Well, this is a post long overdue. Seeing the performance of the Indian skipper in tests, one is bound to make comparisons to all the greats of Indian cricket, be it Sachin Tendulkar or Sunil Gavaskar. Although we had published an infographic comparing the perfromances of Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli long ago, now is the time to compare Virat Kohli to one other great of Indian cricket, Sunil Gavaskar. Although it seldom makes sense to compare two players who are at least a generation part, nevertheless, we will do it. This article tries to analyze if Virat Kohli is going to break the records set by Sunil Gavaskar during the peak of his test cricket career.
1. As in life, in cricket too, records are only apparently broken. But they are never actually broken. For, two situations in life or in cricket can never be the same.
2.For example, Can Virat really break the record of Gavaskar who had amassed 774 runs in a series? Let’s hope and pray that he breaks it , but actually Sunny’s record can’t be broken for their circumstances are as different as day and night.
(a) Virat will do so, at the age of 27 as an experienced player, Sunil Manohar Gavaskar had scored those 774 runs in his debut series…
(b) Virat will be doing it at No.4 while Sunny Sir did it as an opener.
(c) Sunil achieved that feat in the West Indies, albeit I am the first concede that the Windies fast bowlers in that series were no great ‘movers and shakers’, Kohli will do so in India.
2. And even if I applaud 774 runs amassed by Gavaskar, in a single series I rate some other feats as records that appear broken but can’t be broken…For me, high up in that list would be JIMMY AMARNATH’S 598 in 1983 against the West Indies…Beyond Compare…in the West Indies against Marshall, Holding, Roberts, Garner, Baap Re Baap!!!
(b) Next would again be JIMMY AMARNATH’s 584 against Pakistan in Pakistan. Remember the two very ‘gentle’ men by the name of Imran Khan and Sarfaraz Nawaz/
(c) I would rate RAHUL DRAVID’S 602 in 2003-04 against the Pommies in England when all our ‘other greats’ failed miserably in that series and Jammy got 3 hundreds!
3. Good for India that Virat Virat Kohli (the repetition is intentional) and Cheteshwar Pujara did not fare well today, We scored these many runs for 4 wickets without Kohli, Pujara and Vijay. Allowed opportunity of growth for Nair and KL Rahul to feel good.
(4) After 2001, we are Junior World Champions in hockey once again! Yes, after 2001, if my memory serves me right, Augurs well for India’s future in our National Game… So, let’s not compare….how do we know what Tiger Pataudi would have done if he had a Gavaskar in his team as an opener or a Kapil Dev as a fast bowler all rounder in his team along with the illustrious spinners! Great skippers all of them, Pataudi, Ganguly, Dhoni and now Kohli developing into one. Let’s hope for the best. Gavaskar too led us to some memorable wins, the Mini World Cup Benson and Hedges in Australia in 1985! Bedi led us to some fantastic test match victories against Australia in Australia and the 404 run chase against the West Indies in West Indies for the loss of 4 wickets only with two of the Indian batsmen being run out. Amarnath and Vishwanath after they scored 85 and 104 respectively with Amarnath taking more than a day to score 85 against the West Indian bowlers and Vishy carrying on stylishly as only he could after his brother-in-law Gavaskar had got out for a 100 plus! Kapil got us that 1983 World Cup that changed the face of Indian cricket totally!!!
This article was originally written by Mr. Amber Banerjee and first published on his facebook profile