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  5. Virat Kohli's numbers while chasing makes him better batsman than Steve Smith, Sachin Tendulkar: Pietersen

Virat Kohli's numbers while chasing makes him better batsman than Steve Smith, Sachin Tendulkar: Pietersen

In a live Instagram session with former Zimbabwean cricketer Pommie Mbangwa, Pietersen reckoned that Kohli's insane numbers while chasing a game and ability to singlehandedly win games for India makes him a better batsman than Smith and Sachin. 

India TV Sports Desk Written by: India TV Sports Desk
New Delhi Published on: May 15, 2020 22:14 IST
File image of Virat Kohli
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES

File image of Virat Kohli

Former England cricketer and legend of the game, Kevin Pietersen on Friday explained what makes Indian skipper Virat Kohli the better batsman than Aussie cricketer Steve Smith and Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar

In a live Instagram session with former Zimbabwean cricketer Pommie Mbangwa, Pietersen reckoned that Kohli's insane numbers while chasing a game and ability to singlehandedly win games for India makes him a better batsman than Smith and Sachin. 

"Smith or Kohli?" asked Pommie. And without the slightest hesitation, Pietersen replied, "Kohli. Hands Down."

"His record chasing, winning games for India with the amount of pressure he consistently lives under. Smith doesn't even come close," Pietersen explained. 

Pommie then asked, "Kohli or Sachin?", and Pietersen's reply remained the same. 

"Again Virat, because of his chasing numbers. They are frightening. He averages 80 while chasing and most of his ODI hundreds have come while chasing. He consistently wins games for India. He just keeps turning on the numbers chasing, chasing, chasing. And that is what drives me. My Man of the Match performances was not how I played...how many MOM awards, how many games did you win for England. Unreal numbers," he added. 

In ODIs, Kohli has scored 7039 runs batting second in 134 innings and stands only behind Sachin who managed 8720 runs in 232 innings. Moreover, Kohli has the most centuries - 26 - while chasing compared to Sachin's 17, and also averages 68.33 compared to the legend's 42.33. The scenario remains the same in successful chases. Kohli amassed 5388 runs in 86 innings where India successfully chased a total, at 96.21 and 22 centuries. Sachin's numbers are - 5490 runs in 124 innings at 55.45 with 14 centuries. 

Earlier last week, Pommie had asked a similar question to Kohli's RCB teammate AB de Villiers. 

"I think Virat will also say that he's (Tendulkar) the main guy, he's the dude. He set the standards for guys like us to follow. Personally for me, specially in a chase I'd say Virat is the best I've ever seen in my life. There's no-one that beats him when it comes to... the opposition scores 330 and you've got to go chase it down.

"Sachin was amazing in all formats, all sorts of situations but Virat tops him there when it comes to chasing under pressure. For me, that's where I rate sportsman, when it comes to tennis, golf... the Tiger Woods of the world. When the heat is really on you feel like your whole body is numb, but he (Kohli) stands up and he does amazing things. That's what Virat does under pressure," de Villiers said.