Different Rules And Longevity Make Sachin Tendulkar Better ODI Batsman Than Virat Kohli, Says Gautam Gambhir
Sachin Tendulkar (PTI Photo)

The changes ODI cricket has undergone over the years making the game more batsmen friendly puts Sachin Tendulkar ahead of Virat Kohli in terms of better player in the format, says two-time world cup winner and former India opener Gautam Gambhir.

The introduction of multiple powerplays, shorter boundaries, thicker bats and a new ball from each end have tilted the balance in ODI cricket in batsmen’s favour and thus the occurrence of teams posting totals in excess of 300-plus has become a commonplace.

Teams are now easily breaching the 400-run mark and there have been seven more individual ODI double-centuries since Tendulkar became the first to do so in 2010.

Despite the surreal consistency of Kohli in limited-overs cricket, Tendulkar edges ahead for Gambhir.

“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’ 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.”

“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 added.

Tendulkar retired as the most prolific run-getter in ODI cricket’s history with 18426 runs in 463 ODIs during a career spread over 24 years.

“Look at how Sachin Tendulkar has played, different rules, that time 230 to 240, was a winning total. Probably I’ll go with Sachin Tendulkar if we see the longevity and flow of the one-day cricket format,” said Gambhir.

Tendulkar himself has been a vocal critics of the rules bending more and more in favours of batsmen.

Recently he had quoted a tweet from Harbhajan Singh in which he had urged ICC to make contests more evenly balanced between the bat and the ball.

“…need few bowlers in @ICC to keep th balance right bitween bat and ball.. and games become more competitive when team scores 260/270 now days everyone scorning 320/30 plus and getting chased as well often,” Harbhajan had written.

Tendulkar had quoted is posting, “Couldn’t agree with you more Bhajji! Even I feel the rules and surfaces both need to be looked into.”