The Indian cricket team is truly blessed to have two match-winning batsmen in limited-overs cricket in the form of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. If you look at these two batsmen, the trajectory suggests India have won many games with them firing in all cylinders. Their impact in both ODIs and T20Is have been monumental.
Talking about the shortest format where things happen so rapidly, both these players have taken the game to another level and delivered on a consistent basis. Rohit and Kohli have played as per their strengths and there is so much of a difference in their styles and approach.
Both Kohli and Rohit have stood the test of times and battled it out to gain success in this format. Runs have followed them everywhere. A lot of India’s success in T20Is have been due to these two big guns. From forging partnerships to playing match-winning knocks, their application is what has stood out.
In the recently concluded T20I series against South Africa, Rohit somehow failed to get going. Kohli played a match-winning knock in Mohali, before the Indian team lost badly in the third T20I to see the series end at 1-1. India’s prime focus will be the ICC World T20 in 2020 and the build-up had already started last month.
Therefore these two players’ impact will be immense. Now looking at these two cricketers, selecting who is better individually is indeed a difficult job. There is a thin line that perhaps separates the two when it comes to the shortest format. However, we look at these two batsmen and their influence in the game.
How have these two performed in terms of runs?
In terms of runs. Kohli is right now the leading run-getter in T20Is. He has amassed 2,450 runs with 22 fifty-plus scores at an average of 50.00. Interestingly, Kohli has taken 67 innings to get to this feat. He is the fastest as well and his batting average while the team is chasing has been monumental. This is top stuff from the drawer for Kohli.
Meanwhile, Rohit has had a superb career as well. His influence at the top of the order needs to be recognised. Rohit has amassed 2,443 runs at 32.14 in a total of 90 innings. Interestingly, he has the most amount of hundreds (4) and the most sixes in the format (109). When Rohit gets going, it’s hard to stop him. He makes sure he will cause enough issues for the opponent.
This is how these two have contributed for Team India in T20Is. Their runs have helped India massively.
Their influence in the Indian cricket team
Here are two players that have the most runs in the format and this shows the domination that has gone on. Rohit has also found an able support in Shikhar Dhawan and the two have the most partnership runs in the format (1,612).
The opening runs have laid the platform for India to set a base. When it comes to get the big scores, their relationship atop is what has set India in a brilliant manner.
Whereas, Kohli and Rohit have stitched 843 runs as a pair in 22 innings. Therefore, the two get along well when batting together as well. This has been the crux of India’s dominance. So going by these numbers, India’s major attributes lie among their top three.
What also is notable is that Rohit is expected to come in and give India an aggressive start. He has that ability to bat on and on and get India to some massive totals. His four tons are a testament to the same. Also, Rohit can hit those big sixes and that unsettles the opposition team.
Meanwhile, Kohli is more of the calmer presence. He offers the support needed in the side and runs between the wickets well. Kohli isn’t a genuine six-hitter. He is more of a boundary person and someone who picks up the ones and twos. His major influence is to take the game close and finish an inning.
Kohli edges Rohit as a more complete T20I batsman
It isn’t an easy task to pick a favorite between the two in this format. But Kohli perhaps edges Rohit as the better batsman in T20Is. It’s because of his consistency and the depth of his game. He reads the situation better and has shown that T20Is can be played with proper cricketing shots rather than bang bang.
This is what gets him going. His average is a highlight as well. Also, Kohli is a master while chasing the game. He averages 81.23 in T20Is while chasing a match. This is crazy stuff from Kohli. What he also brings in is the consistency factor that’s significantly way higher than Rohit.
Kohli might not have the big hundreds but he has shown the composure to deliver in spite of that. He has the most 50-plus scores in T20Is (22). He achieved the record in the second T20I against South Africa. The 30-year-old holds this unique record of being the only batsman to score most 50s in T20Is without a 100+ score.
This is what makes Kohli the perfect talisman in T20Is for Team India.