A Comparison with a Difference(PART-1)

Age is one of the most important factors in the life of a batsman. A prolonged career gives you the chance to cement your legacy. Tendulkar, Lara, Ponting; all started at a young age and thus had plenty of time to become the most prolific run scorers of all times. While legends like Bradman and Sobers are apparently devoid of this consideration as they are remembered for quality rather than quantity, but a closer look suggests that they had enough quantity taking into account the era in which they played. This comparison is more for entertainment than to factually prove anything but what exactly is this comparison about?

Without further ado, let's just explain this unique comparison. A regular follower of cricket knows about the five most exciting young batting talents on the planet. They're usually termed as "Fab 5' by some magazines and their names are Virat Kohli of India, Steve Smith of Australia, Joe Root of England, Kane Williamson of New Zealand and Quinton De Kock of South Africa. I have compared these people with some of the top stars who played a considerable amount of cricket in the late nineties and early part of the 21st century. A comparison of Kohli with Sir Viv or Gavaskar would hardly mean anything as cricket has seen a huge change in the late nineties and early 2000s and this change is still in progress at a good pace. Although a comparison of a 28 year old Tendulkar with present day Kohli would mean a Sachin of 2001, when he had hardly stepped into the era with a more favorable conditions for batting but then as highlighted in the beginning that the comparison is just to give an insight in order to create an interesting read and not to factually or statistically prove anything. However, one of the reasons to post this is that a lot of people consider the achievements of these young guns especially Kohli as monumental and 'never seen before' types; so is this actually true? or the likes of Sachin or Dravid or Sanga had a better record at this age. So, let's begin with Virat Kohli.


Benchmark:  28 Years and 70 days

The next time he steps on the International stage would be the 15th of January, 2017 against England and hence his age up-to the 14th of January, 2017 has been taken into account and that's what I've highlighted above, so let's begin the comparison. I'll first highlight Virat's stats currently(that'll obviously stay up-till the 14th of January, 2017) and then the stats of some of the biggest names in recent times.

Innings: 299, Runs: 13,436, Highest: 235, Average: 52.48, 100s: 41, 50s: 68

Now, let's just mention the records of Sachin, Lara, Ponting, Dravid, Inzi, Sanga, AB de Villiers and Amla at the same age:

SACHIN: Innings: 399, Runs: 17,258, Highest: 217, Average: 47.80, 100s: 53, 50s: 81

LARA: Innings: 192, Runs: 8,885, Highest: 375, Average: 49.91, 100s: 21, 50s: 51

PONTING: Innings: 260, Runs: 9,961, Highest: 197, Average: 43.88, 100s: 25, 50s: 48

DRAVID: Innings: 205, Runs: 8,110, Highest: 200*, Average: 43.13, 100s: 16, 50s: 47

INZI: Innings: 230, Runs: 8,082, Highest: 177, Average: 40.41, 100s: 11, 50s: 55

SANGA: Innings: 215, Runs: 7,525, Highest: 270, Average: 39.19, 100s: 12, 50s: 38

AB: Innings: 278, Runs: 10,985, Highest: 278*, Average: 46.54, 100s: 26, 50s: 60

AMLA: Innings: 141, Runs: 6,412, Highest: 253*, Average: 49.70, 100s: 20, 50s: 33

These above-mentioned stats suggest that Sachin had achieved much more than anyone else at this age. One of the reasons behind this is that Tendu had played more matches than anyone else however it was because of his capability that he made an early start at the international stage. Luck was also there for Tendulkar as he had to compete with some lesser known batsmen for a place in the Indian side. When Virat was 16, India had the likes of Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman and Sehwag playing at the same time and all of them were hardly out of form. 

This was the Part 1 of my comparison and hopefully you'll like it. In the subsequent parts, I'll cover the other young batting geniuses with yesteryear's' legends.

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