Can Virat Kohli go past Sachin Tendulkar?

I know you have a firm answer in your head that no one can surpass Sachin Tendulkar and his record of a hundred hundreds but then I think Virat Kohli might just be another player of the same caliber but with a completely different personality. After his 23rd century and his 1st one against South Africa, Kohli has surpassed Ganguly in the number of ODI hundred but is still a very long way away from Sachin.

Another record that Kohli made was that he became the youngest player to score a century against all the test playing nations. A remarkable feat which also shows how consistent he has been. All these stats compel me to, just for a moment, think that Virat can actually level Sachin in the number of ODI centuries. Yes, you can take a moment to laugh at me.. 😛

But have you seen Kohli’s batting style anywhere…? His temperament, his never-ever-give-up attitude and the aggression in any other player? Yes, all these qualities were present individually in different players but all these together are at-this-point-of-time only visible in Virat Kohli. Still there are so many dynamics involved if Kohli is to actually surpass Tendulkar in the no. of ODI centuries. 

Fitness: Something that, in the future, can become a concern for him could be his fitness, which at the moment is as good as it possibly can be, but then if he wants to prolong his career till the age of 35 or more with the level of consistency he has, then he will have to be seriously remain fit and curb on anything that can be harmful in the long run.

Improvisation in batting: We all saw how dangerously he was hunted by James Anderson during the England tour. That ball swinging outside the off stump trapped Kohli so often in the test matches. Its just the beginning, every team does essential research on every player of the team, esp. the star players. So Kohli will have to keep dramatically improving his style of play.

Remain Focused: Yes, these days it is so difficult to remain focussed esp. if you are a movie star or a cricketer, you are actually a celebrity. People follow such personalities and their actions, both on and off the field actions can make a big difference. A major quality in Sachin was that he had patience, which somewhere seems missing in Kohli, I mean, Kohli has the appetite for centuries but then after completing the centuries, he cannot actually make the innings big especially in test cricket this quality is so very essential.

Control Aggression: Something which is evidently visible is how Kohli spits abuses after getting out or how he gets indulged in duels on the pitch. A recent example was in the second ODI against South Africa in which he got run-out due to his own mistake but then after getting out he hurled abuses at Rahane. It looked really bad. I, as a spectator, disliked it. I know the game involves passion but he should understand not to get carried away at times.

Handle Pressure of Captaincy: I, personally, consider that Tendulkar was able to achieve such success due to his avoidance of captaincy. There are examples, like Ganguly, MS Dhoni, whose games have deteriorated after taking up captaincy. I mean not that they were not a good player, but an added responsibility on their shoulder somehow resulted in a bit of under performance from their side. Kohli too will have to handle this pressure after MSD retires from the one-days too.

In the end, there is a special quality in Virat, which I feel was not so much present in Sachin and I am so happy to share; it is to be able to perform under pressure. Yes, India has had so many successful run-chases under Virat’s batting. He can soak in that pressure and rather than succumbing to it, he actually plays better. I wish he keeps up this work and believes in himself. Records are meant to be broken, but in the end I will always remember Virat as the next best batsman I have seen playing, after Sachin Tendulkar.

I hope you enjoyed my article. Do share and spread 🙂
(Image Courtesy: Google)

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