Is Virat Kohli the greatest ODI batsman of all-time?

22 Jan

Virat Kohli cemented his place in cricketing history by becoming the first man to claim all three top prizes at the ICC Awards.

After an incredible 2018, the India captain was named Cricketer of the Year, as well as Men’s Test and ODI Player of the Year.

Virat Kohli earned a clean sweep at the ICC Awards

But forget 2018, no one in this generation comes close to Kohli in the shorter format.

The 30-year-old is the fastest man to score 10,000 ODI runs in the history of the game, and in terms of numbers, there’s a simple argument to suggest he’s the greatest ODI batsman ever.

He averaged 133.55 runs in one-dayers last year which, quite frankly, is ridiculous.

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And former Australia captain Michael Clarke is doubtless as to where Kohli stands among the cricketing greats.

“To me, Virat Kohli is the greatest batsman to have ever played one-day cricket. I have no doubts after seeing what he has achieved for India,” Clarke told PTI in an interview.

Sachin Tendulkar may have something to say about that.

Here, takes a look at where Kohli ranks among some of the best ODI batsmen of all-time.

Sir Vivian Richards (West Indies)

Matches: 187

Runs scored: 6,721

Batting average: 47.00

Centuries: 11

Top score: 189*

Ricky Ponting (Australia)

Matches: 375

Runs: 13,704

Batting average: 42.03

Centuries: 30

Top score: 164

Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka)

Matches: 404

Runs: 14,234

Batting average: 41.98

Centuries: 25

Top score: 169

AB de Villiers (South Africa)

Matches: 228

Runs scored: 9,577

Batting average: 53.50

Centuries: 25

Top score: 176

Sachin Tendulkar (India)

Matches: 463

Runs: 18,426

Batting average: 44.83

Centuries: 49

Top score: 200*

Virat Kohli (India)

Matches: 219

Runs: 10,385

Batting average: 59.68

Centuries: 39

Top score: 183

Of course, numbers aren’t everything, and since the days of Sir Viv Richards, the game has evolved into something far more explosive.

However, in terms of technique, Kohli stands toe-to-toe with all of the above players.

To watch Kohli bat is one of those sporting privileges – like a Roger Federer backhand or a Lionel Messi free-kick.

Virat Kohli might already be the greatest ODI batsman of all time

And what’s truly remarkable is that while he’s raced to 10,000 runs faster than anyone in ODI history, he never looks rushed.

If he carries on in this vein, there’s nothing to suggest he shouldn’t surpass Tendulkar as the greatest in history, and numbers aside, he may well be there already.

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