In any other era of cricket, Rohit Sharma would likely hold the title of being India’s best batsman. While – depending on your opinion – that suggestion is debatable, the statistics point to a sense of superiority for Virat Kohli. There can be no doubts that both are two of the sport’s most talented run-scorers, but has Kohli’s on-field success overshadowed the contributions of Sharma? With that in mind, let’s take a look at whether the Nagpur-born right-handed batsman has played his career in the Indian captain’s shadow.
Following Sharma’s five centuries at the 2019 Cricket World Cup, India’s batting coach, Vikram Rathour, labelled the 33-year-old as the best limited-overs batsman in the world when he’s playing at the peak of his powers. From a point-scoring standpoint, Sharma has undoubtedly proved himself as one of the best at one-day cricket. At the time of writing, the Mumbai Indians player holds the record for the highest-scoring total for an individual in ODI history. In November 2014, Sharma hit 264 against Sri Lanka, which saw him surpass Martin Guptill’s knock of 237.
In comparison to Sharma, the Indian captain’s highest score in a one-day international currently sits at 183. However, Ricky Ponting believes that the 31-year-old is the greatest ODI player in the history of the sport, and Michael Clarke also holds the same opinion. Moreover, Jhye Richardson, who has bowled to both Kohli and Sharma, stated that Kohli is “on a different level” to other batsmen, according to Cricket Times.
Their one-day international averages also suggest that Sharma is in Kohli’s shadow despite his world-class contributions. As per Cricinfo, Kohli’s ODI average sits at 59.33, while Sharma’s is 49.27.
Irrespective of which is better, few can argue that their ability to score runs on the cricket field is unrivalled by many others in the sport, particularly at one-day level. Take Steve Smith as an example. The Australian – who is widely regarded as being one of the world’s best batsman – boasts a one-day batting average of 42.47, which is lower than both Indian players. Furthermore, Sharma’s ODI return is also higher than Ben Stokes’, a player believed to be one of England’s best-ever all-rounders.
Unfortunately for Sharma, his captain has set the bar so high that his incredible achievements seem less spectacular by comparison. However, both have been at the very heart of sustaining the appeal of cricket in the South Asian country. Not only that, but the two top-order batsmen have provided a foundation for the rise of cricket-orientated sports betting platforms.
While 10Cric is a traditional online sportsbook, it’s becoming one of India’s favourites because of its cricket-based approach. While you can find detailed information on 10Cric’s offerings at BettingGuru, prospective players can expect to find welcome bonuses and special cricket promotions at the sports-focused site. Along with cricket, other sports markets are also available, including football, MMA, tennis, and many more.
While the statistics may point to the fact that Kohli is the more prolific batsman when at the crease, that doesn’t take the shine off Sharma’s legacy. Regardless of perceptions as to which is better, the fact that people compare Sharma to the Indian captain is a testament to his abilities. In world cricket, few should be mentioned alongside Kohli, but Sharma has earned that right.