The curious case of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma run-outs
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are currently the top two devastating batsmen in the ODI cricket history. Rohit has produced few splendid innings with three double centuries, while Kohli surpassed 10,000 runs recently. Both of them are match winners, and when they are on song, it is a delightful sight for the fans and experts. They play with each other a lot in the ODIs and have produced magnificent innings together to win the matches for India.
Both of them share a weird history of running each other out, and this has happened seven times now. Kohli has been out five times, while Sharma has been dismissed twice in the mix of things. Among Indian batting pairs, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly ran each other out nine times, while Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid were involved in the mix-up seven times. In the recent history of ODI cricket, Kohli-Sharma (7) stand third after Tillakaratne Dilshan-Kumar Sangakkara (8) and Faf du Plessis-AB de Villiers (8).
In the 208 ODI matches, Kohli has scored 10,232 runs at an average of 59.84. He has been dismissed 171 times out of which he has been run-out 12 times. Similarly, Sharma has played 187 matches, in which he has scored 7454 runs at an average of 47.78. He has been dismissed 156 times out of which he was run-out 12 times. It clearly shows that Sharma has a greater propensity of getting run-out per dismissal than Kohli.
Qualitatively also, Sharma is identified as a lazy runner while Kohli is agile and always looking to rotate the strike. Sharma has been involved in a lot of mix-ups with other players as compared to Kohli.
The Indian captain has to keep in mind that except for M.S. Dhoni, no one can match his speed and agility to run for a quick single or a two. Sometimes, the other batsman buckles under pressure on being called for a run by the Indian captain and a wicket is lost unnecessarily. Both of them have to take responsibility and protect their wickets at any cost. This bodes well for India.
Sharma and Kohli have produced 13 innings of 100+ partnerships in ODIs. Tendulkar and Ganguly lead the pack with 26 such innings. Another interesting statistic is that Sharma scores a century when he runs Kohli out. He scored 209, 264 and 124 in last three innings when the Indian captain was run out.
They have to learn a lesson and get rid of the mix-up while running. This way they can bat for a longer period of time and produce brilliant innings. If Sharma is the master of double hundreds, then Kohli is the king of making centuries on a consistent basis. Both of them have to synergize their efforts to produce record aggregate runs in 50 overs for India on a consistent basis.