Statistical comparison on who is better T20I batsman between Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma

Who do you think is better?

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Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: BCCI)

It has been a while since the Virat Kohli vs Rohit Sharma debate is doing rounds and many prominent names have presented their opinion on the same. The two batting juggernauts have piled up a mountain of runs over the years and their records are jaw-dropping, to say the least. While Rohit is the only batter to smash four T20I centuries, Kohli averages above 50 across all three international formats.

The two modern-day greats have also joined forces on numerous occasions, guiding India over the line. Despite Kohli and Rohit being comrades, the cricket world has been arguing over who’s better between the two? While several are fans of Hitman’s obsession with big knocks, many are astonished by Kohli’s stellar consistency. Although separating the two veterans won’t be easy, we’ll look at how they have fared so far in T20Is.

T20 has emerged a fan-favourite format in recent years as the game doesn’t tend to slow down at any phase. Kohli and Rohit have also been brilliant in this version and their numbers speak volume of their prowess. In this article, we’ll be comparing Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma’s numbers in T20 internationals. We will be differentiating them on various criteria to get a broad understanding.

Overall record in T20Is

Player Inns Runs Avg SR HS 100/50
Virat Kohli 84 3159 52.65 139.04 94* 0/28
Rohit Sharma 103 2864 32.54 138.96 118 4/22

Going by just numbers, Kohli seems miles ahead of Rohit. The Indian skipper belongs to a very rare breed of batters who tends to score consistently even in an uncertain format like T20I. He averages over 50 and his strike rate is touching 40. Moreover, he’s the highest run-scorer in this format with 3159 runs. On the other hand, Rohit’s numbers look pale in front of Kohli’s.

This is majorly because the Hitman has played a significant part of his T20I career in the middle order. However, things have been different since he started opening the innings. He has been scoring runs consistently and his tally of four T20I centuries is the most for anyone. He also holds the record of smashing the joint-fastest T20I hundred (35 balls). These facts aren’t ordinary. However, the overall record still puts Kohli ahead of his deputy.

Record while batting first

Player Inns Runs Avg SR HS 100/50
Virat Kohli 47 1400 35.89 141.41 90* 0/10
Rohit Sharma 54 1735 37.71 146.04 118 3/13

Batting first in T20Is isn’t as easy as it looks. With the pitch conditions unknown, batters need to settle their feet and they can’t afford to compromise the scoring rate while doing so. Moreover, it’s necessary to identify a match-winning score based on the track’s behavior. Owing to these facts, many batsmen prefer chasing in this format and Kohli is one of them.

His average drops down significantly to 35.89 while batting first in T20Is. Although his strike rate is still impressive, the Indian skipper isn’t able to showcase the consistency he’s known for. On the contrary, Rohit seems to like batting first. He averages over 37 batting first with his strike rate being in the high 140s. Moreover, three of his four T20I centuries have come in the first innings. Hence, Rohit takes the point in this department.

Record while chasing

While Rohit is better in the first innings, Kohli is head and shoulder above rest when it comes to chasing. With the target being specific, the Indian skipper tends to pace his innings to perfection. It seems like the veteran is operating a computer in his mind as the bowlers are on their heels when Kohli is in business. The Delhi-born cricketer averages over 80 while chasing and his strike rate doesn’t drop down as well.

On the contrary, chasing doesn’t seem to be Rohit’s forte. Although the dashing opener has played several impressive knocks in the second innings, being consistent has been an issue for him. As a result, he averages below 27 while chasing and his strike rate drops down significantly as well. Nevertheless, he still has a hundred against his name while batting second. However, Kohli is undisputedly ahead of Rohit in this department.

Player Inns Runs Avg SR HS 100/50
Virat Kohli 37 1759 83.76 137.2 94* 0/18
Rohit Sharma 49 1129 26.88 129.32 100* 1/9

Batting stats in death overs (16-20 overs)

With Rohit being a top-order batsman now, he doesn’t get to bat a lot in the death overs. However, if he survives till the 15th over, bowlers have a hard time. The swashbuckler can score runs all over the park and clearing the ropes isn’t a problem for him. After all, there’s the reason why people call him Hitman. Like his deputy, Kohli might not seem a power hitter.

However, scoring quick runs hasn’t been a major challenge for him. He also accumulates runs quickly in the end overs. In fact, his strike rate between 16 to 20 overs is a tad higher than Rohit’s. With his average also being better, Kohli, although slightly, pips Rohit here.

Player Inns Runs Avg SR HS
Virat Kohli 35 728 52 191.58 49
Rohit Sharma 23 335 33.5 190.3 40

Milestones of 1000 and 2000 runs

As mentioned above, Rohit batted in the middle order in his early days and some inconsistent performances in that phase have certainly dented his overall numbers. Owing to the same, Kohli is way ahead of him in the list of fastest batters to complete 1000 T20I runs. While the Indian skipper reached the milestone in 27 innings, Rohit took 40 outings.

In the case of 2000 T20I runs, Kohli got the feat in 56 innings, the second-fastest for any batter to date. However, Rohit needed 77 innings to get there. Meanwhile, Kohli is the only batter currently to have over 3000 T20I runs under his belt. The Mumbai Indians skipper is also likely to cross that mark soon.

Contribution in team runs

Among the players who have been part of at least 20 matches, Virat Kohli has the fourth-highest percentage of team runs. This shows how much the Indian team is dependent on their skipper. Rohit has also done in contributing to his side’s success. However, the Royal Challengers Bangalore star is way ahead of him in this department as well.

Player Match Runs Team Runs Avg
% of Team Runs
Virar Kohli 90 3159 13765 52.65 22.94
Rohit Sharma 111 2864 16143 32.54 17.74


Statistically, Virat Kohli ends this debate as a better T20I batsman when compared to his deputy Rohit Sharma. However, T20 cricket is a lot about impact. India more often than not goes over the line whenever the Hitman has a good day at the office. Kohli also has that ability and his consistency is the cherry on the cake. Ageing 32 and 34 respectively, Kohli and Rohit are indeed in the latter half of their career and it would be interesting to see how far they go.

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