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‘Unreal’ Kohli pips Sachin: Kevin Pietersen

The Indian captain, who has scored 70 international hundreds, averages more than 50 in all three formats
Kevin Pietersen

The Telegraph   |   London   |   Published 16.05.20, 08:35 PM

Steve Smith’s accomplishments pale in comparison to Virat Kohli’s “unreal numbers” and the India captain has outstripped even the great Sachin Tendulkar with his mastery of chases, feels former England star Kevin Pietersen.

Smith and Kohli are among the leading batsmen in the world now, but for Pietersen, the Australian doesn’t come close to the Indian superstar.

“Kohli, hands down. Freakshow. His record chasing, winning games for India with the amount of pressure he consistently lives under, Smith doesn’t even come close,” Pietersen told former Zimbabwe cricketer Pommie Mbangwa during an Instagram Live session.

When Mbangwa asked Pietersen to choose between Kohli and Sachin, the ex-England captain said: “Again Virat because of his chasing numbers.

“His chasing numbers are frightening. He averages 80 in chases, all his one-day hundreds come when chasing.

“He consistently wins games of cricket for India. He just keeps on turning the numbers, chasing, chasing, chasing.”

Winning games for the country is much more important than individual performances, said Pietersen. “That’s what drives me. My Man-of-the-Match performances.

“It was not the way that I played or how I played. How many Man-of-the-Match performances and how many games that you win for England. And he (Kohli) does that for India. Unreal numbers,” added Pietersen.

Kohli, who has scored 70 international hundreds, averages more than 50 in all three formats. Smith, on the other hand, averages higher than Kohli in Tests with 7,227 runs in 73 games, averaging 62.74.

Kohli has scored 7,240 runs in 86 Tests at 53.62. He averages 59.33 and 50.80 in ODIs and T20Is, respectively, while Smith averages 42.46 and 29.60 in the two formats. 

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