Virat Kohli – next Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid ? This is one of the questions being posed to the cricket pundits during various pre and post-game shows on television these days. Isn’t it too early for this question to have arisen in the first place? The simple answer at moment is a big “NO”. For a youngster who has just stepped into the “world of international cricket”, it’s too early for us to predict, and it would be unfair to the legends of the game, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar who have battled, struggled, sweat profusely and played their best even in the harshest possible cricketing environments at the worst of times to make India emerge victorious.
“With ball he was all, Sachin is god, Saurav is god on off-side, Laxman is god of 4th innings but when doors of temples are closed even GOD is behind the WALL(‘s) ” – one of the phrases that has been quoted often in the praise of Dravid and Tendulkar. Talking about Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar; often aptly mentioned in cricket columns as Sachin TONdulkar; their cricketing skills have stood the test of time over and over ; they have repeatedly forced the opposition to give way to an Indian victory on the cricketing field. Dravid may not have as many records as Sachin, but he indeed was the “WALL”. No matter what, he seemed to be always the last remaining obstacle between the opposition and an Indian defeat. They may not have prevented an Indian loss on a few occasions; but even if we did lose we lost the game respectfully because of the grit shown by these legends.
“I heard them, I endured them, I put upwith all your criticism and yet I made it” yes I am talking about Sachin HUNDREDkar. The 38 year old mumbaikar who stepped into this world of “bat n ball” full of surprises, wins, defeats, cries, criticism, enthusiasm and what not; at the age of 16 has had to travel a long way; it wasn’t a “bed of roses” for him. It’s not about the destination it’s about the journey that matters.
Kohli has lot of learning to do; he has to go a long way before we start referring him as next “wall” or “god” of cricket. Talking about numbers Kohli has been consistent and good with them. His ODI average of 50.56 (in the 85 matches he has played till this article was published) is second only to Bevan’s average of 56.54. He has scored 11 centuries which is much better than Lara’s 5 and next is Ponting’s 5 at the same stage. He has a good overall strike rate of 86.31 which is third only to Dhoni’s 96.26 and Richard’s 86.99 when compared at the same stage.
Kohli however has lot to learn from the legends of the game, before he is referred to as a “VIRAT” (great) in the game of cricket. A lot of batting has to come from him; he has to display a lot in terms of consitency, his temperament on the field and the way he tackles the adulation and criticism, that are sure to come his way. Time will say a lot and his bat has to do much more talking than it is doing at the moment. He will need to persevere and his achievements over a longer period of time are going to decide about his actual position among the legends of the game. We must not get carried away by the hype and should wait for a longer period of time before replacing WAll or GOD with VIRAT.
|This is a Guest Post by Vivek Ahuja. A Third year KMCite from Delhi, Vivek originally hails from Ludhiana, Punjab and is a food and travel buff. He’s also into literature, debating and poetry.|