Joe Root vs Virat Kohli: Complete statistical analysis
The battle of the current batting greats. Joe Root is arguably England’s best batsman and the rankings don’t lie – he is no. 2 in Test cricket, no. 7 in one-day internationals and fourth in the Twenty20 format. But Indian captain Virat Kohli, who recently produced a superb batting spectacle in Antigua to become the first Indian captain to score a double hundred away from home, is worthy competition and can himself claim the tag of the world’s current best batsman, having successfully proved himself across every format. Australia’s Steve Smith (42 Tests, 14 centuries) and New Zealand’s Kane Williamson (49 Tests, 13 centuries), add class to the competition.
Though debates continue to rage whether Kohli or Root is better - with both posting double-centuries in the last week - we must also remember that Root’s contributions have led to more team victories than Kohli’s, especially in Tests. However, we have a long way to go before we can settle the question. While Kohli in ODIs and Root in Tests hold the edge for now, here is an in-depth analysis to help figure out who is more worthy to be the champion of the cricketing world.
Having recently scored double centuries in their respective ongoing series against New Zealand and Pakistan, Kohli and Root, two modern prodigies have again staked their claim to being the greatest in the longest format, in the current era. Both Root and Kohli are classical batsmen and, while the English international has 10 centuries from 44 Tests and an astounding average of 53.28, the Indian captain has notched up 13 tons in 48 matches with an impressive 45.56 average.
Javed Miandad has already hailed them as the top two players in the world at present.
Kohli had struggled earlier in his career against the likes of West Indies and New Zealand but his present form shows how much he has improved, and Root’s pacing of his innings against Pakistan and Bangladesh shows the maturity the player has achieved. Kohli proved he belonged in the ‘best’ category during India’s Test tour of Australia,where he scored India's only Test hundred at Adelaide. Meanwhile, Root has already demonstrated how prolific a run-scorer he can be when he made 1385 Test runs in 2015 alone.
However, if we are forced to choose one of them as better in the longer format, Root might just edge past the Indian captain for being consistently good, whereas Kohli had a few bumps in his early Test career and has yet to prove his mettle against England. Root also possesses a slightly better footwork than Kohli and has two double-hundreds to Kohli’s single double-ton. Both are on their way to greatness but in Tests, Joe Root ranked 3rd, might reach the pinnacle earlier than the 15th ranked Virat Kohli.