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Friday, Aug 16, 2019

Race to the top: Virat Kohli-Rohit Sharma battle to be decided in December

India vs West Indies: India captain Virat Kohli has been in a record-breaking spree in this ODI series. He however faces tough competition from his deputy Rohit Sharma. Kohli and Rohit his going neck to neck as far as 2019 is concerned.

cricket Updated: Aug 16, 2019 11:25 IST
Pratik Sagar
Pratik Sagar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India's Rohit Sharma, left, bumps fist with Virat Kohli.
India's Rohit Sharma, left, bumps fist with Virat Kohli.(AP)

These days people get astounded if they hear Virat Kohli didn’t cross the magical three-figure mark in a One-day Internationals. Such has been his consistency in the 50-over format that journalists lose volumes of ink every time he takes to the ground. Recently, when the entire nation was sleeping, his bat was doing the talking in the Caribbean and his performances there have pitted two of the modern-day greats against each other once again.

Also Read: Team India head coach to be announced to be announced today, selection process begins with Robin Singh’s interview

In the recently-concluded ODI series against West Indies, Kohli came out to bat twice and returned with two tons and two victories. While the first one was a much-needed, monkey off the back kind of a century, the second one illustrated why he is known as the chase master. In the process, India bagged another trophy and Kohli edged two steps closer to ‘The Master’.

But first, Kohli will have to contend with his deputy, who this year has been simply sublime, like his batting. Rohit Sharma didn’t set the beautiful venues of West Indies on fire but he did it where it mattered the most.

Also Read: Will Kohli be fit for 1st Test? Indian captain provides an update on injury

The alleged rift isn’t the only place where the two Indian stalwarts are at loggerheads but the illustrious duo are also going head to head in the list of most ODI centuries this year. After his twin centuries in West Indies, Kohli now takes the second spot behind Rohit, whose World Cup heroics still keep him at the top of the pile.

A century in Australia, followed by five tons in England means Rohit has six 100+ scores this calendar year. Kohli hit three centuries against Australia this year and now two against West Indies, meaning his World Cup drought keeps him one short of Rohit’s tally.

Rohit’s ODI centuries in 2019

133 vs Australia (Sydney)

122* vs South Africa (Southampton)

140 vs Pakistan (Manchester)

102 vs England (Birmingham)

104 vs Bangladesh (Birmingham)

103 vs Sri Lanka (Leeds)

Kohli’s ODI centuries in 2019

104 vs Australia (Adelaide)

116 vs Australia (Nagpur)

123 vs Australia (Ranchi)

120 vs West Indies (Port of Spain)

114* vs West Indies (Port of Spain)

Also Read: Kohli beats Ponting by huge margin to achieve historical first in third ODI

This race will now end in the last month of the year as India aren’t scheduled to feature in a 50-over contest till 15th December. Both players will get three cracks to get the better of each other. While it may not be as illustrious a list as the two players usually find their respective names on, but their fight to top is certainly a good thing for the team as a century for either of them usually sees India go over the finishing line.

First Published: Aug 15, 2019 18:29 IST

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