Virat Kohli is better than Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tedulkar with Virat Kohli. Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle

Virat Kohli Is Better Than Sachin Tendulkar!

May 18, 2020

Virat Kohli is better than Sachin Tendulkar is one of the most discussed topics among cricket lovers- especially in India.

If fans regard Virat Kohli as the 'King' of cricket, then Sachin Tendulkar is called as the 'God' of cricket.

Even though fans love both players with equal compassion, however, this comparison as who is better than whom seems to have dawned in automatically.

Not just fans but even some former players in the recent past have said that 'Virat Kohli is better than Sachin Tendulkar'.

Recently, in an Instagram live session with former Zimbabwe player Pommie Mbangwa, former England batsman Kevin Pietersen said Virat Kohli Kohli is better than Sachin Tendulkar "because of how he (Kohli) has mastered the art of chasing totals".

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Pietersen further said that "Kohli averages 80 in chases and all his one-day hundreds come when chasing".

Further, comparing the Indian skipper with former Australia captain Steve Smith, Pietersen said: "Kohli is miles ahead of Smith among current batsmen".

What Pietersen said is an opinion that he developed over the years of experience he gained by playing the game at the highest level.

As fans, we also have our personal opinions. For the majority of us Sachin is the greatest and for some Kohli is better than the greatest.

The Greatest Batsman Ever

'Sachin Tendulkar is the greatest batsman ever' is a statement which the majority of cricket fans across the world will readily agree to.

However, the same fans will have a second opinion when someone says 'Virat Kohli is better than Sachin Tendulkar'.

The question is-WHY?

Why saying Virat Kohli is better than Sachin Tendulkar raises a lot of eyebrows?

"Tendulkar played during an era when the playing conditions were difficult," is what fans opposing the view of Kohli better than Sachin first say.

"He played against bowlers like Sir Richard Hadlee, Imran Khan, Michael Holding and the most menacing and fierce fast bowlers of his time," is what they again say.

"The pitches were difficult and the safety kits were also not developed as they are today," they again say.

Sachin Tendulkar debuted at the age of 16 in November 1989 and Virat Kohli was born on November 5, 1988.

This, therefore, makes it obvious as to why Kohli could not face those devastating bowlers against whom a young Tendulkar scored runs.

Virat Kohli is better than Sachin Tendulkar

Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar batting together in a match. Courtesy: Forbes

Virat Kohli made his Team India debut in 2008, playing his first One Day International (ODI) on August 18, 2008, and he went on to make his Test debut in 2011.

It was already 20 years in cricket for Sachin Tendulkar when Kohli began his journey in Indian colours.

In these two decades, the game of cricket underwent a sea of changes- which continue even now.

Not just Kohli or any other players from the present era, but even Sachin Tendulkar has experienced some of these changes in his career.

If Kohli has the advantage of playing in better pitches and "favourable playing conditions", so did Tendulkar had it when he began his career.

Won't Tendulkar's playing condition be more favourable when compared to what Sunil Gavaskar or Sir Vivian Richards played in?

If for easy playing conditions can't make Kohli better than Tendulkar, then going by the same logic we can't call Tendulkar better than Gavaskar or Richards and call him the greatest batsman ever!

Records, Records, And More Records

"Look at the tons of runs he has scored," a friend said when I had asked him the reason for calling Sachin Tendulkar as the greatest batsman ever.

"And the 100 centuries he has scored, who else has done that? said another one.

"Even after achieving so much, Tendulkar has always remained humble and he never shows any ego," said another one.

The question is- are these records invincible?

No, definitely not as most records are broken at some point of time and so will be Tendulkar's record meet with a similar fate one fine day.

Virat Kohli is 30 short of scoring 100 international centuries he "could have" scored a few more in 2020 had the coronavirus pandemic had not strangulated the world!

Sachin Tendulkar undoubtedly is one of the finest cricketers to have played the game, however, I have always had my reservations in considering him as the "greatest ever" batsman.

I know my refusal doesn't change an iota of what the majority of fans, especially Indians, think about.

I am neither trying to influence others nor am I allowing anyone to influence me and I am at peace with every view and opinion.

Virat Kohli Is Better Than Sachin Tendulkar

Now, this brings me to another question- Is Virat Kohli better than Sachin Tendulkar?

I have the same answer- it will absolutely be wrong to compare the two players as they are different in a number of ways.

From attitude to aptitude- Kohli and Tendulkar are much different from each other.

The grammar in which the game of cricket is played has changed and this has also affected the styles and approach of individual players and also that of the teams.

These changing grammar has also affected Kohli and Tendulkar's individual approaches towards the game.

We know that West Indies were once considered "invincible" in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

However, today the same West Indies team is struggling to stay afloat and their game has drastically gone downhill.

They have been humbled by the rookies like Kenya, Canada, Ireland, and Afghanistan.

In fact, they lost two series back-to-back to Afghanistan- a team whose board was formed only in 1995.

It would be wrong if we say Afghanistan has had the benefits of "this and that" and so they were able to defeat West Indies.

It would again be wrong to compare the two teams and say one team is better than the other!

West Indies is a proven warhorse and Afghanistan is just a colt and each one of them is good in their respective fields.

However, one can always have an opinion about it and every opinion is welcomed.

A Little Empty At Top

'Virat Kohli is greater than Sachin Tendulkar' and 'Sachin Tendulkar is the greatest batsman ever' are fan-made observations.

These observations, I firmly believe, are based on several hypothetical theorems that will never give us a practical conclusion.

Can we say that a man with the greatest of fortunes cannot have a child who goes on to achieve even greater vistas?

If we can't be sure of it, then definitely we can say Virat Kohli is better than Sachin Tendulkar if we consider Tendulkar as the greatest batsman ever.

After all, there is always some room empty at the top!


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