Why it is unfair to say that Kohli is better than Tendulkar

Australia v India - ODI: Game 2
Australia v India - ODI: Game 2
Sachin Arora

Virat Kohli has been an amazing player in One Day international's. His consistency is superhuman, to say the least. Almost every player goes through a lean patch at least once or twice in his career, but Kohli never seems to lose his touch, it is difficult to recall a phase where Kohli missed out on two or three consecutive innings.

Another aspect about Kohli which makes him great in ODI's is his capability to handle pressure. The greatest test of any batsman is his ability to bat well during the run chases and Kohli is a master of that. He has scored 21 centuries in successful chases which proves that he relishes playing under pressure.

His record in One Day cricket is phenomenal and he is touted to be one of the greatest of all time. The way Kohli's limited overs career is shaping up there are bound be comparisons with former greats. Being an Indian he is often compared with the former Indian great Sachin Tendulkar. In the past comparisons were limited to Kohli's ability to break Sachin Tendulkar's records in ODI's, but, in the recent past there have been questions - is Kohli a better-limited overs player than the great Sachin Tendulkar?

This comparison brings back the memories of those days when Sachin started to take the cricketing world by storm, he was compared to the great Australian batsman Don Bradman in the quest to decide who was the greatest batsman of all time.

Bradman himself went on to say that whenever he watches Sachin bat, Sachin reminds him of himself. However, most of the times these comparisons were nipped in the bud-due to the difference in time periods when these two cricketers played.

Bradman played in an era when pitches were not covered which certainly made batting difficult while Sachin played in an era when bowling and fielding skills improved a lot in comparison to the era when Bradman played. Since it was not an apple to apple comparison, it was nipped in the bud and rightly so.

Talking about Kohli and Tendulkar, though they strictly do not belong to two different era's (in fact they played together for India for a few years) there is a huge gulf between the class of bowling that these two players faced during there playing tenure.

On one hand, Tendulkar played some of the best bowlers of all time like McGrath, Akram, Waqar, Ambrose, Walsh, Donald, Warne, Saqlain, Vaas and Muralitharan during his playing days, on the other hand, Kohli has faced only one truly great bowler in James Anderson (against whom he has had his struggles) during his tenure so far. Another modern day bowler who can qualify as being great is Dale Steyn, but his powers are on the wane since long.

Though its fair to say that ordinary quality of modern-day bowling is not Kohli's fault, at the same time, one cannot deny that you are as a good as your competition and it is quite evident that in case of comparison between Sachin and Kohli it is not a level playing field. It would be prudent to leave this debate of superiority, as it is not an apple to apple comparison.

Edited by Abhinav Munshi
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