Home » Cricket Home » News » Stats reveal Sachin is Virat in ODI knockout matches
2-MIN READ

Stats reveal Sachin is Virat in ODI knockout matches

By: Shaghil Bilali

Cricketnext

Last Updated: April 02, 2016, 09:53 IST

Sachin is far ahead of Kohli when we compare their records at ODI knockout matches. But neither do the statistics undermine Virat’s importance nor they overestimate the Master Blaster’s ability to perform in crucial matches.  (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Sachin is far ahead of Kohli when we compare their records at ODI knockout matches. But neither do the statistics undermine Virat’s importance nor they overestimate the Master Blaster’s ability to perform in crucial matches. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Sachin is far ahead of Kohli when we compare their records at ODI knockout matches. But neither do the statistics undermine Virat’s importance nor they overestimate the Master Blaster’s ability to perform in crucial matches.

Statistics speak louder than public-created image and comparison between giants of two eras is a waste of energy. But it’s also irresistible and makes for an engaging debate. So when Virat Kohli hits giant sixes, plays explosive knocks which shows him as the best in current times, comparisons are bound to happen.

For purists of cricket, the parameter may be Australian legend Donald Bradman’s mind-boggling heroics in Tests and first-class cricket, but in modern times, one’s greatness is measured on the scale of Sachin Tendulkar, and Kohli is no exception.

His 47-ball 89 not out in the World T20 semifinal match against the West Indies again sparked interest in cricket enthusiasts to draw comparisons between him and Sachin.

The problem with such a comparison is that Sachin played just one T20I in his long career spanning 25 years. He played most of his cricket before the advent of the shortest slam-bang version of cricket, on tracks which were not as batting-friendly as now, for a team which relied on him to the extent that it got the tag of ‘one-man’ army.

Test cricket doesn’t have knockouts, so we take ODIs as a parameter to decide how Sachin and Kohli performed in knockout matches in the 50-over format. To the pleasure of Sachin fans, it shows that he is far ahead of his junior and to the dismay of Kohli aficionados he has to make considerable progress to scale the heights of Master Blaster.

Sachin played 51 innings in 52 knockout matches, scored 2431 runs at an average of 52.84 with a strike rate of 85.65. He hit seven centuries and 14 half-centuries in those encounters. But hang on, you have to see his record in matches where India won and it reaches a new high. In 27 innings of as many matches, he aggregated 1762 runs, with an exorbitant average of 76.60 and at an eye-popping strike rate of 92.49. What’s interesting, all his seven centuries came in matches where India won, while he also scored 8 of his 14 half-centuries in those matches.

Kohli in his eight-year career played 171 ODIs and his record surpasses many greats by leaps and bounds, but in knockout matches, his record looks a faded version of his overall stats.

Kohli featured in 12 innings of as many knockout ODIs, scored just 244 runs with 58 not out as the highest, at an average of 24.40 and strike rate of 74.39. Moreover, he has just one half-century to his credit. In those 12 matches, India won nine, where Kohli’s record reads – 204 runs with 58 not out as the highest, at an average of 29.14 and strike rate of 81.60, with just a fifty to his credit.

The stats may disturb mental faculties of Kohli fans but numbers don’t undermine his importance at all. It is for the first time after Sachin’s peak that Indian team relies on an individual and that underlines Kohli’s burgeoning importance.

But that’s the crux of the story, statistics may be misleading and sometimes a wrong yardstick to judge one’s significance. It is also an incorrect process to draw comparisons between players of two different eras. So why draw comparisons, enjoy Kohli’s batting and let Sachin enjoy greatness which he truly deserves.

(Note: The knockout matches are quarterfinals, semifinals and finals of ODI tournaments.)

first published:April 01, 2016, 16:01 IST
last updated:April 02, 2016, 09:53 IST
Read More