Virat Kohli does not like being compared to Sachin Tendulkar. However, this has not stopped pundits, former players and fans from talking and debating about these two. The comparisons between the two have been a topic of intense debates and deliberations for last few years as Kohli’s stature and form has grown steadily.
There is no doubt that Kohli is currently the only active cricketer who has a real hope of coming close to (or even overtaking) some of Tendulkar’s records like 100 international centuries, highest runs in Test and ODI cricket etc. The way Kohli has dominated world cricket in last few years has even prompted some to say that Virat Kohli was even ahead of Sachin Tendulkar in some aspects of the game.
So who is the better batsman of the two? The legendary Australian spinner Shane Warne is the latest to weigh in on this ‘best batsman’ debate.
Warne said that any comparisons between Kohli and Tendulkar are difficult to make since both have played in different eras and the conditions have changed drastically. He said that the conditions now are more suitable for batsmen then what they were during Tendulkar’s playing days.
“Very hard to judge when someone is playing and very hard to judge eras. Think about the bowlers in the ‘90s. Different surfaces that seamed. Now they’re a lot flatter. The ball swung more. So many invariables. But to think that someone was better than Brian Lara and Sachin – in those mid-’90s – against Wasim, Waqar, Curtly, Courtney, McGrath, Donald, Saqlain, Mushy, Vettori, Murali, myself. You can go on,” Warne told Times of India.
Warne said that he will rather wait and see Kohli do greater things in his career before he can make a choice. He, however, added that the attitude and the way Kohli goes about playing is game is brilliant.
“Virat is breaking all the records, which is great but I want to wait. See, what people miss is this: You can set benchmarks, score those many centuries, average that high, score a lot many runs. But what people are going to remember you for is the way you played the game. Someone should run down the street and ask fans, how many runs did Mark Waugh make or what his average was? They wouldn’t have a clue but chances are, here’s what they’ll say: I loved watching him play.”
“To my mind, what’s already evident is that Virat is one of the best players of all time. In One-dayers, he probably has to go down with Viv Richards as the greatest ever, not so much for the record but for the way he plays his game. But I’ll judge him at the end of his career,” he added.