Former Indian cricketer, Sanjay Manjrekar has opined that the Indian stalwart, Virat Kohli is right up there in terms of the rankings for the best modern-day ODI batter. He also added that it’s difficult to look past West Indies great Sir Vivian Richards when it comes to labeling him as the greatest batter of all time in ODI cricket. Virat Kohli has been in fine form, having hit 3 tons since he ended his nearly 3-year drought for a 3-figure score in ODI cricket in Bangladesh last year.
Virat Kohli smashed a couple of centuries in the 3-match series against South Africa, taking his tally to 46 in ODI cricket. Now, he is just 3 centuries behind Sachin Tendulkar’s all-time record of 49 ODI centuries, having already broken his record for the most ODI centuries at home. Kohli has managed just 19 runs in the 2 ODIs against New Zealand in a 3-match series at home, but the former captain is close to his best form.
Adding that the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni also feature in the list of modern-day ODI greats, Sanjay Manjrekar said he had no doubts in his mind that the all-time-great tag should go to Vivian Richards.
Richards amassed 6721 runs in 187 matches at an average of 47 and a staggering strike rate of 90. The man, who hit a hundred in the 1979 World Cup, revolutionized ODI batting in the 1970s and 1980s, striking at an unheard-of rate in ODI cricket.
Discussing the same during a chat on Star Sports, Sanjay Manjrekar said, “When you look at the modern era, in the last 20 years or so, Virat Kohli is right up there. Tendulkar is also one of the all-time greats. Virat Kohli, in my book, just fits in as a pure one-day player. MS Dhoni is another player that comes to my mind. But, all-time one-day batter, there is nobody who can get close to Sir Vivian Richards. Now, this might seem a little old-fashioned.”
He further explained, “Viv Richards played from the 70s to 90s in a time when all top-class batters, people like Gordon Greenidge averaged about 30 and strike rate in the 60s. Viv Richards, from the 70s to the 90s, including a World Cup final hundred, averaged 47 and a strike rate of 90. The second-best in his era was second-best by a long way. And that’s how you compare all-time greats. But, in the modern era, when it comes to Virat Kohli, certainly right up there.”