Virat Kohli represented India for the 500th time when he stepped out on the field in the second Test against West Indies. Before the match started, the broadcasters displayed a graphic comparing his numbers with those of the legendary Sachin Tendulkar at the same landmark. It showed that Kohli had more runs (25,461), a better average (53.48), and the same number of centuries (75) compared to Tendulkar. The latter had scored 24,839 runs at an average of 48.51 with 75 centuries and 114 half-centuries when he played his 500th international match.
Now, former West Indies pacer Curtly Ambrose, who was engaged in numerous on-field battles with Tendulkar during their playing days, said that comparing the two players should be avoided. In an interview with Rev Sports, Ambrose stated, “I wouldn’t want to compare both players.”
Tendulkar and Kohli have played together, primarily in white-ball cricket, till 2011. Towards the end of Tendulkar’s career, Kohli’s rise began, and by the time Tendulkar played his last international match in November 2013, Kohli had filled the void in the batting line-up.
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Kohli endured a lean patch between 2019 and 2022, but despite that his numbers were still better than Tendulkar’s after the same number of matches. Tendulkar didn’t play a rigorous season of IPL during the prime of his career like Kohli has been doing.
Ambrose said Sachin Tendulkar was a great player and achieved just about everything in cricket. “You can’t take away from his cricketing knowledge and the way he played. I’m not the kind of guy who would like to compare,” said Ambrose.
Ambrose also praised Kohli, acknowledging that even great players go through rough patches, like Kohli went for a couple of years without scoring a century outside India. He, however, was quick to point out that it was unfair to pass any remarks or judgements on Kohli and that he remained a quality player who still had to contribute a lot to Indian cricket.
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