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Who is the king of ODI cricket: Sachin Tendulkar or Virat Kohli?

While it is difficult to compare two players because both have different playing styles, the fact that fans believe in comparing cricketers based on various aspects confirms that there is still a good amount of competition, and no one can be called the best. ‘The Best’ is superlative, and subjective at the same time, but if the fans wish to compare the Master Blaster of the game, Sachin Tendulkar with the current captain of Team Blue, Virat Kohli, then there must be some reasoning to it.

With that in mind, let’s compare the two after 224 ODIs:

Virat Kohli

Runs: 10,686*, Average: 60.03, Strike Rate: 92.61, Hundreds/Fifties: 40/49

Sachin Tendulkar:

Runs: 8350, Average: 42.6, Strike Rate: 86.45, Hundreds/Fifties: 23/44

Virat Kohli definitely beats Tendulkar in terms of numbers, but if the same is taken away, the two have been able to provide value and convert the 50s to 100s as well as perform individually well when the team needed it. The two have won the same number of Man of the Match award after 224 ODIs.

If the time between 1989-1999 is compared to 2008-2018, then the top six cricketers during the former duration scored 288 centuries, while the latter scored 728 centuries. This also speaks volumes of the lack of depth in bowling these days.

The major factor behind this is that bowling strike rates have rather improved now than ever, while the economy has worsened. Also, the pitches have become flatter, and making centuries is easier than ever.

Who leads during India’s chase?

Tendulkar Average: 42.33, Strike Rate: 88.44

Kohli Average: 68.44, Strike Rate: 94.51

With an average closing to 96, and 21 centuries to his credit during successful run-chases, Kohli definitely wins this as he remained not-out in 28 out of 166 chases. On the other hand, Tendulkar’s average of 42 confirms that he would set the platform for his other team members to win the match for Team Blue.

Tendulkar has a strike rate of 86.41 after 224 ODI’s while the average during those days was 71.4, and Kohli has an average of over 92, while the average strike rate is his era is 85.77. Kohli is way fitter than his peers and world players, and while Tendulkar hit 195 sixes, Kohli has hit 115 sixes and believes in scoring runs by running between the wickets.

Kohli has an average of 55.8 in World Cups and Champions Trophy and has a couple of hundreds and six half-centuries in 29 innings, while Tendulkar scored over 2,700 runs at an average of 52.4 with 7 centuries and 16 half-centuries.

Tendulkar has been involved in more world cups than Kohli and was the leading run-scorer in both the 1996 and 2003 Cricket World Cup and also was India’s highest run-scorer in the 2011 World Cup. On the other hand, Kohli played well during 2011 and 2015 World Cups and also 2013, as well as 2017 Champions Trophy, however, he hasn’t dominated the world cup like Tendulkar.


It is a tough task to compare these two as Kohli has redefined chasing, Tendulkar has dominated ICC tournaments. They are good in their own right and deserve all the accolades in the field of cricket.

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About the author

Shane Watson

Shane Watson

Shane is a cryptocurrency journalist and an ICO writing consultant at The Written Craft content service. He's an advocate of decentralized public control of finance, an off-grid enthusiast, and really fun at parties too.