Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar picked Virat Kohli as the most impactful ODI player for India over the last 10 years, adding that the current skipper has won his country the most number of matches during that period.
Since making his debut in 2008, Virat Kohli has scored 22,208 runs in 86 Tests, 251 ODIs and 84 T20Is. He recently became the fastest to reach 12,000 runs in ODIs, reaching the feat in 242 innings – 58 fewer than second-best Sachin Tendulkar.
Speaking on Star Sports show ‘Cricket Connected’, Gavaskar threw light on the fact that Virat Kohli has not only scored a mountain of runs across formats in the past decade, but he has also had the maximum impact in matches India have finished victorious.
“I think if you look as an individual, then certainly it’s got to be Virat Kohli, because if you look at the number of matches he’s won for India when India has been chasing big scores...I look at the impact a player has had, and not just the runs or wickets that he has taken.
“And in that aspect, you have got to say that in this decade it really has been Virat Kohli who has had the most impact on the matches that India have won,” Gavaskar, who scored 13,214 runs in 125 Tests and 108 ODIs, reasoned.
Indeed, Virat Kohli boasts an average of 141.85 in successful ODI chases of 300-plus targets. India have overhauled 10 such scores in the last decade, and Kohli has scored 993 runs in those matches, including seven centuries and a fifty.
‘It’s really important that MS Dhoni has won India a World Cup and a Champions Trophy,’ says Hayden
If the range is broadened to successful ODI run-chases regardless of the target, none can beat MS Dhoni’s average of 102.71. And former Australia opener Matthew Hayden touted MSD to be India’s most impactful player over the past decade because of leading the country to a World Cup and Champions Trophy win.
“I think it’s really important and significant that MS Dhoni has won a World Cup and a Champions Trophy. That World Cup for me, that’s a real big milestone...I have mentioned it before we have played loads of cricket in the one-day format and I just feel that when it comes to being ready for a World Cup, you not only got to have a good leader but you also need to have a calm, strong player in the middle order like he has,” Hayden elaborated.
MS Dhoni-led India to the 2011 World Cup triumph and victory in the 2013 Champions Trophy – with both tournament wins coming after a gap of 28 years. He retired from international cricket on August 15 this year with 17,266 runs in 90 Tests, 350 ODIs and 98 T20Is.