Virat Kohli vs Sir Vivian Richards: A statistical battle
Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards, the man who rocked the cricketing world with his explosive batting. The inventor of gladiatorial cricket. The bowler killer. There are many titles to this menacing yesteryear batsman. But everything fell short against his demeanour!
When Greenidge or Haynes got out, there used to be a deafening silence among the crowd. The world stopped when Sir Viv Richards walked in, with every single pair of eyeballs on him as he walked like a lion going on a hunt, busy adjusting the chewing gum between his jaws, flexing his shoulder muscles one after the other with his weapon.
Sir Viv was considered to be one of the most devastating and intimidating batsmen of all time. He was voted as the greatest ODI batsman of all time in 2002. And the third greatest Test batsman of all time, only behind Sir Donald Bradman and Sachin Tendulkar.
But, if there was any batsman after Bradman, who had more impact on the game, not in terms of technicalities of batting, but changing the mindset of a batter than it must be Sir Vivian Richards. But, then came Tendulkar and he acquired most of that space in that special kingdom built by Bradman. The latest one to be inducted into that special kingdom is Virat Kohli.
Virat Kohli, the ruthless run machine that churns out tons after tons. Virat has made the world take a back seat and witness the demolition of bowling attacks. Though the bowling attacks in the present day have been questionable when compared to the yesteryear's, there is nothing that can be taken away from this modern day batting genius.
Sir Viv once said " Kohli reminds me of myself", and when the original Master Blaster says such a thing; you surely ought to be special. But, let's be honest, when it comes to having an impact on the game, there is surely no comparison; Sir Vivian Richards stands tall!
From a fan point of view, there is always a thing for numbers no matter what stage of career the player is in, isn't it? So, let us look at some of the statistics between these two giants across two formats.
In 124 innings out of 73 test matches, Virat Kohli has scored 6331 runs at an avg of 54.58, with 19 half centuries, 24 centuries and 6 double centuries in total.
In 182 innings out of 121 test matches, Sir Vivian Richards had scored 8540 runs at an avg of 50.24 with 45 half centuries, 24 centuries and 3 double centuries.
Let's delve deeper into it by analysing their records against their toughest opposition at the time.
Virat Kohli has scored 1570 runs at an avg of 49.06 in 19 matches with 5 centuries and 5 half centuries.
Virat had a disastrous tour of England in 2014, where he scored a mere 134 runs at an avg of 13.4 in 10 innings, but he recovered in the 2016 home series and 2018 tour of England, by scoring 544 runs at an avg of 59.3, but there is still lot of cricket left in Virat, who's going to play at least 2 more tours. Against the likes of Anderson, Broad, Stokes, Woakes and etc.
Sir Vivian Richards has scored 2869 runs at an avg of 62.37 in 36 matches. With 8 centuries and 15 half centuries.
Sir Viv played most of his Test career against 5 nations. England was the place he loved the most. He had one of the greatest debut tours of all time where he scored 135, 235 and 291 being his best scores. He amassed mind-boggling 829 runs despite missing out the 2nd Test at Lord's. Against the likes of Underwood, Willis, Snow and etc.
In 15 matches, Virat Kohli has scored 1332 runs at an avg of 50.85 which includes 3 centuries at Adelaide and one at Sydney and Melbourne, and one at home. 3 half centuries too, against the likes of Starc, Mitch Johnson, and Hazlewood etc. However, Virat only managed to score 46 runs in 5 innings in the 2017 home series against them.
In 34 matches against the Aussies, Sir Vivian Richards could only manage 5 centuries and the last of his double centuries. He scored 2226 at an avg of 44.3 against the likes of Lenny Pascoe, Denis Lillee, and Jeff Thompson.