Talking of Virats Kohli’s achievements has become the latest craze among all cricket commentators recently. He recently made a record beating all the legendary cricketers in the number of matches taken to make their first 15 one day international centuries. It is a great feat by the youngster indeed and requires some appreciation and recognition for him to have to have achieved that.
Benchmark young cricketers like Virat kohli against legends like Sachin Tendulkar
Although Virat is not a new arrival on the international one day circle, it sometimes looks awkward comparing him with the legendary batsmen like Sachin Tendulkar, Ponting, and other high scorers and record holders. Benchmarks are a great way to find out the relevance of someone in a particular scenario. Benchmark in the field of sports is done by comparing player’s performances to other players who have already left their mark on the arena. So, comparing any new player to the records made by the legends are the best way to see if they are worthy enough of the fan following they garner at the moment.
Benchmark creates brand recall
Such comparisons are a great way to give recognition to new players. For example comparing his achievement of taking the least number of matches to complete 15 centuries to Sachin Tendulkar or any other great batsman, is in one way recognizing him in comparison to another player who has already achieved that feat and may in some circumstances be more famous and popular among advertisers and the fans.
Setting standards for other batsmen around the world
Hitting centuries itself is a great thing for batsmen and hitting them as consistently as Virat Kohli sets him apart and makes him the benchmark for all the other batsmen who either play international cricket or are aspiring to play at that level. Crossing someone else’s records is one thing and setting targets is altogether another. Virat Kohli is gradually becoming one of those who set standards for others. The pace at which he has been doing that is incredible. This is comparable to only a few, or I must say only one player to have treaded this path before.
Comparing Virat Kohli to Sachin Tendulkar
Although I would never want to compare the God to any immortal (yes, it may sound comical to some), Virat Kohli’s overall performance has left me with no choice but to do just that. The cricket crazy nation that India is, was, in the past worried about and used to rejoice over the centuries of Sachin Tendulkar even in cases where the team lost. Although people were frustrated due to yet another defeat of the team, many fans found respite in the fact that their favorite cricketer had made yet another century. What I feel sometimes is that Sachin Tendulkar is a revered cricketer in India and around the world more because of his centuries and the records he has made than anything else.
Now since Virat Kohli has reached the 15 century milestone just in over a hundred matches, it becomes quite natural to think that he would eventually climb the massive mountain of runs that Sachin Tendulkar has created and till recently was considered almost insurmountable. I would also like to stress on one more point here, I believe that unlike the other record makers in Indian cricket history, Virat Kohli has been one of the major factors for the team’s wins in all the matches where he has scored handsomely.
Impact of Virat Kohli’s performance on his brand image in India
So, the next obvious question related to performance will be, is Virat Kohli’s performance also reflected by the fan following and the brand image of the cricketer in the country? Are Indian fans ready to move to their next idol? Well, there seems to be an answer to that. Virat Kohli has been getting the maximum number of ads recently, even trumping MS Dhoni. It proves at least one point; he is popular among the advertisers.
What does future have in store
The shift in the fan following is happening gradually, but will it continue going the way it is at the moment will depend on only one thing and that is the performance of Virat in the future. As of now it looks like he has got the grip on his performance and will continue at least for the foreseeable future. The real question here is, will he replace Sachin Tendulkar as the most successful batsman India has ever produced?