It would not be vaguely wrong to call India’s ongoing series against South Africa, a Virat Kohli’s series.
On a tour where the batsmen from both the sides had struggled to get going, the India skipper has looked a class apart. The 29-year old had scored a staggering 679 out of India’s 2217 runs on the tour, so far.
His remarkable consistency with the bat has left the cricketing world gasping for breath. In three Tests and four ODIs so far, only four centuries have been made, three of which belong to Kohli. The Delhi star began the series on a dismal note, scoring five and 28 in the first Test. But he did not take long to show it was a rare failure.
In the very next game, he displayed exquisite batsmanship to play a monumental knock of 153. On a treacherous Johannesburg track, he scored 55 and 41 to lead India to a famous win.
The form then only got better in the ODIs. After Faf du Plessis scored a brilliant ton to guide his team to a good total, Kohli scored a majestic 112 to help his side overhaul the target. In the following game, he scored an unbeaten 46 to help India chase down 119 with ease. And if everyone was hoping that was it, Kohli came up with his best knock of the tour so far in the third ODI. He scored 160 not out to help India go three-nil up in the six-match series. It was followed by a 75-run knock in the fourth ODI as well.
Such has been Kohli’s consistency that the results, performances of other players and other significant events have taken the back seat. His performance had made everyone wonder whether Kohli’s performance is the most prolific by an Indian batsman in the rainbow nation. And not surprisingly, the one name that comes in everyone’s mind is the legendary Sachin Tendulkar.
South Africa was always a happy hunting ground for Tendulkar. The most decorated batsman in the history of the game toured South Africa five times and enjoyed unprecedented success.
So here we are taking a look at Tendulkar and Kohli’s record in South Africa:
Performance in Tests:
The legendary batsman had played 15 Tests in South Africa. His love affair with South Africa began when he hit 111 as a 19-year old in Johannesburg in 1992-93. His 169 in Cape Town in 1996-97 is still highest by an Indian batsman in South Africa. The other three centuries were 155 in Bloemfontein in 2001-02, and 111 not out in Centurion and 146 in Cape Town in 2010-11.
On the other hand, Kohli had toured South Africa twice and had played five Tests so far. His 153-run knock in Centurion made him only the second batsman after Sachin to score more than one Test ton in South Africa. Kohli scored his first Test century in the rainbow nation during the 2013-14 tour when he scored 119 in Johannesburg.
In 15 Tests, Tendulkar amassed 1161 runs at an average of 46.44. In addition to scoring five tons, he also scored three fifties.
Kohli, on the other hand, had scored 558 runs at a stunning average of 55.8 with the help of two centuries and as many fifties.
Performance in ODIs:
In the ODIs, Kohli has managed to get the upper hand. While Kohli has scored two centuries already, Tendulkar failed to reach the three-digit mark even once in 13 ODIs. Kohli has scored both the centuries on the ongoing tour.
Tendulkar scored 268 runs in South Africa with the help of one fifty. On the other hand, Kohli has already scored 617 runs. In fact, the current India skipper has scored 393 runs in the first four games of the ongoing series.
Well, looking at the stats, one can say Kohli has been more prolific than Tendulkar in the rainbow nation. With age on his side, Kohli will also back himself to break Tendulkar’s Test records in South Africa.