Comparisons are drawn quite often between Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar. Kohli’s never-ending appetite for runs is the biggest reason for that. The mountain of runs that he has already scored in his 15-year-long career has already placed him among the all-time greats of the game and the former India captain is no sign of slowing down. After Kohli smashed his 47th ODI in an Asia Cup Super 4 match against Pakistan, he took another giant step towards breaking Tendulkar’s all-time record of ODI centuries. In fact, it is only a matter of time before Kohli does that. He just needs three more centuries to beat Tendulkar, who has 49, and become the first cricketer to hit 50 ODI centuries.
With 77 centuries across formats, Kohli is second to Tendulkar in the list of batters with the most international centuries. In terms of runs, Kohli is not too far behind. He has already entered the top five with 25711 runs and chances are high he will surpass Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardena (25957 runs) in the upcoming ODI World Cup to grab the fourth spot. But it would still take some doing to beat Tendulkar who finished with 34357 runs.
But if we take runs, centuries, averages and every other batting parameter out of the equation, do Kohli and Tendulkar have anything in common? Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar certainly thinks so. He said Kohli and Tendulkar both enjoy playing cricket like not many do.
“The one similarity between Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar is that both of them enjoy playing cricket. They want to be on the field. He was not part of the team for the game against Bangladesh but was still on the field. I don’t think Virat Kohli wants power or leadership,” he said in an interview with journalist Vimal Kumar.
Manjrekar was referring to Kohli’s involvement in the Asia Cup 2023 Super 4 match against Bangladesh. He was given a rest from that match as India had already qualified but the soon-to-be 35 was seen running onto the field with drinks, and towels, leaving no opportunity to come out as a substitute fielder and whatnot.
“He just wants to play and it looks like he enjoys being a part of the team. He captained the team for a very long time, so there is no scope for an unfulfilled dream. Being with the team, travelling with players, going to the ground, and being part of winning moments are more important to him than having power,” Manjrekar said.
‘Will be very difficult for Kohli to reach 51 Test centuries’
The former India batter, however, said it would be difficult for Kohli to get past Tendulkar in Test cricket. Kohli currently has 29 Test centuries while Tendulkar is at the top of the list with 51.
“Sachin Tendulkar has 51 hundreds, 17 more than what Sunil Gavaskar finished with. For a good player, accumulating runs in ODIs is comparatively easy, as bowlers don’t always try to take a wicket. Tendulkar and Kohli are special because they also have a lot of Test hundreds. However, I believe it will be very difficult for Kohli to reach 51 Test centuries.”