Sachin Tendulkar is a better ODI batsman than current India skipper Virat Kohli, said Gautam Gambhir, explaining that the changed rules of the game these days favour batsmen and that Tendulkar’s longevity of career is in itself a feat.
“Sachin Tendulkar, because probably with one white ball and four fielders inside the circle, not five fielders outside, it will be Sachin Tendulkar for me,” Gambhir said on Star Sports show ‘Cricket Connected’.
“It”s difficult because Virat Kohli has done phenomenally well but I think the rules have changed as well, which has helped a lot of new batters,” elaborated Gambhir.
Tendulkar, who retired in 2013, played 463 ODIs and amassed 18,426 runs with 49 hundreds at an average of 44.83. Kohli has played 248 ODIs and scored 11,867 runs with 43 tons at an average of 59.33.
Gambhir said that the rule of having three power plays has helped batsmen nowadays. In the first power play (overs 1-10), two fielders are allowed beyond the 30-yard circle, while in the second powerplay (overs 10-40) four fielders are allowed. In the last powerplay (overs 40-50), five fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle.
“The new generation, with 2 new balls, no reverse swing, nothing for the finger spin, five fielders inside for the 50 overs, probably that makes batting much easier,” Gambhir said.
Speaking about how the ODI format has evolved into high-scoring matches these days, Gambhir said, “I’ll go with Sachin Tendulkar if we see the longevity and flow of the one-day cricket format. Look at how Sachin Tendulkar has played, different rules, that time 230 to 240, was a winning total.”
(With PTI inputs)