What’s the story?
All-rounder Chris Woakes was among the England players who struck gold in the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL) Auction yesterday. Kolkata Knightriders picked up the 27-year old for a whopping INR 4.2 Crores (around USD 626,000).
Elated at the thought of making his debut in the action-packed tournament, he took to Facebook Live to express his opinion on a wide range of topics from the Sachin Tendulkar-Virat Kohli comparison to playing under Gautam Gambhir’s captaincy.
On the difference between the two Indian batting icons, Woakes quipped, “Legend is Sachin (Tendulkar), isn't it? I think the way Virat Kohli goes about his business now is, you know he's very good. He took over the team and led by example. That's pretty impressive and it is so hard to look past Virat.”
Hoping to make a mark for the Knightriders, he said, “Gautam Gambhir is a brilliant player. He is very experienced and (has) played in all sorts of conditions. (He) played for India for a long period of time. We recently played against him in the Test series before Christmas. His records speak for himself. I am looking forward to playing under his captaincy and looking forward to joining my Kolkata teammates (too).”
Kohli has repeatedly insisted that Tendulkar was one of his role models while growing up. The 28-year old has been in unstoppable form during the last season or two across all formats. He recently became the first batsman in the history of Test cricket to score double centuries in four successive series. Having taken his Test game to the next level, comparisons with the ‘Little Master’ began to resurface.
The heart of the matter
Woakes alluded to Tendulkar’s remarkable longevity in the game across both Tests and ODIs. When it comes to the current generation, he stated that Kohli’s attacking captaincy and irrepressible batting has been a major revelation.
The England seamer played three matches in the recent 5-Test series between in India. He managed to pick up only three wickets and saw the Indian skipper amass as many as 655 runs at an average of 109.16 from the series to lead the hosts to a memorable 4-0 triumph. Woakes’ captain in IPL, Gambhir featured in the opening Test of that particular series.
It is never easy to compare players belonging to different generations. With his recent exploits, Kohli has certainly taken another step towards chasing Tendulkar’s enduring legacy. Although Woakes’ verdict remains cryptic, he did point towards Kohli’s successful start to captaincy and lauded the Delhi batsman for leading from the front.