Legendary Australian National Cricket Team leg-spinner Shane Warne might have ducked the questioning on the comparison between Virat Kohli with Sachin Tendulkar, but he has effusively praised the batting giant Kohli for his consistent approach on doing the bulk of a job for the Men in Blue.
Kohli, who averages well over 50 in Test cricket and the day-long format respectively, is aiming to slam his first-ever T20I ton, but he has already grabbed eyeballs for his incredible run with the bat. He is closing in on to break the records of Mumbaikar.
Arguably, best with the bat, Kohli has slammed 39 ODI tons. Whereas, Sachin has 49 centuries to his name in the 50-over format. Meanwhile, Kohli’s numbers speak volumes about his impact as a batsman since 2008.
The right-handed top-order batsman Kohli has amassed 10533 runs in 214 innings of 222 ODIs at the impressive average of 59.50. And on similar lines, Kohli recorded 6613 runs in 77 Tests at an average of 53.76. He has 25 tons and 20 half-centuries to his name in the traditional format.
On the other side, Tendulkar has rendered his services for almost 24 years for Team India. He is the highest run-getter in Tests and ODI format with 100 centuries under his belt. Tendulkar has played 200 Tests for India to amass 15921 runs and 18426 runs in record 463 ODIs. To attribute it, he has bagged 201 scalps across formats with his spin bowling.
Players from two different eras:
The prominent spinner Warne maintained it’s hard to compare two players from two different eras. He added the pitches provided in contemporary cricket are more suitable for the batsmen. Warne hinted the bowlers of ‘90s had the flair to give their best.
“Very hard to judge when someone is playing and very hard to judge eras. Think about the bowlers in the ’90s. Different surfaces that seamed. Now they’re a lot flatter,” Warne told ToI in an exclusive interview.
Besides, Warne maintained the ball did a lot when the veterans like Wasim Akram, Glenn McGrath and Courtney Walsh to name a few brought batsmen to their knees.
“The ball swung more. So many invariables. But to think that someone was better than Brian Lara and Sachin – in those mid-’90s – against Wasim, Waqar, Curtly, Courtney, McGrath, Donald, Saqlain, Mushy, Vettori, Murali, myself. You can go on,” Warne added.
King Kohli on the roll:
The 49-year-old Warne admitted the fact that Kohli is riding on a juggernaut by score runs irrespective of conditions, but he is looking forward to seeing what would pan in the near future.
Apart from the milestones, Warner remarked the attitude and passion towards the game of the professional would be remembered for so long.
Across format, the 31-year-old Kohli has amassed runs at will. Also, it includes his remarkable run in the run chase by converting his starts into big ones.
“Virat is breaking all the records, which is great but I want to wait. See, what people miss is this: You can set benchmarks, score those many centuries, average that high, score a lot many runs. But what people are going to remember you for is the way you played the game,” Warne said.
Warne on his former teammate Mark Waugh:
Warne cited the example of the 53-year-old Mark Waugh. He maintained Waugh has an attitude which impressed him and he loved his batting.
The right-handed batsman Waugh averaged 41.81 in 128 Tests and 39.35 in 244 ODIs for Australia between 1988 and 2002.
“Someone should run down the street and ask fans, how many runs did Mark Waugh make or what his average was? They wouldn’t have a clue but chances are, here’s what they’ll say: I loved watching him play,” Warne said on Waugh.
Moreover, Warne reiterated Kohli is best in business while comparing him with the Windies great Sir Vivian Richards in the 50-over format.
In conclusion, Warne revealed he would gauge Kohli following the culmination of his international career.
“To my mind, what’s already evident is that Virat is one of the best players of all time. In One-dayers, he probably has to go down with Viv Richards as the greatest ever, not so much for the record. But for the way he plays his game. But I’ll judge him at the end of his career,” Warne concluded.
It might take Warne time to decide upon the debate for the best batsmen. But he has already maintained that Kohli has established himself among greats of the league.