Indian Test captain Virat Kohli has played 49 Test matches so far. When India play England in Visakhapatnam, Kohli will be playing his 50th Test match. It would be a great moment for the player. It is a far cry that Kohli can surpass Sachin Tendulkar because to play 200 Test matches is almost impossible. But comparison between Kohli and Tendulkar is unavoidable because of similar career trajectories in the first 50 Test matches.
In 49 Test matches, Virat Kohli has batted in 84 innings. He has scored 3643 runs with an average of 46.11. He has scored 13 centuries. 5 out of these Test centuries are double-tons. He has scored 12 half-centuries. He has scored more runs than Sachin Tendulkar in the first 50 Test matches. However, his batting average is lesser than Tendulkar.
Between November 1989 to March 1997, Tendulkar scored 3438 runs. He averaged an impressive 49.82. He had scored 11 centuries and 16 half-centuries during the period.
Though Virat Kohli is leading in the first 50 Test matches, it would be an arduous task for him to emulate what Tendulkar did in his next 50 Test matches. In the period of 1997-2002. Sachin scored 4967 runs at a staggering average of 65.35. He scored 19 hundreds and 18 half-centuries during this period. Virat Kohli will love to score at this rate in the next 50 Tests.
It is a great compliment for Virat Kohli that he has been able to surpass Sachin Tendulkar in the first 50 Test matches. But to be as consistent as Tendulkar will be really difficult for Kohli. The reason is that Tendulkar had played cricket for 23 years. He braved many career-threatening injuries including a tennis-elbow, which had almost ended his career. But he carried on. Kohli is young and energetic. The biggest challenge for him will be to carry this energy in his 30s. He will also have to work on his form all through his career. Right now, Kohli has just begun. But as they, good start is only work half done.