Will Kohli Replace Tendulkar as the Greatest? These Stats Say So

Virat Kohli moved an inch closer to greatness when he became the fastest cricketer to score 10,000 ODI runs in the second ODI against West Indies. The Indian skipper, who has taken 205 innings to reach the milestone, surpasses Sachin Tendulkar’s record (259 innings).

Kohli has come a long way in his 10-year international career, scoring 6,331 runs in 73 Tests, 10,000* runs in 213 ODIs and 2,102 runs in 62 T20Is. The Delhi batsman has been a part of World Cup and Champions Trophy winning teams.

The 29-year-old already has the second highest number of ODI centuries to his name – he’s behind the one and only Sachin Tendulkar. The master blaster has all the big batting records – most runs in Tests, most runs in ODIs, most centuries in Tests and most hundreds in ODIs.

But, Kohli is catching up. If he continues to bat in this manner for the better part of the rest of his career, there’s every chance of him taking over the records from Tendulkar and arguably becoming the greatest Indian batsman.

Chasing in ODIs

When it comes to judging players’ skill and temperament, the first question that comes to mind is how many matches a player has won for their country under pressure. And there’s no better way to judge than looking at the statistics of a batsman’s performance in chases.

Sachin Tendulkar ended his ODI career with the highest number of centuries in ODIs while chasing. He scored 17 centuries in 232 innings. However, Virat Kohli has accumulated 22 centuries in half the number of ODI innings (chasing).

The comparison maybe a little unfair since Tendulkar’s stats include the games played in the twilight of his career, but an average difference of around 26 shows that Kohli could easily finish his career with an average (while chasing) above Tendulkar.

Fourth Innings Record

In most Test matches, the hardest time to bat is in the fourth innings. By the time the openers walk out to bat in the final innings, the pitch is already roughed up on Day 4 or Day 5. The spinners, who use the rough patches to their advantage, come into play and a target of over 180 is tricky for any given side.

In this respect, Virat Kohli is way ahead of Sachin Tendulkar with an average of 51.70 in 22 matches. However, Kohli has taken India close to historic victories, case in point, the innings of 141 in Australia in 2014, 51 and 58 in the first and fourth Test in England, but not batted India to an important victory in the fourth innings as yet.

If the Indian captain finds some more support from the other end, he will begin to convert close losses into wins in no time.

Tendulkar, on the other hand, has a better record than the Delhi batsman in the third innings of Test matches.

Captaincy Record

Sachin Tendulkar didn’t have the best of times as the captain of India. To his misfortune, he didn’t have a great team. But, certain players had concerns about Tendulkar expecting a bit too much from his players since he is so talented himself.

"“Some of us could not emulate what he wanted. Those three hours in practice you would not see him while away his time. Even the optional practice he never missed. To expect the same from others was tough.”" - Javagal Srinath as quoted by Firstpost

With a win percentage of 16 in Tests and 35.07 in ODIs, Sachin Tendulkar falls way short of Virat Kohli as India’s captain. The Delhi player has led India to a joint-record number of consecutive Test series wins (nine) and won India’s first-ever ODI series in South Africa so far.

Record in SA, NZ, England and Australia

An Indian cricketer is only respected if he scores runs in unfavourable conditions. Kohli and Tendulkar have fought fire with fire against the bounce in Australia and swing in England, South Africa and New Zealand.

While the little master's average is a tad better than Kohli in Tests, the Delhi batsman has a far greater average in ODIs when it comes to the statistics in the SENA countries.

Even though Virat Kohli bats at number three, he has managed a better average than Tendulkar, who opened for the most part of his ODI career.

Surely, the two new balls rule (instated in 2011) ODIs has helped Kohli to have a better average than Tendulkar, but the huge difference in the ODI averages shows that the Delhi batsman can be called the better ODI player at the moment.

Record at Home

Virat Kohli wins the battle against Sachin Tendulkar hands down as far as the statistics regarding home performances are concerned. The Indian captain has a much better batting average in Tests and ODIs.

However, Sachin Tendulkar became the first cricketer to score a double century in ODIs in the match against South Africa in Nagpur. Kohli, who has a highest score of 183, is yet to score a double century in ODIs.

But, with a few more years remaining in his career, who knows, Kohli could achieve that feat as well!

(This article has been republished from The Quint’s archives to mark Virat Kohli’s record for the fastest cricketer to score 10,000 ODI runs. The statistics are as of 23 October 2018.)

. Read more on Cricket by The Quint.RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand DeathsRlys asks drivers to slow down, guards to take action on spotting crowds on tracks . Read more on Cricket by The Quint.