Virat Kohli vs Sachin Tendulkar: Did Master Blaster ever slump?
Former Indian captain Virat Kohli is going through the toughest phase of his international career. Kohli slammed his last international ton in 2019, and his century drought doesn't seem to end. Every cricketer undergoes such a patch at least once. The cruel law of averages didn't spare even the great Sachin Tendulkar. Like Kohli, the Master Blaster was devoid of runs at one stage.
Kohli, the owner of over 23,000 international runs and a plethora of records, is struggling to attain consistency at the moment. Since November 2019, Kohli has scored 2,537 runs from 67 internationals at an average of 35.73. The tally includes 24 half-centuries. In the hindsight, these are decent numbers for a top-order batter. However, we are accustomed to putting Kohli's standards in perspective.
Believe it or not! The only cricketer in the world with 100 centuries also had to wrestle with runs. From 1996 to 2004, Tendulkar averaged 40+ in each calendar year. However, from January 2005 to December 2006, Tendulkar amassed 1,761 runs in 47 internationals at 34.52. Unlike Kohli, Tendulkar registered four international centuries. The latter averaged just 33.85 in Tests in this period.
Tendulkar was in his prime between January 1996 and December 2002. In this period, the Little Master slammed 14,660 runs at an incredible average of 52.73. The tally includes as many as 52 tons. Notably, Tendulkar dominated the greatest-ever bowlers in this era.
Kohli hit his purple patch between 2016 and 2019. In this period, the Run Machine racked up 10,331 runs from 158 internationals at an astronomical average of 71.24. He smacked over half of his centuries in this span (36). Interestingly, Kohli averaged 83.73 in ODI cricket. He slammed seven Test double-centuries, the most by an Indian in the format.
Between 2016 and 2019, Kohli averaged over 100 in successful run-chases in each of the three formats (Tests: 101.71, ODIs: 121.68, T20Is: 118.50). He slammed nine ODI (28 matches) and three Test tons (seven matches) in this regard.
Although Kohli has scaled mountains in his career, the most important question right now is - Will he ever rediscover his Midas touch? Have a look at Tendulkar's averages - 50.02 in 2007, 46.15 in 2008, 58.19 in 2009, and 84.09 in 2010. His average dropped only at the fag end of his career. Who all are waiting for Kohli 2.0?