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Why Gambhir picked Tendulkar over Kohli in ODIs

May 21, 2020 13:05 IST

'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.'

IMAGE: Sachin Tendulkar, left, with Virat Kohli during the Indian Premier League. Photograph: BCCI

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has chosen legendary Sachin Tendulkar over current skipper Virat Kohli as a better batsman in One-Day Internationals, considering the changed rules of the game and the Mumbaikar's longevity of career.


Tendulkar, who retired in 2013, played 463 ODIs and amassed 18, 426 runs with 49 hundreds at an average of 44.83. On the other hand, Kohli has played 248 ODIs and scored 11, 867 runs with 43 tons at an average of 59.33.

"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.

Nowadays, an ODI innings is played with two white balls in each innings and with three Powerplays.

In the first Powerplay (overs 1-10), two fielders are allowed beyond the 30-yard circle, while in the second Powerplay (overs 10-40) four fielders are allowed and in the last powerplay (overs 40-50), five fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle.

Gambhir, who was the star performer in the 2011 ODI World Cup final which India won, believes that the recent rule changes have only helped the batsmen.

"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, who played 58 Tests and 147 ODIs.

"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.

He said he would also go with Tendulkar, considering his longevity and flow of the ODI cricket format at that time.

"Probably 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," Gambhir said.

Recently, Tendulkar had commented that he and former opening partner Sourav Ganguly would have ended up scoring a lot more runs if the current ODI rules were in operation during his playing days.

Tendulkar stated if the new rules in ODIs of two new balls and restriction of four fielders outside the 30-yard circle were in operation during their time, they would have ended up scoring a lot more.

"This brings back wonderful memories Dadi. How many more do you think we would’ve been able to score with the restriction of 4 fielders outside the ring and 2 new balls? @SGanguly99 @ICC," he said in his tweet to former team-mate Ganguly.

Former captain Ganguly replied that they might have scored another 4000 runs if the current ODI rules were in place.

"Another 4000 or so ..2 new .. sounds like a cover drive flying to the boundary in the first over of the game.. for the remaining 50 overs .. @ICC @sachin_rt," said the BCCI president.

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