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Chasing glory

Virat Kohli is already third in terms of most centuries when batting second in ODIs, but his rate of scoring them is unmatched in the format's history

S Rajesh

October 18, 2013

Comments: 137 | Text size: A | A

Virat Kohli scored a match-winning 68, Zimbabwe v India, 3rd ODI, Harare, July 28, 2013
Of Kohli's ten hundreds in run-chases, three were made when he came in to bat at 0 for 1, with India chasing more than 250 © AFP
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Series/Tournaments: Australia tour of India
Teams: India

Another big ODI run-chase, and another stunning match-winning innings from Virat Kohli. He has been around for only five years in one-day internationals, but Kohli's has set such an incredible pace with his landmarks that he is already joint third in terms of hundreds when batting second. Only Sachin Tendulkar, with 17, and Chris Gayle, with 11, have more centuries in chases than Kohli's ten.

Traditionally, scoring hundreds in the first innings of ODIs has been easier than making them when there's a target facing the team. There's less pressure when batting first, and the lack of a target to overhaul probably gives them more time to settle in and play freely. In the history of one-day internationals, there've been 810 centuries scored in 31,823 innings by batsmen batting first - an average of 39 innings per hundred - and 455 in 27,738 innings in chases (average 61 innings per hundred).

For Kohli, though, the reverse logic seems to apply: the presence of a target to achieve probably allows him to focus better, and pace his innings according to the target. In 63 innings when batting second, Kohli averages 62.77 at a strike rate of 89.23, with ten centuries, an average of 6.3 innings per hundred; when batting first, he averages 37.72 at a strike rate of 84.26, with six hundreds in 47 innings. So far in his career, Kohli has scored 65% of his ODI runs in chases; the corresponding percentage for Sachin Tendulkar is 47%, for MS Dhoni it's 44%, for Viv Richards 45% and for Brian Lara 52%. Only 17 of Tendulkar's 49 ODI hundreds came when batting second; for Kohli the ratio is ten out of 16.

Kohli's latest astonishing feat in a chase - an unbeaten 100 off 52 balls against Australia in Jaipur - makes him the 42nd batsman to score 3000 or more ODI runs when batting second, but among the other 41, only two have scored more centuries. Those two, plus the two others who've scored ten centuries - Saeed Anwar and Sanath Jayasuriya - are all predominantly openers, while Kohli has opened only twice in run-chases.

Kohli's conversion rate, though, is the best among all batsmen who've scored at least five second-innings hundreds. He is well clear of Marcus Trescothick's average of 9.33 innings per century. Tillakaratne Dilshan has a rate of 9.89, though when he's opened the batting he has scored nine in 55 innings.

Least innings per century in ODI chases (Qual: 5 hundreds in chases)
Batsman Innings Runs Average Strike rate 100s/ 50s Inngs per 100
Virat Kohli 63 3076 62.77 89.23 10/ 17 6.30
Marcus Trescothick 56 2054 41.08 86.26 6/ 10 9.33
Tillakaratne Dilshan 89 3018 45.04 88.92 9/ 10 9.89
Gordon Greenidge 73 2996 49.11 64.83 7/ 16 10.43
Saeed Anwar 105 3849 42.76 81.03 10/ 20 10.50
Shane Watson 53 2332 55.52 89.79 5/ 13 10.60
Chris Gayle 132 4745 39.87 88.04 11/ 28 12.00
Gautam Gambhir 78 3093 45.48 86.15 6/ 21 13.00
Graeme Smith 93 3814 45.40 84.79 7/ 27 13.29
Sachin Tendulkar 232 8720 42.33 88.44 17/ 52 13.65

Kohli's first century in a chase came in Kolkata against Sri Lanka in December 2009. Coming in to bat at 23 for 2, he played a supporting role to Gautam Gambhir, who scored an unbeaten 150 off 137 as India chased down 316 with seven wickets and 11 balls to spare. That was Kohli's first century in ODIs, in his 13th innings. Since then, he's been consistently churning out hundreds when batting second, often in high chases after India have lost an early wicket or two.

The next century came just four innings later, in Mirpur against Bangladesh, and this time he played the lead role - as he would do in several other chases - with no other Indian batsman scoring more than 41 in a chase of 248. By the time he scored his maiden century batting first, he'd already made three in chases.

The table below lists each of his ten second-innings centuries. All of them have resulted in wins, and he has been unbeaten and carried the team through in half those matches. Often, he has come in to bat very early in the innings - three times with an opener being dismissed in the first over without a run on the board - and Kohli has used those situations as opportunities to bat long periods and make the winning contributions. In seven of the ten innings, he finished with a strike rate of more than a run a ball; the lowest scoring rate in any of those innings was 93.85, in his first hundred. Eight of those ten hundreds won him Man-of-the-Match awards.

Virat Kohli's ten ODI centuries in run-chases
Score Strike rate Target Entry total Exit total Match Win margin (wkts, balls)*
107 (114) 93.85 316 23/2 (3.4) 247/3 (39.2) v SL, Kolkata, 2009 7, 11
102* (95) 107.36 248 64/1 (11.5) - v Bangladesh, Mirpur, 2010 6, 42
118 (121) 97.52 290 0/1 (0.2) 256/4 (43.2) v Australia, Visakhapatnam, 2010 5, 7
112* (98) 114.28 238 29/2 (6.5) - v England, Delhi, 2011 8, 80
117 (123) 95.12 270 29/2 (6.4) 247/4 (44.6) v WI, Visakhapatnam, 2011 5, 11
133* (86) 154.65 321 86/2 (9.2) - v Sri Lanka, Hobart, 2012 7, 80
183 (148) 123.64 330 0/1 (0.2) 318/4 (47.1) v Pakistan, Mirpur, 2012 6, 13
128* (119) 107.56 252 0/1 (0.5) - v Sri Lanka, Colombo, 2012 6, 46
115 (108) 106.48 230 26/1 (6.3) 216/3 (41.3) v Zimbabwe, Harare, 2013 6, 31
100* (52) 192.30 360 176/1 (26.1) - v Australia, Jaipur, 2013 9, 39
* By wickets, and balls to spare

All those hundreds and runs make him the highest run-getter, by far, in chases in ODIs since the beginning of 2009. The only batsman with a similar rate of scoring hundreds - in fact, a slightly better rate - is Dilshan, who has nine hundreds in 53 innings.

Most runs in chases in ODIs since the beginning of 2009
Batsman Innings Runs Average Strike rate 100s/ 50s
Virat Kohli 61 3008 64.00 90.22 10/ 17
Tillakaratne Dilshan 53 2232 48.52 93.35 9/ 7
Kumar Sangakkara 51 2112 48.00 83.18 3/ 14
Gautam Gambhir 44 1955 50.12 89.18 4/ 15
Shane Watson 36 1759 56.74 95.39 4/ 10
Tamim Iqbal 42 1579 38.51 86.61 1/ 14
Mahela Jayawardene 48 1547 36.83 83.62 2/ 11
Eoin Morgan 43 1547 55.25 89.88 3/ 9
Suresh Raina 54 1524 41.18 98.13 0/ 10
Upul Tharanga 46 1457 36.42 79.53 3/ 9

Ten of Kohli's 16 centuries have also come at the No. 3 position, a slot at which he has batted 71 times, 43 times in chases (six hundreds), and 28 in the first innings. The rate of 7.1 innings per century is also the best among all No. 3s who've scored at least five hundreds. On average, No. 3s have scored a century every 25 innings in all ODIs, which means Kohli's conversion rate is about three-and-a-half times better than the overall average. Since the beginning of 2010, which is when Kohli played 70 of his 71 innings at No. 3, the overall rate for hundreds by No. 3s has dropped to one every 20 innings, which means Kohli is still about three times better than the average.

The only other player with a rate of less than eight is Pakistan's Zaheer Abbas. He played in the early days of ODI cricket and yet achieved numbers which look impressive even in today's age: an average of 45.65 at No. 3, and a strike rate of 85.74. (Overall in ODIs he averaged 47.62 at a strike rate of 84.80.) He also scored six hundreds from 47 innings at No. 3, an average of 7.83 innings per hundred.

What's also interesting is how high VVS Laxman is on this list: in 59 innings at No. 3, Laxman scored six hundreds, four of them against Australia. His rate of 9.83 innings per hundred is a touch higher than Viv Richards' 10.20.

Kohli also scored 18 fifties apart from his ten hundreds, which means 28 times out of 71 he made at least a 50 from No. 3. Those are outstanding stats by any measure. With Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina and Dhoni to back him up, it's hardly a surprise that India have risen to the top of the ODI rankings, despite a toothless bowling attack.

Least innings per century at No.3 in ODIs (Qual: 5 hundreds)
Batsman Innings Runs Average Strike rate 100s/ 50s Inngs per 100
Virat Kohli 71 3079 50.47 87.44 10/ 18 7.10
Zaheer Abbas 47 2009 45.65 85.74 6/ 9 7.83
Brian Lara 106 4447 45.84 85.98 12/ 26 8.83
Mohammad Yousuf 45 2042 53.73 79.05 5/ 13 9.00
VVS Laxman 59 1966 35.74 74.52 6/ 9 9.83
Viv Richards 51 2418 57.57 86.88 5/ 15 10.20
Ricky Ponting 330 12,662 42.48 80.73 29/ 74 11.38
Graeme Hick 58 2182 44.53 75.26 5/ 16 11.60

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

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Posted by   on (October 24, 2013, 16:14 GMT)

"kholi's avg in aus -53.28, in SA-57.6, in Eng- 46.25" That pretty much says it all. This guy is class

Posted by yasiranwar on (October 24, 2013, 12:27 GMT)

i think kohli is great player because he is fearless player whether he plays in india or abroad

Posted by NareshPodi on (October 23, 2013, 14:38 GMT)

Few fans(Sachin's) are unable to accept the the young kid Kohli's consistent performance. May be the bowlers like Mcgrath, Warne, Wasim, Waqar, Donald, Walsh, Ambrose...... etc are not playing.. (if we think the other way around) but still Sachin has played along with Kohli for few years, but where is the game changing performance.

As per the seniority, these not so great bowlers should have been punished.. just like Kohli did. Now Steyn is one of great bowlers, so look at the averages of Kohli avg in aus -53.28, in SA-57.6, in Eng- 46.25, in Ind- 48.88, in SL-35.56, in WI-34.7, in bangladesh -122.0 & in Zim- 60.83.(Thanks @drpramit).

I am not saying that Sachin is not great.. But I am saying Kohli's performance is not at all lower than Sachin in the absence of great bowlers....

Posted by cherry.chaitanya on (October 23, 2013, 12:34 GMT)

Kohli will crack all records set by Sachin...........

Posted by   on (October 23, 2013, 8:43 GMT)

@Vivekaks: I do agree comparison should only be employed for the players of same era, and comparing over the different eras can only be individual's choice not the ultimate judgement which majority of the people will agree on. Virat Kohli might not have faced the greatest of the bowling attack when you compare it with the greats of old eras but one cannot ignore his run streak and domination from last couple of years. He did dominate bowlers like Ajmal, Malinga etc which others had found difficult to play. The kind of passion and hunger he posses to score runs is unmatched and top-class. I too want to see him facing some top-class bowling line-up overseas. That will surely give him a platform to prove himself. but, one should not forget, in his short test career, he has already shown a glimpse of his class by scoring a ton in Aus in immense pressure and controversies. Let the best cricket to shine and blossom, doesn't matter from which country and from which player it comes from.

Posted by drpramit on (October 22, 2013, 11:17 GMT)

kholi's avg in aus -53.28, in SA-57.6, in Eng- 46.25, in Ind- 48.88, in SL-35.56, in WI-34.7, in bangladesh -122.0 & in Zim- 60.83. Its not that Kohli is better only in subcontinent pitches, he has scored everywhere. Yes its too early to compare him with Tendulkar, Lara or Ponting, but 16 hundreds in 116 ODI with an avg of 51.1 seems to be a sign a consistency & he will definitely get more runs & more hundreds in the next 5-6 years (at least). As far as hundreds in overseas condition are concerned they will come gradually. Give the guy some time, he will definitely break most of the odi records.

Posted by Pathiyal on (October 21, 2013, 9:01 GMT)

Absolutely a wonderful batsman to watch and one of the best for quite sometime now. Hope he will carry on with the focus.....without opening his mouth too often :-)

Posted by DaisonGarvasis on (October 20, 2013, 5:31 GMT)

I still remember calling my brother overseas and telling him about Kohli after watching his first innings for India - it was not a huge score he made but one could already see the "X-factor" the way he played. The two glances to fine leg off the middle of his bat with ease was what stood out - he seemed to have a lot of time to play those glances of the middle of his bat.

Posted by   on (October 19, 2013, 19:51 GMT)

when i say overseas it means out of Asia.

Posted by   on (October 19, 2013, 19:30 GMT)

Good work, this article, Personally I think Kohli will break all ODI records if He happens to plays 10 years more of cricket BUT only in India.His overseas records are gona be average as it already appears. Of ten mentioned Hundreds two came overseas one in Hobart & one in Harare( not significant as it came against zim)He will kill any one in Asia but will be crippled when it starts to seem & swing with pace & bounce.

Posted by RobinSinghi on (October 19, 2013, 19:09 GMT)

i just want to figure out something. yuvraj getting out for a first ball duck on his home ground, mohali, by JOHNSON. go back to the mohali semi final( 2011 world cup) against pak, when yuvraj played his previous home game, and yuvraj again getting out first ball duck by another left arm seamer WAHAB RIAZ. another similarity is that both the diliveries where last ball of their respective overs. yuvi infect averages 3.75 in his last four one-days at mohali, including two ducks.

Posted by bp-s10 on (October 19, 2013, 18:47 GMT)

now a days....cricket has been changed in the abscence of bowling greats like Mcgrath, Warne, Wasim, Waqar, Donald, Walsh, Ambrose...... etc..... kohli's performance doesn't mean a lot for me a lot as now cricket has been turned into only a attacking style..... not no temperament....no skills and class likes of sachin...lara...and ponting

Posted by   on (October 19, 2013, 14:07 GMT)

No doubt he is among the best young (and old) guns at the moment. But he had his lean patches. Learned a lot. of the ten 'chases' just one is in Hobart on a small ground against an SL attack, 5 in India, 2 in Mirpur (BD), one in Colombo and other in Harare, all bating friendly pitches. We have seen How Vivekaks has so nicely summed up bowling strengths. It will be great if he can do it at seaming, turning, bouncing tricky pitches against quality bowling. I have not figures but I think most of the centuries are scored against teams who were ranked BELOW India at the time of that match. Still nothing to take away from a man who has got ICC award.

Posted by jimbond on (October 19, 2013, 12:54 GMT)

Kohli is definitely not the greatest ODI player, in fact not even India's greatest ODI player. India's greatest ODI player is a guy who has maintained a higher average than Kohli over twice the number of matches (nearly 230 ODI matches). I am talking about India's most under-rated ODI batsman- who comes in to bat at No. 7, India's best finisher- MS Dhoni.

Posted by mrgupta on (October 19, 2013, 9:02 GMT)

@xtrafalgarx: Its not your fault these things happen. When Mohsin Khan started his career his Captain hailed him as even Better than Sunil Gavaskar. Now you can ask Mohsin who? Similarly When Vinod Kambli got back to back Double Centuries he was hailed as the next best thing bigger than anyone else at that time. Now you can ask Kambli who? Among more prominent names Mohammad Azharuddin started his career in a dream style with 3 centuries in 3 tests, and ended with 22 100s and avg of 45. Not bad but still way behind among best players from India leave alone world. A certain spinner Hirwani had 36 test wickets after just 4 test matches, have you even heard of him? So, i would like to say as happy and proud as i am for Kohli i would feel he still has a long way to go. If he managed to play for 15+ years and score more than 12000 runs with 40 test centuries you can certainly make such statement. For now its too early.

Posted by Indian_cricket_fan1 on (October 19, 2013, 8:52 GMT)

what is kohli's average in succeesfull runchase???? dhoni has around 100?????

Posted by   on (October 19, 2013, 8:01 GMT)

@ Smash-em-Bang-em/Blade_Runner : Kohli does have tht hobart century to his credit with others on foreign soil. I am sure Kohli has the number of centuries overseas to in proportion to the matches he has played on foreign soil.

Posted by   on (October 19, 2013, 6:30 GMT)

I'm not a big fan of Kohli but still he is an great batsman! He never seen panic of big targets! His chase against Sri Lanka in Australia! Can anyone forget it! If you all think Kohli is scoring only in Indian pitches, then compare his record with all others who played in Indian pitches against worst Indian Bowling attack! I'm sure no one is going to match his records, if he is going to plays in same style in coming years he will surely break all Sachin records! He got all the potential to become the India's All time Greatest Batsman!

By #CSK & MSD Fan

Posted by sweetspot on (October 19, 2013, 6:12 GMT)

There are two reasons I won't compare Kohli with other greats. Kohli has the luxury of batting in the midst of a dense, power packed Indian line up. If he fails, there are always others to take up the onslaught. SRT for example, never had this luxury for the best part of his career and he still danced down to hammer oppositions to submission, no matter chasing or setting totals. The other huge reason is that bowlers in general aren't that great now, and they have been battered with all rules being against them these days. We will see many more Kohlis, from all over the world. This is just the tip of the dreaded batting disease eating up the bowlers. I will give Kohli's talent credit when he stands alone amidst ruins on a tough wicket - even Sehwag has done this, and MSD many times.

Posted by maddy20 on (October 19, 2013, 6:04 GMT)

10 of his 16 hundreds have come in away or neutral venues and averages 52 in compared to his 6 hundreds and an average of 50 at home. In only away games he averages 48 and has 1 hundred. It makes him even more special. If he can calm down a little he has the potential to end up as one of the greatest players ever!

Posted by Siyal on (October 19, 2013, 6:01 GMT)

Kholi is exceptipnal no doubt, but compairing him with Tendulkar, Lara and likes is not right. just think about if Marshal, Ambrose, Donald, Wasim, Waqar are bowling and ask him to score hundereds like he is doing. Fast Bowling from the cricket is almost vanished, and it is not good for the cricket at all.

Posted by   on (October 19, 2013, 5:59 GMT)

@srisri, well said. india played most odi in sub-continent.

Posted by QTS_ on (October 19, 2013, 5:43 GMT)

Even with flat pitches and weaker bowling attacks, Kohli performs far ahead of the rest of the pack, similar to the way Sachin performed ahead of the pack of his time (and Bradman performs way ahead of everyone of all eras). Comparison of Kohli's short career so far with M Hussey's early career (average above 80) is more insightful.

Posted by   on (October 19, 2013, 5:34 GMT)

give flat tracks and even 460 is chaseable.. shame on ICC and BCCI for this bullshit tracks who are making there players feeling great. ODI is certainly on its death bed.... they are facing no bowlers and especially a=on flat tracks..day ago i was reading an article in TOi and ravi shastri was saying he is comparable with sachin and gavaskar.. to hell idiot ravi shastri how dare u compare Sunil gavaskar(only hundreds)and sachin runs with present lifeless pitches

Posted by   on (October 19, 2013, 4:20 GMT)

Good collection of stats!!

Posted by RaviNarla on (October 19, 2013, 4:14 GMT)

First off appreciate the talent. This guy has scored a phenomenal 16 centuries and 10 while chasing. Secondly he scored it against bowlers who did not bowl erratic like us. It was sheer brilliance from the Top 3. They were all bowling more than 140 kph and Mitchell Johnson at times was bowling at 150 kph. At 150kph even if you bowl it wide you should have the skills to time and place it. To play at this level one needs to be exceptional. To talk, all you need to be is pretty ordinary.

Posted by   on (October 19, 2013, 4:02 GMT)

In the least innings per century category Ponting's feats are amazing since he played 330 innings and maintained the rate of 11.60 innings/century. In this rate Kohli is the best equipped to best the feat.

Posted by RaviNarla on (October 19, 2013, 3:39 GMT)

Rajesh, being a Statsguru yourself it would have been great if you had posted the stats of Abbas, Sachin, Richards, Anwar, Lara, Ponting and Laxman against bowlers like . McGrath, Ambrose, Walsh, Hadlee, Warne, Akram, Waqar, Shoaib. That analogy would be nicer.

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (October 19, 2013, 3:21 GMT)

I know this article was about Kohli.....and I admire his skill although his attitude is not worthy of a sporting hero. This article also only looks at numbers and does not take into consideration conditions and oppositions. Kohli was reduced to a sitting duck by Junaid Khan against Pakistan earlier in the year when he scored 13 runs. That was because those wickets had abit of swing in them. It is a shame that India has gone back to usual template Indian wickets. Good bowlers like Bhuvneshwar Kumar are slowling and steadily becoming Ishant Sharma and Ajit Agarkar!....This article also provided two very interesting pieces of Indian 1- How poor Tendulkar has been in chases and it is not only limited to test matches but also ODI's. No wonder, no one will remember the man netx year by this time. 2: How wonderful batsman Zaheer Abbad was....The man scored runs in an era when bowlers dominated. If I recall correctly, he actually scored everywhere he went except New Zealand :)

Posted by   on (October 19, 2013, 2:15 GMT)

Nice article with stats. It is no wonder that such great talent gets executed by Virat Kohli. He is undoubtedly the best batsman we have now in India. It was such a delight to see him bat with Rohit, another great talent. Indian cricket is in good hands with him (if someone thinks it is in danger (with Sachin's retirement). In a way, it will pave way for other youngsters to come in with more talent.

Posted by   on (October 19, 2013, 1:58 GMT)

I agree, Kohli is a fantastic batsman.. The best one can see now.. Statistically he is the best as well.. But one must consider a lot of other factors.. Statistic is to compare numbers.. Cricket is a team game and the aim of the contest is to win the game.. Any contribution to that end is considered good.. So having centuries is not a measure of best batsman of all time.. Consider Viv Richards in a team consisting of a strong batting side , as he was during his playing days, and weak bowling side, which was not the side he played with during his playing days... In this scenario Chasing high totals ( because of poor bowling ) in the company of good batsmen would have given a high century count

Posted by   on (October 19, 2013, 1:50 GMT)

I think no matter he scored flat tracks or fast tracks, his style is glorious. Though Kohli is the 3rd of getting Tons by batting second, most of his centuries should be match winnings. I'm sure most of matches of Sachin;s 17 Tons could make India's defeat. Cos, he always focused his Tons rather than the Team's victory. I'm not gonna compare Kohli with Sachin. It is too early to make such a comparison. But in match winning sense, Kohli is in front of Sachin.

Posted by   on (October 19, 2013, 0:05 GMT)

If Sachin is Don Bradman of modern Era then for sure Kohli is Viv Richards!!!

Posted by silentstand on (October 18, 2013, 23:55 GMT)

He Good no doubt but it's to early to compare to viv sachin Lara etc

Posted by dharsanti on (October 18, 2013, 23:45 GMT)

No doubt he is best batsman on spin or flat tracks. I wish he scores same way in more sporting conditions

Posted by Natx on (October 18, 2013, 23:09 GMT)

@ Smash-em-Bang-em - where were you when kohli scored a Test century in aus and when he scored that blistering ODI century against SL. Agreed it was against SL, but not sure If any of your countrymen scored a century playing against malinga in aus or SA. May be they rather got yorked more! LoL. Don't bring in the stupid T2's in for comparison where even an #10 hits steyns and mcgraths out of the park.

Posted by rogues13 on (October 18, 2013, 22:17 GMT)

When Sachin was at his peak, when he was dismissed, most of the people used to switch off their TV's...i know this because all the kids atleast used to come out and play cricket instead of watch it....since we knew no hope of a win... When Kohli is dismissed, we still have a Yuvi/Raina/Dhoni to follow....there is still hope of a win....i think thats what sets SRT apart from all other players...that he was the only hope of a win....

Posted by rogues13 on (October 18, 2013, 22:13 GMT)

@harishk19812007...wow dude, u know for a FACT the cricket preferences of 1.3 billion Indians!!!!!! Hats off dude...I am sure u know this for a fact and its not ur personal Opinion, since u are clearly telling other posters what u think about their opinion.....LOL

Posted by 2nd_Slip on (October 18, 2013, 21:46 GMT)

Yeah right another one of those flat track bullies. Good bating technique though i must say.As you would expect from another glorified Indian batsmen most of these runs are against weak bowling sides on pitches that favor batsmen. Interesting that there is no century against the best bowling unit in the world, that of Steyn, Morkel and co.

Posted by Smash-em-Bang-em on (October 18, 2013, 20:39 GMT)

LOL ... just look at the the pitches where he has scored his 10 centuries. Most on them on flat-track sub continent pitches. A century on Australian, England or SA pitches against the best teams carry considerably more weight than these for sure. Let him score against the top teams and on seaming pitches, then only he can be compared to Zaheer Abbas Viv Richards or Brian Lara. Till them this is a moot point.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 19:54 GMT)

Kohli is doing exceptionally well by oh my word. WOW, Zaheer Abbas's record is too good for his era when 220 was considered as a good score.

Posted by BillyCC on (October 18, 2013, 19:33 GMT)

@harishk19812007, talk to me when there are bestselling books written titled: "Virat Kohli: Great ODI batsman" or "The 10000 greatest one-dayers". That will be an indication that people actually care about it.

Posted by AdnanAfridi on (October 18, 2013, 19:04 GMT)

Although I like his batting style but I agree on one thing that the quality of bowlers which he is facing is far lesser than what sachin faced during his career...

Posted by akpy on (October 18, 2013, 18:41 GMT)

soon they will be comparing sanju samson with others including VK, if he comes in and starts playing well..and some silly comments will be made by people who have no idea about the game but only follow on the basis of stats...

Posted by arnie66 on (October 18, 2013, 18:41 GMT)

Kohli is a real talent ! If he keeps this pace, he will be one of India's all time greats. In my opinion, he was not a good captain (in the limited opportunities that he got) and hance he should concentrate on his batting. No point losing form with the captaincy headaches. It also helps that there are bowlers like Ishant and Vinay in the side who will consistently leak around 8 runs/over setting challenging totals above 300 to chase (which brings out the best in Virat). I think Virat should thank Ishant after every century for helping the opposition set these totals :-)

Posted by srisri on (October 18, 2013, 18:40 GMT)

I am sick & tired of hearing...."oh yeah.... he played most of his games in subcontinent" about Indian batsmen.... of course, they r born in subcontinent, what do u expect? U want them to move to Australia/South Africa and play there?

Posted by harishk19812007 on (October 18, 2013, 18:27 GMT)

@billyCC don't try to get everyone to your taste...trying to influence what you think is the best.....there are a billion people in India out of 1.3 billion population who are convinced that test cricket is boring and don't give a damn about it....its not only your opinion and those who like test cricket "matters" if you don't agree Kohli is among the best WHO CARES it's like a cow's opinion

Posted by harishk19812007 on (October 18, 2013, 18:21 GMT)

Just because some one like Dravid and Sachin were not aggressive in nature it doesn't mean it will work with everyone.....every person has their own way of bringing their best in them......getting angry (aggression) is the way Kohli brings the best in him..there is nothing wrong in showing anger as long as it does not harm anyone physically!!!

Posted by harishk19812007 on (October 18, 2013, 18:18 GMT)

His aggressive attitude is what brings the best out in him....behind the aggression there is something called motivation which lacks in so many cricketers nowadays!!!...despite some people branding him "arrogant".....people will always look to criticize..... i hope he doesn't loose his attitude or sure shot his performance will decline in no time!!

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 18:16 GMT)

I was a huge fan of SRT, after 1999-2000 I realised that everything that I imagined about SRT was wrong. He was failing in most of the matches that India needed him never dependable, never lead the team, nor his fielding and bowling.

Team used to say just his presence was an inspiration (come on guys inspiration when playing for your country)

Dhoni, Yuvraj, Virat, Raina and others have won the matches for us. I think end of the day a win is what matters not how many centuries you made.

Posted by harishk19812007 on (October 18, 2013, 18:12 GMT)

@BillyCC: its not because Sachin is getting retired from TEST CRICKET.....it is because he is retiring from all cricket.....including T20 cricket (IPL)!!!!!!!!!

Posted by PJheevan on (October 18, 2013, 18:11 GMT)

This is one beauty of an article.. Using stats to the best of purposes.. May be you must be an assistant to the selectors.. Nice one..:):)

Posted by GRVJPR on (October 18, 2013, 18:08 GMT)

And kohli hasn't yet played on flat sharjah tracks. Well done Virat.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 18:06 GMT)

@ Hdave1176 It seems you are a novice follower of this game.. pamper your views but it's not prudent to bulldoze your opinion on Sachin fans. May be you don't give a dam to Sachin's talent, may be you were a toddler when Sachin was taking the bulls by their horns at the age of 16. but who cares in which Lala land you live...

Sachin played most of his career as a sole batter in the team. his dismissal was equivalent to team's demise.. He faced the wrath of the time for quarter of a century. and sustained his form and fitness in a Godly manner...

I admire VK's batting, perhaps it's been helped by advent of T20, which was missing in 90's, plus are you really a rookie fan or what? Just compare the era of bowling in 90's, when Sachin was in 20's to now.. There is no comparison, every team had bowling legends in their teams. And now wickets have got flatter and pace and class bowling in its grave. No McGrath, Donald, Wasim, Waqar, Ambrose, Walsh, Gillipse, Vaas, Shane Bond, and many more

Posted by contrast_swing on (October 18, 2013, 17:57 GMT)

Seems that you have misunderstood me. Even the editor. I only meant to point out the stats of Virat in *away games and batting second* since that was the topic of Number Game in this edition.

Here is the statguru link and you can do the analysis yourself. *Virat Kohli batting second in an away game* http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/253802.html?batting_fielding_first=2;class=2;home_or_away=2;template=results;type=allround;view=innings

His overall stats are on the above link -- average ~55.8333

Excluding Zimbabwe and Bangladesh he has 629 runs in 18 innings, 2 Not Outs. Batting Avg. 39.3125

Again only away ODIs in which Virat *batted in the second innings*.

I hope it clarifies. Again the main point here is that you can paint whatever picture you want to if you have enough numbers. There is no point comparing players across generations. If somebody wants then they can compare when Sachin and Virat played together for example, perhaps that will be more revealing.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 17:52 GMT)

12 of his 16 ODI hundreds have come on the subcontinent pitches. I really want him to play more games in SA, AUS and ENG and by scoring runs there he will definitely come close to being called 'The next big thing'. He has a very sound technique by which he can score many test tons as well.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 17:46 GMT)

Look at the huge gap between Kohli and Dilshan & others! serious stuff.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 17:44 GMT)

@hdave1176 I agree with @DangerousDevil and @Vivekaks .. Taking nothing away from kohli, you simply cannot compare kohli to our GOD(yes, I said our GOD).. Wen Sachin was playing, he took on the best of bowlers(warne, murali, waqar, wasim, mcgrath, steyn to name some.). Also he never got the kind of support Kohli enjoys from his teammates. In a big majority of Sachin's centuries, the second best score wud be below even a 50 or a 30. Just check the team score card in both cases(kohli's n Sachin's). You'l see the difference. Also, 9 of Kohli's 10 centuries in chases came in subcontinental pitches. Let him prove himself in away conditions. Dont count the chickens before they hatch. Also SACHIN IS THE GOD OF CRICKET. He's a legend and the best by a very very big margin. He's a legend not only coz of his cricketing feats, its also bcoz of his humility. So stop all these nonsense comparisons.

Posted by rohan8579 on (October 18, 2013, 17:36 GMT)

Great going VK...but common when you compare VK with SRT, you are fooling yourself or what? SRT has played more than 430 ODI innings...and he was as consistent as ever...this lad / talented lad just started his career if you compare with SRT...being consistent and making runs for team ALWAYS and carry the ENTIRE team alone to the finishing line is what for SRT is known all these years...you dont make 18,000 odd runs for nothing...the next highest score is what? 13,000 runs? 5,000 runs lesser? if you want to compare VK, pls compare with current era ...and if you want to compare with different ERA, keep SRT away at least for another 150 matches...

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 17:24 GMT)

gosh!! zaheer abbas is next to him even though he played in the era where ODI was not so fast. that speaks of h

Posted by Karthickk on (October 18, 2013, 17:07 GMT)

@Vivekaks, agree on couple of points,a well thought out article & never compare players of two era.What I would like to dispute with you is,it is harsh to say that he has not faced quality bowlers like other stalwarts.It is not his fault,he can only bat against what is given to him.You cannot bring in a hypothetical scenario into discussion and hold him responsible for not having faced it,not fair.All are possible when faced,he could fail miserably or do exceedingly well or even be avg.Similar to comparing players of two eras. Secondly,your argument about his avg being bloated due to too many matches vs SL is clearly based on beliefs(illusion),homework needs to be done. Checking the stats,his avg is 70.69 against SL in chases.Removing SL matches,he averages 59.92 against the rest,a tad less than his avg of 62.77(a diff of 4.54%).Which cannot be considered 'bloated'. Time alone will answer how Kohli matures as a batsman in future,in the meanwhile let us enjoy the present for what it is.

Posted by BillyCC on (October 18, 2013, 17:07 GMT)

@CPT meanster, if no one cares about Test cricket in India, then why was there outpouring of tributes at Tendulkar retiring from Test cricket and a drop in the ocean by comparison when he retired from ODIs. @Sayeeshwar Sathyanarayanan, I care when some people who know nothing about true cricket suddenly start making statements that Kohli is better than Tendulkar or Richards etc. He's nowhere close and in terms of potential, he needs to show it in the Test arena. Let's see how he does if there is a South African test series.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 16:23 GMT)

His confidence iz EXCEPTIONAL

Posted by sportofpain on (October 18, 2013, 16:17 GMT)

Congrats to Kohli - he is superb! Just a wonderful, wonderful talent. Long may he grace this beautiful game. The point about VVS is a poignant one - I always thought he should have played more ODI cricket - he has tremendous big match and tough situation temperament and should have been an automatic choice in the side as an opener - with his wrists, timing and placement he would have been hugely successful. The WC final in 2003 would have been ours if he had played - instead we had Dinesh Mongia and Md Kaif in our line up (no disrespect but VVS was a class apart, actually 5 classes apart)

Posted by JK_1982 on (October 18, 2013, 15:57 GMT)

He has scored only 2/10 on foreign pitches. I don't think kohli's betting techniq is as good as amla, sachin, lara or sanga. It's too early to compare Kohli with all these legendary players. He is very aggressive and aggression is not good for game of cricket. He needs to play as per sitution. He becomes very aggressive and try to finish game early. This strategy is not going to work if you play against ajmal, styen, narine, anderson or afridi.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 15:35 GMT)

Now this is some serious stats.....The next big thing has already became big...

Posted by hdave1176 on (October 18, 2013, 15:29 GMT)

Completely agreed! with Kohli-SRT comparision posted by the facebook user on (October 18, 2013, 12:55 GMT). Not to take anything from SRT but at the end of day what counts is contributions to the Team wins. The truth is that SRT was not able to become a team leader (captaincy) and a reliable match winner. Have been following cricket for several years now but the days that Dhoni and team has presented to indian cricket fans are uncomparable. I never imagined that I would be able to see and believe in such strong team that got us all the desired championships (you name it). Current Indian team had made all cricketing dreams come true! So with SRT retirement, I would like to say to all of SRT fans.... move on and look forward and there is no such thing as God in any sport.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 15:20 GMT)

BillyCC, and yet you care enough to login and comment. This article is clearly about ODI cricket, not his test record. Its funny how a complimentary article on Indian players brings the worst out of so many people. Look at contrast_swing showing incorrect stats.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (October 18, 2013, 15:16 GMT)

@BillyCC: NOBODY cares about test cricket in India dude ! Your point would have carried weight if Kohli was English or Aussie.

Posted by DangerousDevils on (October 18, 2013, 15:13 GMT)

Well written article. Shows us the class Virat Kohli is in compared to others... Really feel that he is the best batsman right now along with Amla.

@ Clint Nelson:- Don't start comparing SRT with Kohli. They both are very different coming from different generations.... Kohli is part of a new generation in which Indian team was doing well reasonably.... But it's not the case with SRT. People sya SRT is great for a reason. He is the only person on whom india can pin their hopes on. See the calibre of bowlers he has taken on and destroyed. Whole team was dependent only on SRT. Agree Kohli is doing wonderfully well, but he knows that there are others after him to continue even if he fails which gives you confidence. Stop comparing. Just enjoy as they come. We had SRT to carry our hopes back then. Now we have Kohli & co... so just enjoy.....

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 15:11 GMT)

Yes, Kohli has done wonders recently in terms of ODI chases however its futile effort to compare the performance of the current breed of batsmen with the earlier one.

The ODIs during 80s and 90s were legitimate child of test cricket and it was played in a way in which even a boundary every 2nd over and a strike rate of 70 was considered imposing. We can still remember the opening partnerships of Jaysurya and Kaluwithrana during the 96 world cup, that was the real game changer for ODI even though they used to play with an average of 6-7.

Today the cricket has changed and so have batsmen, now even test matches are played with intensity. Kohli, Raina, Sharma, Watson, Gayle, Finch, KP and all such batsmen are just extending the magic of t20 in ODIs. Its the attitude that has done wonders to this wonderful game and it would be futile on our behalf to compare players who played this game from different generations and with different attitude.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 15:08 GMT)

For me Kohli is the most talented batsman of this new era, he plays all shots and handles tough situations well. He is doing what Umar akmal was earmarked to do. However, ask yourself this question, how many genuine world class bowlers who you would consider great are there? For more there are only two, Steyn has pace, accuracy and sheet talent and then there is Ajmal who has been brilliant! Therefore, it is unwise and pointless comparing Kohli against players like Lara, Sachin, Anwar, Ponting etc who all played some of the games greatest bowlers ever! Wasim/Waqar, Shoiab/salain Walsh/Ambrose/Bishop, Pollock/Donald, Mcgrth/Warne, Murali/Kumble these were greats in one decade! Any batsmen who scored centuries against this lot were in my mind greats!

Posted by AsherCA on (October 18, 2013, 15:08 GMT)

I see some comments along the lines of Kohli's performance should not be rated very highly because it came on a belter - The Australians all batted on the same belter, how come none of them got what Kohli / Dhawan / Sharma got ?

Posted by Big_Chikka on (October 18, 2013, 14:57 GMT)

no doubt he likes scoring runs, but please lets not get carried away just yet. let him do things over the duration of people like richards and so on, batting second stats seem to demean his talent.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 14:35 GMT)

Kholi is best of the current lot. You have to compare the players started with in one or two years from kholi's debut and also played similar no of innings. You can not compare different era. The ODI rule is nowadays more towards batsman oriented. You can not certainly compare SRT, VVR,zaheer abbas etc

Posted by praneeth5 on (October 18, 2013, 14:28 GMT)

@Haleos - Can you care to explain about Not very special part. I agree that he is not the best player in the world, but for sure he is one of the great players for Indian cricket.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 14:22 GMT)

he is a great talent and have done well till now. no questions about that. But certainly bowling quality has reduced and everything is in favor of batsmen these days. so can't compare eras.

Posted by swamistyle on (October 18, 2013, 14:14 GMT)

Nice tables & good research done but at the end of the day it's all completely meaningless. ODI batting records of the last 10 years (especially in India) should be completely disregarded. The grounds in India are tiny, the pitches are dustbowls that don't bounce, modern bats are as thick as tree-stumps & fielding restrictions have all contributed to turn ODIs into boring bat-athons where records are broken every series & matches are instantly forgotten the next day. Let's see how well Kohli (and for that matter India) go in less favourable batting conditions in the next world cup.

Posted by Haleos on (October 18, 2013, 13:21 GMT)

@anupriya91 - A ton is a ton. The pitch being flat does not mean you get 100 as soon as you walk out. You still need to score. Kohli is once in a decade kind of player. Batting wise India does not lack any talent. Pujara, Rahane et all are waiting in the wings. Look at australia. Someone like Khwaja is the one to replace a great like ponting. Tells you the story. In fact we could have replace the 3(Wall, Not very Special and Dada) long time back but for our craze of stardom.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 13:02 GMT)

As much as I hate the guy for his arrogance and temperament, I have to admit he's an incredible batsman. I get the feeling that he struggles on foreign pitches, though, and the aforementioned temperament problem really needs to be addressed if he is to live up to his considerable potential.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 12:55 GMT)

Mr Rajesh, excellent article! It's good that you've brought these mind boggling facts of Virat "The Firebrand" Kholi to the fore, to show who he really is. You should also note that in Tendulkar's long 24 yrs career, he made a whopping 14 of his seventeen 2nd inngs 100s, right there in India; only 3 were made away; while Kholi who is playing for only 5 years, has only made 5 of his 10 there in India - the other 5 made away! In fact, SRT didn't make a single 100 in his first five years; while Kholi has already made 16! Yet, people are writing all sorts of nonsense about SRT's replacement! Note that Virat has also done much better than him at this stage in test cricket too! I don't know why people are making mountains out of a mole hill regarding a 'Tendulkar-less India" team. The stats show that he was more or less a passenger for years, as they wrapped up wins all over the globe. In fact, would Dhoni want another Tendulka-like player in his team, looking back at the last Asia Cup?

Posted by bigdhonifan on (October 18, 2013, 12:52 GMT)

@Mohammad Islaam Buddy Virat is 24 years old and matured much enough than other country player.. Didnt you notiuced the sleging and kissing by Pakistani batsman and Steyn last day..,. Kohli is the best young talent right now in the world and he will end in the ranks of Sachin and Bradman once he finishes his career in this rate.. He is a better than Dravid, Laxman, Ponting, and Lara in terms of Technique and Temperament at this young age.. I am fan who following world cricket for last 30 years.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 12:51 GMT)

i am the biggest fan of kohli and rate him the best ever produced by indian soil and always feel jealous when he scores but praise him. He has a great confident technique which we also use in taped ball cricket here in pakistan. In such technique bowlers most of the time feel helpless to think how to bowl out a batsmen because he is all over you. you can only bowl VK out when you frustrate him and by time time he is covering this technique also. Any record of batting if broken now . It will VK nobody else. VK The best from india till date. I love to see him play long inings but not against Pakistan :D

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 12:32 GMT)

This is great batting. Without comparing eras, we have to admit that Virat is one of the greatest while chasing. Add to Virat, the finishers in the Indian tem, Yuvraj, Raina and Dhoni. This makes the opponents shudder. With Shikar Dhawan and Rohit, we probably have a dependable pair after Sachin/Souvrav and Sachin/Sehwag. If only we can get a bowler like Zaheer/Javgal, we can straightaway say that the 2015 world cup is in our pocket

Posted by kempsted on (October 18, 2013, 12:19 GMT)

To clarify - because it seems in the comments some did not understand this - batting first means the team batted first and chasing is the team batted second. This is not about where Kohli batted in the batting order. Vivekaks post raises an intersting point but it cuts both ways. You are not wanting to compare batsman because they didn't face the great wicket taking bowlers of the past. But then you really can't compare the bowlers either because the bowlers of today face more agressive batsman that have a game taylored to them. The great bowlers of the past may not look nearly as great if you had them play the game today.

Posted by anupriya91 on (October 18, 2013, 12:11 GMT)

i think among all the indian batsman, kohli is probably india's best bet. but stats never really tell the true story. forget comparison among different eras and quality of opposition. objectively, cricket today is a lot more bent in favour of batsmen than it was even 6-7 years ago. and if you take a look at india's scheduling, the pitches or the grounds it is quite evident that india is one of the countries where batsmen are likely to score the most. this is also why i've lost all faith in statistics and hardly consider a ton in india any good.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 12:07 GMT)

Virat has to learn to act mature and control his emotions, like those of a child. Elation on achievement and desperation on failure. He has to show to look like a captain or leader material...............

Posted by CriciSach on (October 18, 2013, 11:45 GMT)

Don't think these numbers tell the whole story.1)it isn't fair to compare a 23 yr career & a 4 yr one.2)Sachin started opening only after his Auckland innings. Till then he often batted at No.5.It is not fair to compare a no 5 with a no.3.So let's take a 5 yrs from his Aklnd innings.From Mar 94 till Mar 99 Sach has scored 12 100s in 90 inngs batting 2nd.India won all of them except the desert storm.This gives a scoring rate of 7.5.Not as good as Kohli,but the time period(5 yrs) is longer.Thruout his career whenever,Sachin scored a ton chasing,no other player in the team scored a ton!!In fact,in all of his 17 tons chasing he had only 1 player even crossing 50(sometimes barely and at times none)2/10 times Kohli had a player scoring a ton& 2/10 times,he had 2 players scoring 50s.This shows the support they got from teammates.Without accounting for support,flding restrctions,bowling quality & time spansuch comparisons mean little other than showing that Kohli is a v.v exciting new talent

Posted by tcherian on (October 18, 2013, 11:41 GMT)

The most important line for me in the above article is inspite of a toothless attack. Virat is one of the bright talents to emerge in a nation looking for next sachin or dravid. Virat is none of these great guys but a great talent with a story of his own

Posted by Fan1969 on (October 18, 2013, 11:13 GMT)

@Vivekaks - featured comment. BTW in past few years Sri Lanka has been a good ODI team (Finalists in both 2007, 2011 WC). Just because India played well against SL in past 5 years does not mean you can belittle VKs achievement against SL. He is one of the few to have taken apart Malinga, not just Hobart but a few times.

I have a recording of VK hitting a six against Ajmal - a beautiful shot.

VK is a phenomenon and hope he continues for another 10-15 years in the same form. No comparisons please.

Posted by anshumans1 on (October 18, 2013, 10:41 GMT)

Another thing to consider might be - how many times has India chased in the games Kohli has played in? There seem to be a lot more these days. Also to consider is the fact that most of these hundreds have come on the flat, bowler friendly subcontinent pitches. A combination of these factors in addition to the lack of quality bowlers and a very strong batting line up means that the figures only show a bloated estimate of his abilities. I am a Kohli fan myself, but sterner tests await.

Posted by ABRAR-JANJUA on (October 18, 2013, 10:35 GMT)

9 out of 10 Centuries scored in Asia and 5 out of nine in India ''Incredible''. The Only Century out of Asia was Scored on G.T Road of Hobart...

Posted by Darkmanx12155 on (October 18, 2013, 10:28 GMT)

Whatever guys... the bottomline is that VK is far better than Sachin/Dravid + other so called batsmen...

Posted by Fan1969 on (October 18, 2013, 10:17 GMT)

More than 100s and VKs strike rate, the fact that he actually takes India to victory is important. Out of 9 occasions, he has been NOT OUT 5 times and another 4 times, victory was quite easy (except his first match when India needed 70 still).

Mentally strong, aggressive and ending with victory are huge attributes.

However, SRT batted in an era when mishits rarely went for a 6. Thus the strike rate of SRT is commendable. Similarly Viv Richards and Zaheer Abbas who got runs in a era when 180-250 in an ODI was the norm, not 270 plus going to 375.

The modern bats, coupled with shorter boundaries, defensive bowlers, prepared pitches and T20 culture make strike rate comparisons unfair.

Kudos to VK for what he has done and wish him many more 100s. I request authors to avoid comparisons across eras.

Batting performance also depends upon overall team strength. Viv Richards could afford to be disdainful as he knew others would be enough to win matches and he can pulverise opponents.

Posted by Craggydev on (October 18, 2013, 10:13 GMT)

We have lots of batsmen to win us ODIs... We need test superstars... and especially bowlers!!!

Posted by vxttemp on (October 18, 2013, 10:13 GMT)

People take different stats or basics to judge a player and that is how they start liking that player. IMO, Virat is good in few ways, excellent when it comes to mentally. Has he ever played on a track where a team scores 123 and restricts opposition to 123(in a 50 over match). I don't think so, but that is not his fault. I some how feel Rohit is more compact than Virat. Of course u pick any stat it will be in favor of Virat. But like I said it all depends on what you like. I enjoy Mark Waugh's batting than anyone I've seen but Steve Waugh's record will be superior and in my book Steve Waugh batting skills are less impressive(I'm not talking about Steve's intelligence, gritt, will power, self belief, mentally strong, sledging skills/mental disintegration skills :-)). Mentally Virat is in Sampras, Steve, Imran's zone but skill wise there are players better than him in India itself. By the way, Sampras and Imran are skilled too. Virat has proved certain things but there are few unticked.

Posted by Darkmanx12155 on (October 18, 2013, 10:09 GMT)

@ Ali_Chaudhary : well said mate. you got it right. VK's the best... ahead of Viv Richards/Sachin/Dravid etc...

Posted by Ali_Chaudhary on (October 18, 2013, 9:56 GMT)

Kohli is one of the greatest batsman. Far ahead of so called great Viv Richards. I have seen both Kohli n Richards. But I must say Kohli is 100 time betre than Richards. Richards only slaughtered garbage bowlers wheras Kohli is destroying the speedsters. Viv was very overrated by ppl like Rajesh etc.

Posted by Darkmanx12155 on (October 18, 2013, 9:53 GMT)

this explains why Kohli is the best. (better than sachin & Dravid)

"Traditionally, scoring hundreds in the first innings of ODIs has been easier than making them when there's a target facing the team. There's less pressure when batting first, and the lack of a target to overhaul probably gives them more time to settle in and play freely. In the history of one-day internationals, there've been 810 centuries scored in 31,823 innings by batsmen batting first - an average of 39 innings per hundred - and 455 in 27,738 innings in chases (average 61 innings per hundred)."

If the target is 300 + Kohli is sure to hit a ton.. That's a class apart... hats off to the next indian captain who will break sachin's record of 100 tons! He is just 81 centuries behind. At this rate he will score that in no time!

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 9:43 GMT)

@MaruthuDelft - Your assessment is incredibly ill informed. He averages approx. 53 in Australia, 46 in England and 57 in South Africa. His figures are dragged down by his results in Sri Lanka and West Indies, where he averages around 35.

Posted by Darkmanx12155 on (October 18, 2013, 9:39 GMT)

Like I have said million times earlier, Kohli is the next Sachi, only Kohli is better than Sachin. VK is the next Dhoni, who would lead india to another world cup glory! Kohli is the best... haters can agree to disagree.... After Dhoni, Kohli is the only guy who has won matches single handedly.. Look at his 100's... If he scores a 100 for india, they NEVER lose... That makes VK better than Sachin and Dravid...

Posted by BoonBoom on (October 18, 2013, 9:31 GMT)

The way Kohli is playing he will soon be the Gods of Indians fans. Tendulkar will be forgotten once he retires as Kohli appears to be better in record making than SRT. However, this must be kept in mind these days it's very hard to find class bowlers compared to 80s and 90s. I still believe Richards, Lara, Zaheer, Gavasker etc were better batsmen because they used to face more hostile bowlers than what is being faced by Kohli under batting friendly conditions these days.

Posted by BillyCC on (October 18, 2013, 8:52 GMT)

Care factor: zero! Let's talk about Kohli's Test cricket stats which is all that matters. Let's see that go from 42 to 50 before we start lauding his achievements.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 8:41 GMT)

@romantics stud - that average of 34 away what are u measuring against: are these his stats against the home team i.e. Australia in Australia, England in England. To be fair as greg chappel said about modern ODI cricket: a pitch in mumai is similar to a pitch in durban i.e. they are all flat generally. So no real point using away averages to evaluate ODI skill in players. Plus there is a reason why a player who does well in ODI, but not in tests is called a flat track bully. U want to evaluate kholi, judge him based on how he does in tests, a format where he has a long way to go. Remember out of his 3-4 centuries 2 of them were scored when India had no chance to win the series (so basically a dead rubber). 3 of his 50's were also scored in a similar situation: although one of them was a very good one in Perth.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (October 18, 2013, 8:35 GMT)

This article is clearly for those who love their numbers. But as a player, Kohli can be summed up by saying he is a good player now and an even better prospect if he stays fit. Just has to work on his temper.

Posted by voiceguru on (October 18, 2013, 8:34 GMT)

Everytime india win in india like this. whole world says its flat wicket and every player is bully of flat wicket. One things i dont get why other cant make the scores and provide same consistency in indian flat wicket or they dont know how to play on flat wicket. wierd .. its always advantageous to play home ground. if anyone beat people in their own backyard thats where the real game come. England beat india in india its remarkable. But at the same time if india beat england in england its not. same applies for australia. If the pitch defines the player is good or not , then every player would have been great isnt it just know the pitch and play. Virat is amazing player and the rate he is going he will make more good... its india's luck that they have replacement of sachin for winning game.

Posted by Romanticstud on (October 18, 2013, 8:33 GMT)

@contrast_swing ... The fact is he has scored 16 hundreds in the period ... 10 have been away from home ... or at a neutral venue ... so he has made 6 hundreds at home ... so why do you mention that he has a poor record chasing away from home ... when his overall record away from home is brilliant ... he has only 6 hundreds at home ... 5 have been chasing ... He has 5 away from home chasing not 3 ... there were innings against Pakistan and Sri Lanka that were missing from your stats ... One in Hobart, Australia ... and One in Dhaka, UAE ...

Posted by KingAjmal on (October 18, 2013, 8:14 GMT)

Yes scoring on flat tracks especially against bowling attacks of Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh etc. Umar Akmal is better who plays and scores all in away.

Posted by Romanticstud on (October 18, 2013, 8:10 GMT)

There are 3 batsmen in the world today you can depend on to get runs for you ... Amla, De Villiers and Kohli ... but only Kohli can get them when the chips are down ... when there is a target on the board and when you need some one to go out there and do it ... That is why if you look at the stats of chases especially in big tournaments lately India have done so well ... And South Africa, although, on paper have the best line-up in the world, have not made their stats work for them ...

Posted by zavahir on (October 18, 2013, 7:58 GMT)

ODI rules have changed which allows only 4 fielders in the boundary, Quality of bowling these days compared to what Tendulkar and others faced some years ago?, Improvement in Bat technology, flat wickets and smaller boundaries in India. Factor all these in before comparing Kholi to Tendulkar or Lara. Then you will find your answer.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 7:56 GMT)

I would like to know where Dravid, the "Legend" ranks in the #3 list. It is no co-incidence that dravid being dropped from ODIs led to india's rise in one days. In his whole career dravid has scored less centuries than what Kohli has already scored. He is the most overrated batsman in India who never won games for india in ODIs. This is proved if you compare the Man of the Matchs that Dravid won in his career with Kohli, batting at the same position with remaining players staying relatively same.

Posted by contrast_swing on (October 18, 2013, 7:18 GMT)

If you have lot of numbers you can show whatever you want. Usually Rajesh is very good when analysing player but this time around he did not correct his numbers by excluding runs scored against Bangladesh/Zimbabwe?? Neither he tried to evaluate Kohli based on his performance away from home.

Here is the situation -- He played 24 away games batting second. He has three 100s (against Zim, B'desh, Srilanka). He has 629 runs at an average of 34.94... (three 50+ and one 100+). Hardly anything special. I hope Rajesh will correct his analysis and put it in a better perspective.

He is remarkably good on flat tracks, as most have pointed...And unfortunately that how Cricket has become under the hidden commands of the powerful BCCI

Editor's response: In 33 ODI innings in away or neutral territory, in matches against the other top seven sides, Kohli averages 56.72 at a strike rate of 87.02; he averages 53.28 in Australia (8 innings), 102 in England (3 innings), and 66.50 in South Africa (6 innings).

Posted by shahbazhussain on (October 18, 2013, 7:12 GMT)

I really dont understand why everybody is comparing Kohli with the greats in the past? Well he is the breed of modern cricket and he plays according to the game's situation. I dont think if he is bully of any kind of track but a fine cricketer with a clear skillset that helps him play against every nation. He scored only one hundred against zim and bdesh when chasing but rest of them coming against top 5 nations. twice aussies and thrice Lankans. Kohli is the best cricketer and he plays all cricket the same way.... see how aggressive was he when he was hitting sixes to Aussies in his most aggressive innings? omg, cant belive if the pitch was even helping him.. it was him who was banging them harder and harder and further... see how he moved his bat and his wrist. He is getting better every day. I love his style, his aggression, his temper and his stats. No other cricketer is near his class... Kohli is the #1... no sachin, no lara, no viv, no bradman.... Only KOHLI... love from pakistan

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 6:56 GMT)

High scoring games are more frequent these days, mostly due to this field restriction and flat tracks..

Posted by CherryWood_Champion on (October 18, 2013, 6:47 GMT)

@Ahmed Hassan ... may be you have a point ... but how come none of the so called green top batters have such a record on these batting paradises ... oh wait because they cannot bat on flat tracks .. such a shame.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (October 18, 2013, 6:44 GMT)

Tendulkar who? This guy is unbelievable, India have found an absolute gun in Virat Kohli. If he plays for at least ten more years he will easily be a great of the game. He is a bit of a nasty character but a good competitor, he is hard to like unless you support his team, but even as aussie supporter, this guy is something else.

Posted by sarath141 on (October 18, 2013, 6:42 GMT)

"17 of Tendulkar's 49 ODI hundreds came when batting second; for Kohli the ratio is ten out of 16."

This particular statistic make me think what if we had Kohli along with Sachin all those years. We would have been successful in both setting a target and chases :)

Posted by austentayshus on (October 18, 2013, 6:31 GMT)

He will fade away in a year or two .. time to burst this buble and his over the top attitude .....

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (October 18, 2013, 6:28 GMT)

But he didn't score a century against Aussies down under last time while he did well against SL in Hobart. In England he scored one but his overall performance in the tour was not good. In South Africa he scored a brilliant 80 odd. And he never won a match for India against those teams in their own backyard. Yet Kohli is a good ODI batsman but he has to do more in England, SA and Down Under. Also as a batsman he doesn't look convincing like Lara and Tendulkar but Tendulkar was not really a good ODI player.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 6:15 GMT)

Thought this guy was another Indian batsmen with an average artificially inflated because of the flat tracks and smaller grounds in India but he has actually performed consistently everywhere. Hats off!

Posted by makingsillypoints on (October 18, 2013, 6:01 GMT)

Lovely article, although it did start straining my concentration a little bit towards the end. Fantastic insights!

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 5:41 GMT)

Pls correct the statistic about ricky, He is a first innings man. He has 8 hundreds ans 32 fifties in 160 innings. He should not be on he list.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 5:29 GMT)

How time flies and how the game evolves! It seemed like yesterday when Sachin had scored those two 'Desert Storm' centuries and we went ga ga over them. About a decade and a few more years down the lines, it looks like batting practice. The likes of Virat Kohli and MSD have made a mockery of strike rates. Bodes well for Indian cricket that it is able to produce such talent. Go Virat Go!

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 5:24 GMT)

For all those big 100s he scored, I believe the most significant innings he has played while chasing was the 35 he made of 48 balls in the World Cup final in 2011. He came in when India lost Sehwag and Tendulkar for not so much and it was his (and Gambhir's) stabilizing act which allowed Dhoni to play the way he did and clinch the title.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 5:19 GMT)

No offense to any one especially Kohli. He does them mostly in high chases, Why? because the pitches are batting paradises. But still have to admire his skill.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 5:13 GMT)

SACHIN HAS 52 50s in chasing.... unreal !!

Posted by Vivekaks on (October 18, 2013, 5:04 GMT)

So Kohli can be compared, only statistically and not ability wise to these stalwarts. Also a fair comparison, however inaccurate, should be how have other indian batsman performed around the same time as Kohli.

The quality of bowlers defines the ability of the batsman, just as playing the minnows is hardly ever counted in statistics. purely because their bowlers lack the ability to take wickets. Hence I'd still probably rate Gavaskar way higher than Sachin, for he probably the best quatret of pace bowlers EVER.....

So lets give this boy sometime...and see how he performs, when we have more bowlers like Steyn and Ajmal. and of course on away pitches.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 5:02 GMT)

Awesome stat, brilliant perception. Kohli has is skilled and has grown lot of maturity over time. Hope he comes good. We surely need a cool head while facing a stiff target.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 4:51 GMT)

And all but 2 of the centuries were in the subcontinent. 1 was against Zimbabwe and 1 against SL in Hobart.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (October 18, 2013, 4:24 GMT)

SERIOUS player this man !!! WOW and he's what ? 24 yrs old ? Another great in the making. Well done and keep working hard Virat.

Posted by sams235 on (October 18, 2013, 3:54 GMT)

A very nice article. He will definitely take over many records from Tendulkar.

Kohli, Raina, Yuvraj, and Dhoni have won India so many matches. These guys should be hailed as great Indian players of all time.

Posted by Joe-car on (October 18, 2013, 3:50 GMT)

I haven't followed his career and, frankly, I've never been all that interested. But to say his was a match-winning century is laughable at best. Yes, it was score in a winning cause, but he got in with the score at 178/1, and let's not forget he edged one on 23 and stood there. I'd be interested to know the context in which he has scored the majority of hid runs.

Posted by chapathishot on (October 18, 2013, 3:49 GMT)

The funny thing to notice is that laxman also features in the top ten but never played much one day cricket,Yes his feilding was not upto standard but considering some of the selections at that time they should have presisted with Laxman .

Posted by Gerry_the_Merry on (October 18, 2013, 3:46 GMT)

Nice analysis. What the author can do additionally is to compare the strike rate differential in the first 50 runs and the rest of the innings for all batsmen. You will find that Kohli has the lowest strike rate in the first 50 runs and the highest acceleration after he reaches 50.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 3:22 GMT)

You can crib about his 'attitude', but beneath the surface lies a young man who lost his father early in his life, has had the courage to publicly acknowledge his problems which made a young Ponting such an irresistible viewing. When he started, neither was he touted as a 'special' player like Raina, nor was he bestowed the title of 'talented' like Rohit. But through a mix of skill and rigour, he has sharpened his focus to race ahead of those two. If he does half as well as Ponting did over his illustrious career, India will be well served.

Posted by ODI_BestFormOfCricket on (October 18, 2013, 3:19 GMT)

kohli is better batsman than cook, amla, ganguly. He will broke all records.

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.

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