Kohli and Amla? Too many runs and too much consistency in one sentence already.
When it comes to batting in ODI internationals, very few names crop up when it comes to matching the level of consistency that Amla and Kohli have displayed throughout their careers.
Scoring runs, prolifically at that, has become such a differentia with these batsmen that a 30-odd score is subliminally thought of as an off day for them. And if a few innings pass by without being adorned by a sizeable enough score, the anticipation building around those two is palpable. And invariably, they deliver, with eerie regularity. These similarities apart, who makes for a better ODI run machine?
First, let’s go with Kohli.
He prominently features among the top tier batsmen when classified according to the number of runs scored in ODIs in the current calendar year. No surprises there, it’s business as usual for him. He has been doing that for the past three years, and even topped the charts in 2011.
Comparisons with Sachin do the rounds, which per se is unfair to any batsman. But spectacularly, he hasn’t disappointed. Following in his footsteps, he, too, has developed a penchant for renaming records.
Records have been tumbling in his wake for some time now. He is the second fastest batsman after Sir Vivian Richards, and fastest Indian, to complete 4000 runs in ODIs, and has a chance at eternal glory to become the fastest to 5000 ODI runs. He already has 15 ODI centuries, that too from the least number of matches in the history of cricket, and beats the nearest competitor comprehensively. He is also the youngest to have ever done that.
His performances in crunch situations, especially while chasing, bear testament to his rise as India’s best and most reliable batsman. He is the first batsman in the history of ODI cricket to average more than 60 per dismissal while chasing. 133 at Hobart, which witnessed the decimation of Malinga, or the 183 against Pakistan in the 2012 Asia Cup speak volumes about his import as an important cog in the wheel of Indian batting.
Another for the books: he is the fourth most successful batsman in the history of ODI cricket as regards successful chases.
A natural at the shorter formats of the game, he took his time but has eventually managed to showcase his adaptability to the longer version of the game. He hasn’t been as spectacular, but has managed to put up a pretty impressive performance in the longer format as well.
Being aggressive is his forte, both in demeanour as well as in shot-making.