Sachin Tendulkar is widely regarded as one of the greatest cricketers to have ever played the game. The Indian batsman is a record-holder for most runs in Tests and ODIs in a career which lasted 24 years. While many have said that it is incredibly difficult to go past Tendulkar's achievements, Indian captain Virat Kohli is inching closer to the batting great.
Kohli, who is still at the prime of his career, already has 70 international centuries to his name and remains thirty shy of equalling Tendulkar's record. His numbers have been impressive in all the formats of the game, and Indian fans have often called him the natural successor to the 'Master Blaster'.
Fans and experts have often been at loggerheads over debating on the two but former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir remains clear in his choice.
During one such debate on Star Sports' show 'Cricket Connected', Gambhir chose Tendulkar over Kohli, stating that the restrictions had been considerably strict during the Mumbai batsman's cricket era. (ALSO READ: Saliva ban hard for bowlers, says 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. 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," Gambhir said.
"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."
Gambhir further said that Tendulkar's longevity sets him apart as well.
"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 the former Indian opener. (ALSO READ: Kohli shares another insane workout video | Watch)
Tendulkar played 18,426 runs in 463 ODIs, slamming 49 tons and 96 half-centuries. In Tests, the 'Master Blaster' averages 53.8 in 200 Tests, scoring 15,921 runs.
Virat, meanwhile, is the only batsman to average above-fifty across all the formats of the game at present. Playing in 248 ODIs so far, the Indian captain has amassed 11,867 runs with 43 centuries and 58 half-centuries. In Tests, he averages 53.6, scoring 7,240 runs in 86 matches.
He boasts of a T20I average of 50.8, scoring 24 half-centuries in 82 matches. Virat is also the leading run-getter in the shortest format of the game.