Who is not a better cricket player, Sachin, Sehwag, or Kohli?
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The question is worded rather trickily! A straightforward answer would mean one amongst them is not a better player and leave the other two in. If you reverse the question then one would be on top and the other two left out!
First of all, it is not an apple to apple comparison when you look at these three great batsmen of our era.
The position they play(ed) in matters. (Sehwag opened in all formats while Sachin opened in shorter forms and came in at two-drop or as No 4 in 275/329 innings. Kohli opens for his club in IPL but comes in at one drop or two for his country in shorter form and tests). The position one plays in either offers an opportunity to score or face a difficult task shoring up the innings depending on the pitch conditions. Sehwag is the odd man out here as an opener.
The second aspect of a great player is how he adapts to demands of the situation. All three are attacking players but when the situation demanded they have downed the shutters and played for the larger interests of the team. Virat Kohli turns even defence to attack with his pushes on the off-side racing to the boundary.
The third point one should consider is the quality of opposition and here Sachin is the standout. Over his long career, he has played in every country every stadium and has displayed his grit and talent. Whether it is the fiery and bouncy Perth pitch, rank turners in India or Pakistan, or swing and seam of English conditions, he has stamped his class again and again.
Other variables like quality of attack, whether a score was made in chasing or setting up, how many fourth innings runs were made all come in when you decide a player’s worth. So it becomes pretty well impossible to determine who is better and who is not. The numbers can only tell you so much and they can be twisted to tell a story in a way we want to!
So the verdict?
All of them are better nay great players and India is lucky to have (had) them in its ranks! I would not county my blessings but keep my fingers crossed for more!
Here are the test numbers in case you are interested. Source – HowSTAT
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