN TENDULKARS STATISTICS

ODI STATISTICS OF SACHIN

Innings:329
Not Outs:33
Highest Score:248*
Average:53.79
50s:68
100s:51
200s:6


TEST STATISTICS OF SACHIN

Innings:452
Not Outs:41
Highest Score:200*
Average:44.83
50s:96
100s:49
Scoring Rate86.24

VIRAT KOHLI STATISTICS

ODI STATISTICS OF VIRAT KOHLI

Innings:239
Not Outs:39
Highest Score:183
Average:59.34
50s:58
100s:43
Scoring Rate93.25

TEST SATISTICS OF VIRAT KOHLI

Innings:145
Not Outs:10
Highest Score:254*
Average:53.63
50s:22
100s:27
200s:7
Scoring Rate57.68

Comparision  at age 31

Sachin Virat odi stats
sachin virat test stats
sachin & virat

There are many reasons why it is difficult to compare both these legendary batsmen

Quality of Bowlers:

Tendulkar is said to have faced the toughest generation of bowlers, He had to face  Shane Warne, Glen McGrath, Muthiah Muralidharan, Henry Olonga, Andrew Flintoff, Allan Donald, Chaminda Vaas, Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar, Brett Lee this not taking anything away from the current bowlers but this generation of bowlers are considered the greatest of all time

Changes in Cricket:

In Sachin’s era he was playing in a period where cricket was a bowlers game too. Now Cricket is more batsmen oriented is tailor-made for batsmen

  • There was only one ball used for entire fifty overs(until 2005), Nowadays there are 2 new balls used in an innings
  • In Sachin’s time there was no free hit for no ball and no DRS
  •  Sachin Tendulkar never had powerplay advantage  (field restrictions in early overs) in peak stage of his career.

Competition:

  During Sachin’s time, India was nowhere on the global map hardly close to No.1 spot in any format

 While Virat Kohli had to tackle nothing of this sort when he came into Indian team they were doing great as a team in all formats and had won 2 back to back ICC trophies and the Indian test team was in the top3

Conclusion

It is unfair to compare both these greats, there are a lot of factors that make it impossible to compare them. While Virat is on his way to break most of Sachin’s records we should understand that cricket was a completely different game back then, there was no technology like DRS, No free hit  Comparing the stats of Sachin and Virat is like comparing a 10 rupees in 1990 and comparing 10 rupees in 2020 the value of the statistics don’t tell the full story.

But we can say Sachin was a better Test batsman than Virat, He went to England and Australia in their home grounds and dominated them something Virat has failed to do consistently.

We can also agree Virat Kohli is a better captain than Sachin, His win percentage is almost  double of Sachin

It is tough to flat out say Virat is a  better ODI batsman because of his stats because of many factors such as powerplay, Also Sachin used to open batting and Virat comes 1 down, boundary length. But we can say Virat is the greatest chaser in ODI history

In the T20 format it is impossible to compare both these legends as there was no International T20 during Sachin’s time, Being dominant in all three formats is one of the reasons Virat Kohli is considered the batsmen of his generation

It is not possible to downplay the impact of Sachin on Indian cricket and dominance& aggression of Virat, We should celebrate both these greats of the game  

Author- Agni Cariappa

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