Virat Kohli today equaled the record set by the Indian captain Dhoni. The record for the highest score while chasing a target by an Indian (Narrowly missed the all time record set by Watson which is 185). He is in such a great form which has no parallels in the history of ODIs. Despite being in such a rich vein of form, cricket pundits will keep saying “This is too early to pass a judgment on Kohli“.
However an astute cricket observer can tell you when they see a prodigious talent. Merv Hughes told Allan Border “This prick is going to break all your records” when Sachin became the youngest centurion in the Australian Soil nearly two decades before. The talent and the attitude of Sachin was quite evident then.
Greatness is never measured on absolute numbers. Greatness is a relative term and it is always measured based on the relative performances. Sachin was considered the greatest not because he averages 44+ and have a strike rate of 86. He was considered the greatest because he had a strike rate of close to 90 when a good strike rate was considered to be 70+. He averaged 45 in ODIs when an average of 35+ was considered to be good enough. For most of his career his nearest rival had half the number of centuries as what he has made. The only batsman who won man of the matches at the same rate of Sachin was Viv Richards. Richards was the best ODI batsman for a long time until Sachin claimed that Spot. These two were much ahead of the rest of their era. However the longevity of Tendulkar will place him above Richards.
Over the past few years the game evolved rapidly because of the advent of T20 and scoring rates and averages started to explode exponentially. The search for the new number 1 player in the ODIs also heated up, with Dhoni, AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Trott all trying hard to occupy that spot as Sachin hardly played any ODIs. However one young man and the youngest of this Indian team over took all these great players to establish himself as the best of the current lot. Like I said before greatness is not just based on the numbers, it is relative. Amla, Trott, Dhoni, AB all have averages high up there close to 50, they also have a good Strike rate (except Trott of course). However Kohli is ahead of the rest for the way he single handedly wins matches from situations that are very difficult. To play an innings like the one he played at Hobart is a big deal and hard to emulate, many great players will just have one such innings in their career, however to better such a performance just after two innings is something out of the ordinary.
Some say Kohli will fill in the boots of Dravid. Comparing Kohli to Dravid is ridiculous, Dravid has always been the side kick of a star. Dravid scored his highest score of 140 odd to be out done by a masterful innings of 183 by Ganguly, the same thing happened against Kenya in that world cup when Sachin out scored him, Dravid then bettered his career best and scored his only 150 but in the same innings Sachin scored 186, even in the tests it is the same with Sachin and Laxman out shining him. Dravid has hardly won a match all by himself, he is an wonderful support act and can hold one end. However Kohli belongs to the league of stars and match winners. He is dominating the game just like what sachin used to do in the late 90s. He is much ahead of his competition, even an aggressive player like Raina looks average when Kohli is hitting his boundaries. To score 3 centuries and a 50 in 4 consecutive innings is by no means a small achievement. Unlike a Sehwag or a Dravid he is a complete package just like Tendulkar is. He can play himself in, and shift gears whenever necessary. If the baton has to pass from Sachin to some one else then the worthy heir is here.
He is the future of the Indian cricket and he is going to sit on the pedestal as the best ODI player of this era and going to dominate the game over the next decade. This is not just a wishful thinking, if he can stay away from injuries then there is every chance that he will end up with more that 15k runs and 50+ centuries in ODIs.
In addition to all these he also has the ability to out do Sachin in one other area and that is captaincy. He is a captaincy material and we all saw it during the under 19 world cup and he is already marked as the future captain. He might as well become team India’s captain in a year or two as history repeats itself.
Saurav Ganguly – Scored 183 in 1999 and became the captain of team India in 2000
Mahendra Singh Dhoni – Scored 183 in 2005 and became the captain of team India in 2007
Virat Kohli – Scored 183 in 2012 and …….
We wish Virat Kohli good health and continued success.
Category: Ajith's Straight Drive