Even after Sachin Tendulkar retired from international cricket, shouts of “Sachin, Sachin” were heard in the stadium. The cricket crazy nation was still looking for its new idol to fill Sachin’s big shoes. Few years down the line, one can hear a different chant in the stadiums nowadays. “Kohli, Kohli” has become the new mantra for the masses. Indian Test captain Virat Kohli has stepped up and grabbed the opportunity with both hands to become the nation’s heartbeat.
The 27-year-old Delhi lad was strongly inclined towards the game since he was three. He trained under Rajkumar Sharma and tasted his first big success when he led the India U-19 team to a World Cup win against South Africa in 2008. Kohli made his international debut at the age of 19 against Sri Lanka. While Sachin was still the mainstay in the Indian batting line-up, Kohli, slowly and steadily went on to build his reputation.
Cometh the hour cometh the man, Kohli proved himself time and again when India were chasing big targets and were often struggling. His ability to pace his innings and stay at the crease until the end has made him one of the best finishers in the game. Virat has represented India in all three formats. He has played 172 ODIs so far and has scored 7297 runs at an average of 52.12. In 48 Tests, he has gathered 3554 runs at an average of 45.56.
In ODIs, Kohli has 25 centuries and 37 fifties while in Tests he has 13 centuries and 12 half-centuries. His highest score in ODIs is 183 against Pakistan and 211 in Tests against New Zealand. The shorter the format of the game, the better is his average. In 45 T20Is, Kohli has scored 1657 runs so far with an average of 57.13. His best in T20Is is 90 not out against Australia and he has 16 half-centuries to his credit so far.
On the other hand, Sachin’s career has been full of records and accomplishments. Sachin played 200 Tests in his career and scored 15,921 runs at an average of 53.78. His highest score of 248 not-out came against Bangladesh. He made 68 half-centuries and 51 hundreds. In 463 ODIs, he scored 18,426 runs at an average of 44.83. He was the first man to score a double century in ODIs. His highest score 200 not out came against South Africa. During his career, he scored 96 fifties and 49 centuries. Sachin played only 1 T20I and scored 10 runs against South Africa.
WATCH: Sachin Tendulkar’s double century in ODIs
(Video Courtesy: YouTube.com/The Cricket)
So is it safe to say that Kohli has filled in the big shoes of Sachin Tendulkar? While he has a long way to go as far as batting for the team is concerned, Kohli, so far, has ticked one box for sure. Sachin as a leader struggled to get India to winning ways while Kohli has been dominant in that aspect.
Sachin was the 26th Test captain of the Indian team. He led India in 25 matches, won 4, lost 9 and drew 12 with a win percentage of 30.7%. Kohli, India’s 32nd Test captain, has led India in 17 Tests so far. He has won on 10 occasions, lost on 2 and drawn on 5 instances. His win percentage is 83.33%.
Sachin became India’s 13th ODI captain. He led India in 73 matches, won 23, lost 43, tied 1 and no result on 6 instances. He had a win percentage of 34.8% in his career. On the other hand, Kohli, India’s 22nd ODI captain, has represented the country in 17 matches, won 14 matches and lost only 3. His win percentage is 82.35%.
Kohli has been on the right path of breaking and creating records. One aspect where Sachin will always have an upper hand is his temperament and humility. If Kohli is able to imbibe even half of what Sachin possesses, Kohli, too, will then be etched in our hearts forever.
WATCH: Virat Kohli gets emotional on Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement
(Video Courtesy: YouTube.com/iansindia)