Monday, January 21, 2019

Rohit and Ross not far behind run-machine Kohli

 Rohit and Ross not far behind run-machine Kohli

India captain Virat Kohli is the king of ODI cricket. He is the best batsman in ODI cricket right now and arguably the greatest one-day batsman of all time.

Kohli’s stats – 39 tons and 48 fifties in 219 ODIs with more than 10,000 runs at an average of nearly 60, 21 tons in a winning cause while chasing (easily the most), and averaging more than 50 in all but one of the last seven calendar years – show no one has come close to his numbers and impact in 50-over cricket with the bat.

With that out of the way, it’s imperative to look at others who have tried to match Kohli’s numbers in 50-over cricket. Because lest we forget, cricket is a team game.

As India begin their limited overs tour of New Zealand, which includes five ODIs – the first of which is in Napier on Wednesday – and three T20s, the presence of two other ODI batting giants in both camps makes for interesting viewing. Here we take a look at them:

ROHIT SHARMA

 Rohit and Ross not far behind run-machine Kohli

The India opener has been almost as good as Kohli when it comes to batting in ODIs. In the last four years, Kohli has scored 4,177 runs from 73 ODIs at an average of 74 with 18 tons and 15 fifties. Rohit has been very close to those astronomical numbers.

In 70 ODIs during that period, Rohit has plundered 3,887 runs at an average of 64 with 17 centuries and 14 fifties.

It has been said that had Rohit played ODI cricket in any other era, he would have already been considered an all-time great.

However, since he plays in a team where Kohli is breaking records and scoring centuries for fun, Rohit does not get all the accolades he deserves.

ROSS TAYLOR

 Rohit and Ross not far behind run-machine Kohli

The Kiwi middle order batsman has been quietly accumulating runs over the past season or so.

Since the beginning of 2018, Kohli has been by far the best ODI batsman, amassing 1355 runs in 17 innings at a mind-boggling average of 112 with seven tons and three fifties.

The only batsmen to come close to those overall numbers are Rohit – 1215 runs from 22 games at an average of 71 – and Taylor – 920 runs from 13 innings at an average of 92.

The Kiwi veteran has made three centuries and six fifties in that period and has been on an incredible run of six consecutive fifty-plus scores in ODIs.

At 34, Taylor has raised his game to a new level. Ever since he underwent corrective procedure for a growth in his left eye in 2016, Taylor has enjoyed a stunning 2017 and 2018.

Given that he plays at the critical No4 position behind Kane Williamson, expect Taylor to give India a harrowing time.

It is almost impossible to match Kohli’s consistency and productivity in ODI cricket. His game awareness, understanding of conditions and ability to change gears whenever he wants make him the most complete white-ball batsman. But being second best behind him is not too bad either. Both Rohit and Ross can be proud of what they have managed for their teams.

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