While Gavaskar was the first to show the world that Indian batsmen could match fire with fire away from home, it was Sachin Tendulkar who symbolized the complete batsman, scoring runs against all opposition under all conditions.

The rise of Virat Kohli as a dominant force has been an epochal moment in Indian cricket. Long known for its penchant for batsmen, Indian cricket shares a romantic relationship with men who wield the willow. From Hazare to Umrigar, Gavaskar to Vengsarkar, Tendulkar to now Kohli, batsmen have always ruled the hearts and minds of the cricket-crazy public. While Gavaskar was the first to show the world that Indian batsmen could match fire with fire away from home, it was Sachin Tendulkar who symbolized the complete batsman, scoring runs against all opposition under all conditions. He was the finest of his generation, but some records came in his kitty by virtue of the sheer longevity of a career, that spanned 24 years. While Tendulkar’s rise to the crème de la crème of batsmanship was due to his genius in the whites, his leap to superstardom was based on his heroics in limited-overs cricket.

On Sunday, Virat Kohli surpassed 2000 runs against West Indies, hence becoming the only Indian batsman after Tendulkar to achieve the feat against two or more oppositions. He also has more than 2000 runs against Sri Lanka. MS Dhoni (against Sri Lanka) and Rohit Sharma (against Australia) are the other Indian batsmen with more than 2000 runs against an opposition.

With several more years of cricket under his belt, Kohli could well equal or even surpass most of Tendulkar’s records in ODI cricket. He is the apprentice who could well trump the master. A proud Tendulkar keeps cheering for his ward from the stands and so does the entire nation. India fell in love with Tendulkar. It is now slowly realizing that love can happen all over again.

Writer: Himani Ranade

14050cookie-checkVirat Kohli equals another Sachin Tendulkar feat, powers his way towards global…