Virat Kohli is batting like how Sachin had used to do in the past. When Sachin bid goodbye, fans and media engaged in long discussions to find the ‘next big thing’ in Indian cricket. In fact, Kohli had by then established himself with some masterly crafted knocks. But when it comes to batting, do they follow a similar approach? Let us decode.
Adapting to tough conditions
Sachin is a technically correct and compact cricketer. Cricket coaches often portray him as the role model when it comes to batting. In the 2003/4 Border Gavaskar Series, he was not scoring enough runs. The Aussies had put a tight offside field. They wanted him to drive more. They succeeded many times. In the fourth Test, he played a gem of an innings without a single cover drive, one of his favourite strokes. He finished 241 not out.
Virat has had his vulnerabilities in the past. He has the habit of poking balls outside the off stump. This would end up in the hands of slip or gully. It was a regular sight in the 2014 English tour. But the determined cricketer fought hard. He learned to get rid of his weaknesses. 2018 English summer was testament to his comeback where he scored three centuries in five Tests.
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Running between wickets
Virat is a fast runner and a product of an era where fitness is critical for success.
Sachin belonged to a different period. He pierced through the gaps to get runs. He did not have to run too hard in most part of his career. Kohli is hungry for each single run. He will push the batsman at the other end to run hard.
Coping up with pressure
“Sachin carried the burden of the nation for 22 years. It is time we carry him on our shoulders,” a young Virat spoke after the 2011 World Cup win. It was also true that several of his efforts could not guide his team home because of some late collapses.
Virat Kohli, especially in ODIs is a chase master on his own. Kohli had predecessors like Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni. His unbelievable second innings average is testament to his caliber.
Sachin and Kohli are cricketers of different styles and different outlooks. One has got a calm persona while the other believes in aggression. What unites them is the hunger for success, passion towards game and putting team above individual feats.