One of the most debatable topics in cricket has been who is the better among two – Sachin Tendulkar or Virat Kohli? Meanwhile, legendary Australia spinner, Shane Warne has broken his silence on the same. Warne said comparing players from different eras is tough. He pointed out the reasons why putting them on the same page just on the basis of records is not right. Shane, who had played during Sachin’s era added the invariable conditions, pitches were a lot different in the ’90s than today; where the tracks are flatter.
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Very hard to judge eras – Warne
In an exclusive interview to TOI, Shane Warne said different surfaces, conditions and the breed of bowlers make it challenging for anyone to draw comparisons. Meanwhile, when Sachin played cricket, the period which lasted 24 years; the gentleman’s game wasn’t that smoother for batsmen. The veteran India batsman played against the likes of some of the greatest bowlers in history – Glenn McGrath, Wasim Akram, Muttiah Muralitharan, Warne itself and many more. Not only this, as per Warne, the ball swung more back then than it happens today. Warne said,
“Very hard to judge when someone is playing and very hard to judge eras. Think about the bowlers in the ’90s. Different surfaces that seamed. Now they’re a lot flatter. The ball swung more. So many invariables. But to think that someone was better than Brian Lara and Sachin – in those mid-’90s – against Wasim, Waqar, Curtly, Courtney, McGrath, Donald, Saqlain, Mushy, Vettori, Murali, myself. You can go on.”
People will remember you for the way you played the game, says Shane Warne
Warne noted everyone remembers the way one played the game than the records they had attained in their career. Virat Kohli, who has staggering numbers to his name in the ODI cricket is already labelled as the best batsman of this generation; something the Aussie doesn’t deny.
“Virat is breaking all the records, which is great but I want to wait. See, what people miss is this: You can set benchmarks, score those many centuries, average that high, score a lot many runs.”
“But what people are going to remember you for is the way you played the game. Someone should run down the street and ask fans, how many runs did Mark Waugh make or what his average was? They wouldn’t have a clue but chances are, here’s what they’ll say: I loved watching him play.”
Shane Warne added Virat would go down as the greatest ODI player alongside Sir Viv Richards. Though their numbers don’t match, how they played cricket is what stands out. But, by concluding, Warne said when Virat will finish playing cricket, he could then comment on who is the better batsman – Sachin or Virat.
“To my mind, what’s already evident is that Virat is one of the best players of all time. In One-dayers, he probably has to go down with Viv Richards as the greatest ever, not so much for the record but for the way he plays his game. But I’ll judge him at the end of his career.” Warne concluded.
Meanwhile, Sachin Tendulkar had played 463 ODIs, scoring 18,426 runs at an average of 44.83. Also, he scored 49 hundreds and 96 half-centuries. Virat Kohli, on the other hand, has played 222 matches so far, hitting 10,533 runs at an average reading 59.51. More than anything, he has scored 39 centuries and has 49 fifties to his name as well.