Venkatesh Prasad, who had played with Tendulkar in the 1990s, said the Mumbai batsman was a soft-spoken, less expressive person on the field and remained in his own bubble while batting.
On the other hand, the pacer said, Kohli, the current Indian captain who is chasing Tendulkar’s batting records, is much more expressive in nature, and makes everyone privy to his mood; nonetheless, both the batting masters played the game to win it for their team.
“They are both brilliant individuals honestly speaking. On one side, Sachin was very soft, and of course, Virat comes out aggressive, but it’s not his nature. It’s just on the field because he wants to win and perform in every single game,” Venkatesh Prasad said on The Grade Cricketer Podcast.
“So did Sachin. He wanted to do well in every single game. You don’t really see much emotions from Sachin. We never say any, whether he scored a hundred or got out for a duck… whatever. Even when he gets hit, we don’t see much emotion, whereas Virat is someone who likes to express himself,” he added.
Venkatesh Prasad narrated an incident of Tendulkar; then imagines what Kohli would have done
Venkatesh Prasad, who played 292 international wickets for India, recollects an instance when Tendulkar was up against Pakistan. The left-arm pacer Wasim Akram hit the Indian batter on his helmet with a bouncer, but Tendulkar remained calm and shrugged it off without making Akram know of his pain.
The bowler followed it up with another bouncer – this time the batsman smashed it for a maximum. Once again, as Prasad tells, there was no reaction from the cool as a cucumber Tendulkar.
However, on the flip side, Venkatesh Prasad envisaged what would have been Kohli’s reaction – he would have maybe pumped his fist or let out at some expletives.
“One incident I would like to narrate here. Sachin once got hit in Sharjah with the new ball and Wasim Akram was bowling. He gets hit on his helmet. It was a quick ball, probably bowled at 145ish. So, he didn’t expect it, and by the time he reacted, he got hit on his helmet. And he just walks towards the leg umpire and shakes his head. Nothing, he doesn’t do anything. He doesn’t even remove the helmet, just holds his visor and gets the helmet in place,” Venkatesh Prasad recalled.
“He comes back and takes the strike and the second ball… it’s a new ball and Sachin is opening. The second ball again, Wasim bowls a bouncer. Same typical pace, same length and it’s coming at the height of his head. Perfectly targeted but Sachin hits it for a six. Again, no reaction from Sachin.
“Probably Virat, if he had got the same thing, after scoring a six, he would pump his fist or stare stared at the bowler. They are two different people, two different characters and both are extremely important for the game to really flourish,” the 51-year-old imagined.