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Virat Kohli vs AB de Villiers: A stastistical comparison 

Aryan
ANALYST
Stats
2.60K   //    30 Mar 2019, 16:03 IST

AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli are the two best batsmen of the current decade
AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli are the two best batsmen of the current decade

Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers are two of the finest batsmen of this decade. They both have averages above 50 and a strike rate of above 90 in ODI cricket. AB de Villiers has a strike rate of above 100 and Kohli an average nearing 60.

These facts suggest that they have been the best batsman in the current generation. Hence, the debate is about who is the better batsman amongst these players. Everyone has a different opinion on who is a better batsman. Let's take a statistical look at who is a better batsman in ODI cricket.

Also Read: MS Dhoni vs Dinesh Karthik: A statistical comparison


Method 1: Average in wins

This method helps us understand how they contribute to their team's wins.

Virat Kohli

In wins, Virat Kohli has an extraordinary average of 77.27 in 137 matches.

AB de Villiers

In wins, AB de Villiers has an excellent average of 66.01 in 141 matches.

Based on these above stats, Virat Kohli gets a point.

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AB de Villiers: 0 points

Virat Kohli: 1 point


 Method 2: Average in successful chases

This method helps us understand how well they can bat in pressure situations and take the team across the line.

Virat Kohli

In successful chases, Virat Kohli averages an out of the world 95.24.

AB de Villiers

In successful chases, AB de Villiers averages a fantastic 82.77

In this facet, Virat Kohli also holds an edge over AB de Villiers.

AB de Villiers: 0 points

Virat Kohli: 2 points 


Method 3: Average in wins batting first

This method helps us understand how good the players are at building innings and driving a team to a good total.

Virat Kohli

In wins batting first, Virat Kohli has scored runs at a splendid average of 49.71

AB de Villiers

In wins batting first, AB de Villiers has scored runs at a grand average of 51.00

Thus, AB de Villiers finally gets a point.

AB de Villiers: 1 point

Virat Kohli: 2 points


 Method 4: Average against top five teams (India, South Africa, New Zealand, England, and Australia)

This method tells us how well the players perform against quality opposition.

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli has a great average of 56.68 against South Africa, New Zealand, England, and Australia.

AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers has an excellent average of 50.68 against India, New Zealand, England, and Australia.

In this method, Virat Kohli once again holds the edge due to his superior average.

AB de Villiers: 1 point

Virat Kohli: 3 points 


Method 5: Average batting first against top 5 teams.

This method tells us how well the players can build innings against quality opposition.

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli has an excellent average of 47.16 against South Africa, New Zealand, England, and Australia while batting first.

AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers has a comparatively poor average of 42.17 against India, New Zealand, England, and Australia batting first.

In this method, Virat Kohli once again holds the edge due to his superior average.

AB de Villiers: 1 point

Virat Kohli: 4 points 


Method 6: Average batting second against top 5 teams

This method helps us know how of a player they are while batting second under more pressure against quality opposition.

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli has an excellent average of 64.36 against South Africa, New Zealand, England, and Australia while chasing.

AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers has an excellent average of 60.00 against India, New Zealand, England, and Australia batting second.

In this method, Virat Kohli scores another point

AB de Villiers: 1 point

Virat Kohli: 5 points


 Method 7: Strike Rate

This method helps us know how explosive they are and how they can change the complexion of the game in just a few overs.

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli has a good strike rate of 93.0 in ODI cricket.

AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers has an out of the world strike rate of 101.1 in ODI cricket.

In the facet of play, AB de Villiers holds an edge and thus gets a point. 

AB de Villiers: 2 points

Virat Kohli: 5 points


Method 8: Innings per century ratio (Overall)

This method helps us understand how often the players will have a great impact on the teams final score.

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli has an exceptional innings per century ratio of 5.53 innings per century.

AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers has a decent innings per century ratio of 9.12

Through this method, Virat Kohli again gets a point. 

AB de Villiers: 2 points

Virat Kohli: 6 points 


Method 9: Innings per century ratio (Away)

This method helps us understand how often the players will have a great impact on the teams final score while playing away from the familiar home conditions.

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli has an extraordinary innings per century ration of 6.27 away from home.

AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers too has an exceptional innings per century ratio of 8.31

In the facet of play, Virat Kohli holds an edge and thus gets a point. What has to be noted though is the that AB de Villiers has a better innings per century ratio away from home than at home. But nonetheless, Virat Kohli gets a point here as well.

AB de Villiers: 2 points

Virat Kohli: 7 points 


Based on the above stats, we can conclude that Kohli has been a better player than de Villiers over the years, but what has to be noted is the de Villiers is a multi-dimensional player. He can play an ODI inning at a strike rate of 338 like during his 149 off just 44 balls against West Indies or a test innings at a strike rate of 14.48 like during his 43 runs in 297 balls against India.

Kohli, while he doesn't have the exquisite paddle sweeps and the audacious reverse sweep ramps amongst some other shots that no one can name, can play all the textbook shots and has a strong bottom hand technique which can counter the moving ball with ease. He is one of the few cricketers who has scored runs all over the world and his century in the first Test against England in 2018 is a testimony to that.

There is no real test for who is a better batsman, both are amongst the fittest cricketers, both are amongst the best fielders in the world, both share so many things in common, yet have so many differences as well.

They are both two of the best players in the world and it is a joy to watch them play together in the IPL as well as against each other in the international circuit. Let's hope they continue to entertain us for many years to come.

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