Vibrant Virat Kohli vs Amazing Hashim Amla: A symmetric comparison

Vibrant Virat Kohli vs Amazing Hashim Amla: A symmetric comparison

Vibrant Virat Kohli vs Amazing Hashim Amla: A symmetric comparison: Past 10 years have put forth some seriously good talent. Not all of the talents could do justice to themselves and after some sparkling moments of glory, faded into oblivion. There were two of them who showed glimpses of extraordinary abilities when they made their debut on the international stage. The two rising stars are India’s Virat Kohli and South Africa’s Hashim Amla.

Both of them have proved that the chances they were given were not just a gamble and both of them deserved those and have transformed those chances into a career that will put them into the categories of the greatest of the game. Both of them are compared to greats like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, and Jacques Kallis. Virat Kohli and Hashim Amla have been embroiled in an interesting race themselves.  They are running to see who makes a record first and who then breaks that record.

Both are technically proficient and very good players of both spin and fast bowling. Amla is a tad more technically sound than Kohli, but that does not mean that Kohli is anyway lesser in skill than Amla. Both of them have played in almost every country except Pakistan and have done wonderfully well in all the conditions against every bowling attack.

 Virat Kohli vs Hashim Amla
Stats: Virat Kohli vs Hashim Amla

These are their respective ODI career stats so far:

ODI Stats Virat Kohli Hashim Amla
Matches 155 112
Innings 147 109
Not Out’s 23 9
Runs 6495 5654
Highest 183 159
Avg 52.37 56.54
Strike Rate 90 90.07
100s 22 20
50s 33 28

As seen in the table above, both of them go toe to toe when it comes to numbers. Hashim Amla opens for South Africa while Virat Kohli bats at number 3 for India. Kohli made records like fastest to 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000 and 5000 ODI runs in least innings, but Amla broke all those records with a pretty good margin. Kohli also made record for quickest to 10, 15, 20 centuries in ODIs, but again, Amla came from behind and destroyed those records. For example: Kohli took 114 innings to reach 5000 runs in ODI, but Amla took just 101 innings to do it.

The records don’t make or break a cricketer, but they do present to us a proof of how good and how consistent the two have been for their respective countries. Amla being the anchor he is is the reason why South Africa plans their batting around him, because they know that he is the guy that will bat through the innings and other players who are good hitters of the cricket ball can smack it out of the park without having to worry about the other end. But where Amla lacks, Kohli has mastered that aspect of batting.

South Africa is known to be incredibly bad in chasing a total, whereas India has made chasing a completely different art form. And one of the major reasons for India’s success chasing the totals has been Virat Kohli. He has made 4000 plus runs in chases and has hit 14 hundreds in chases and 13 of them have come in successful chases. That is the only and most significant difference between Virat Kohli and Hashim Amla, the difference in their records when they bat second where there is tremendous pressure of chasing a big total.

Amla has been a revelation in ODIs as far as the modern ODI game is concerned. A player in the same mould as Rahul Dravid, perfect technique, has a quiver of ground shots, rarely goes over the infield, still scores runs at a strike rate of 88-90. Amla has redefined opening batting; one doesn’t get to 20 centuries in 100 odd innings without being special in some way. He has 3 scores of 150 or more whereas Virat Kohli’s highest ODI score is 183 against Pakistan, his only score of 150 plus. On the other hand Kohli has a century in 52 balls in ODI with 7 sixes and Amla has a score of 150 with no six.

One can see the difference in their batting styles. Kohli is more aggressive with a penchant for big shots and dominating the bowling but also takes risks. Amla does not take risks, even if he does, those are thoroughly calculated; is content with hitting ground shots and giving strike to the hitters on the other end. Amla has and will always make those big scores, but his ability to handle pressure when South Africa chases has been tested on a few occasions with no conclusive proof. Virat Kohli on the other hand is the kind of player who wants the skipper wants to send in; if the team is chasing 300 plus he gets them in a perfect position to win the match. Kohli has helped India chase 330 runs in 36 overs against Sri Lanka in 2012 in Australia.

The comparison of Virat Kohli and Hashim Amla can go deeper with more and more statistics and numbers getting involved with further analysis. But that would only help people who argue and statisticians who love numbers. For a true cricket fan and someone who appreciates good and quality batting, both of them are unique players with their own specialities, abilities and qualities with the only thing that is common among them is that both of them are going to keep performing at the highest level for their countries with pride and passion to be the best.