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Rohit Sharma vs Virat Kohli: Who is the better player?

With Rohit Sharma taking over the India cricket team captaincy from Virat Kohli in the T20I and ODI format, now might be the best time to have a closer look at Rohit Sharma vs Virat Kohli stats.

Rohit Sharma vs Virat Kohli: Runs in ODIs, T20Is and Tests

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Two of the most talented individuals of their trade, whether it be posting a mammoth total for the opposition or chasing down a big target in a limited time, both the players have shown tremendous consistency in all three formats of the game.

However, their stupendous success in world cricket has also given birth to the raging debate of Virat Kohli vs Rohit Sharma supremacy. While India cricket team captain and run machine Virat Kohli leads his compatriot Rohit Sharma in terms of total runs scored, Sharma’s flamboyant batting prowess and ability to cross any stadium with his power-hitting are unparalleled.

Here we try to find how Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have fared on every front.

Rohit Sharma vs Virat Kohli in T20Is

Since debuting against the England cricket team in T20I cricket at Durban on September 19, 2007, Rohit Sharma has played 119 T20 internationals so far. The top-order batsman has tallied 3197 runs in 103 innings with an average of 32.30 and a strike rate of 140.28. Rohit Sharma has four centuries and a whopping 26 half-centuries to his name with the “Hitman” hitting 284 boundaries and 150 sixes to date.

Virat Kohli made his T20I debut three years after Rohit Sharma did on June 12, 2010, against Zimbabwe, but his prolific run-scoring abilities propelled him to score faster and better than Rohit over the years. In 95 T20Is, Virat Kohli has garnered 3227 runs, with a batting average of 52.04 and a strike rate of 137.90. While Kohli has no T20I centuries to his name, he leads Rohit in half-centuries (29). Virat Koli has hit 290 boundaries and 91 sixes in T20I cricket so far.

Rohit Sharma vs Virat Kohli in ODIs

While the Rohit Sharma vs Virat Kohli battle is still close in some aspects in the shortest format of the game, the gap widens dramatically in ODIs – a format both the players love to play in.

Debuting against Ireland on June 23, 2007, at Belfast, Rohit Sharma took some time to make his opening position concrete. Sharma has played in 227 ODIs so far, tallying 9205 runs at a strike rate of 88.90. Rohit Sharma has 29 centuries and 43 ODI half-centuries to his name but he will always be remembered for his highest score of 264 runs against Sri Lanka, which had 33 boundaries and 9 sixes. Rohit Sharma is also the ODI player to have the most number of double centuries (3) to his name.

Virat Kohli started his ODI career one year after Rohit Sharma did when the former played against Sri Lanka at Dambulla. Virat Kohli’s uncanny ability to score quickly and chase down targets soon made him a mainstay in the 50-over format and he has hardly looked out of form since. Virat Kohli has a mammoth tally of 12,169 runs in 254 ODIs, where he has scored 43 centuries and 62 fifties so far. Kohli has hit a whopping 1140 boundaries in ODIs and 125 sixes.

Rohit Sharma vs Virat Kohli in Test cricket

Unlike in the ODIs and T20Is, Virat Kohli managed to make his Test cricket debut two years ahead of Sharma in 2011 in a Test match at Kingston against West Indies. Kohli has since added 7671 runs to his name in 95 matches, with an average of 51.14 having faced 13,550 balls. Kohli has scored 27 centuries and 26 fifties in the longest format.

Contrary to Kohli’s fixed top-order batting position, Rohit’s batting position has experimented with a lot in Tests, before he became a regular opener for India in the longest format. His first Test match was against West Indies as well in 2013 at the Eden Gardens and following a few nervy displays, a stable Rohit Sharma has now tallied 2909 runs in 42 matches. He averages 46.17 after having faced 5210 balls with seven centuries and 14 half-centuries to his name.

Rohit Sharma vs Virat Kohli in IPL

While both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have garnered immense respect and created individual records in international cricket, it is in IPL that both of them earned the crazy fanbase that has spurred this debate.

Both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have been a part of the Indian Premier League since its inaugural edition in 2008. While Rohit Sharma started with Deccan Chargers before moving to Mumbai Indians, Virat Kohli has been a Royal Challengers Bangalore fan favorite from the very beginning.

Rohit Sharma has played 207 IPL matches so far, tallying 5480 runs in 202 innings. Rohit Sharma’s average in IPL has been 31.49 and he scores at a strike rate of 130.50. He has one century and 40 fifties to his name in the Indian Premier League, with Rohit hitting 476 boundaries and 224 sixes in the tournament.

Virat Kohli, on the other, is counted amongst one of the most fearsome batsmen in IPL. He has tallied 6076 runs in 199 matches with an average of 37.97 and a strike rate of 130.41. Kohli has a whopping five centuries in IPL and 40 fifties with 524 fours and 205 sixes to his name, which are incredible numbers by any standard. However, the season that proved that Kohli is a top batsman was 2016, when he had set the IPL batting stage on fire by tallying an unreal 973 runs in 16 matches.

Rohit Sharma vs Virat Kohli captaincy

While Virat Kohli might be a better batsman than Rohit Sharma in terms of run scored, the latter topples his compatriot in captaincy.

Rohit Sharma’s biggest achievement has come in the IPL, a tournament that he has won a record five times while leading MI. Virat Kohli, on the other hand, is yet to win the IPL or any major international trophy as the captain.

Virat Kohli has captained in 132 IPL matches so far, winning 60 of them with a win percentage of 48.04. Rohit Sharma, on the other hand, has led Mumbai to 72 wins in 123 matches and boasts of a winning percentage of 60.16.

Both Kohli and Sharma have a World Cup in their trophy cabinet. While Rohit Sharma was a part of the 2007 ICC T20 WC, Virat Kohli was the youngest player in India’s ICC WC-winning side in 2011.

Rohit Sharma vs Virat Kohli: Career Highlights

Any comparison between Kohli and Rohit about who is the better batsman would be unfair, given the unique talent both the players possess. And these unique records truly reflect their supremacy with the willow.

Rohit Sharma’s 264 against Sri Lanka is the highest score in an ODI inning by any batsman. Rohit Sharma also occupies the sixth and seventh positions in this list with his innings of 209 and 208* against Australia and Sri Lanka, respectively.

Rohit Sharma is also the only batsman to have scored five centuries in a series, which came in the 2019 ICC World Cup. Playing in English conditions is a tough test and Sharma tallied a brilliant 648 runs in nine matches as India ended their campaign in the semi-final.

India cricket team captain Virat Kohli is not behind in creating records either. He boasts of scoring the most centuries against a single team in one-day international cricket. Kohli has played against West Indies 39 times, hitting nine centuries in the process. He also averages 72.09 against the Men in Maroon.

Century specialist Virat Kohli is also the fastest batsman to reach 12000 runs in ODIs. He achieved the feat in 242 innings, which is 58 fewer than the great Sachin Tendulkar.

The greatness of Virat Kohli is that he cannot be boxed into a particular format. Despite his unparalleled ODI feats, he has been equally good in T20 cricket. Kohli has the most fifties (28), most player of the series awards (45), and the highest career batting average (52.65) in T20Is.

A literature student and ardent sports lover, who was blown away by the fact that SEO helps you achieve perfection in art. Obsessed with SEO, my write-ups are more analytical yet elementary.


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