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Virat Kohli vs. Rohit Sharma – Batting and Captaincy Comparison, Stats

Both V. Kohli and R. Sharma were Under-19 stars earmarked for bigger things. Rohit won a T20 World Cup with India in 2007, a year before Kohli even got his first cap. But it was Kohli that quickly became an integral part of India’s batting line-up, and the leader of a new generation. It was Kohli that helped India win a World Cup on home soil in 2011, and then established himself as the best all-format batter in the world after taking over the Test captaincy from Dhoni.

Rohit took much longer to become part of the XI in each format, and though he smashed a host of white-ball batting records – including for the highest score in ODIs (264) – it’s only in the last half-decade that he’s become a regular on the Test team. 

V. Kohli, despite holding the single-season record for the most runs (973 in 2016), has never won the Indian T20 League title, while Rohit has led the Mumbai team to the trophy on 5 occasions since 2013. 

Here, we compare Rohit and Virat across the all formats (Test, ODIs, and T20) and see who has left a bigger imprint on Indian cricket history.

Virat vs Rohit in Test Cricket

This is one area where there simply isn’t any comparison. Rohit has excelled in recent times, especially in England last year, while Kohli’s form has slumped since 2019, but there’s a world of difference in their career numbers. Kohli has played more than twice as many matches (101 to 45), scored nearly 5,000 more runs, and made 27 centuries in the longest format of the game. And despite not making a century since late 2019, his average is just a fraction under 50. 

Virat vs Rohit Test Stats Comparison

 Virat
 
Rohit
Matches
102
45
Runs
 
8074
3137
Average
49.53
46.13
Centuries
27
8
50s
28
14
Highest Score
254* vs SA (2019)
212 vs SA (2019)
 

Rohit has made 8 hundreds in Tests, though, tellingly only 1 of them has come outside India. His career average of 46.13 is built largely on an incredible home record. In 20 Tests in India, he averages 73.33. Kohli, who has 14 away hundreds, including 6 in Australia, averages 61.06 at home.

Virat vs Rohit in ODIs

The debate is a much closer one in the 50-overs arena. Rohit has crossed 200 on 3 occasions, including that incredible 173-ball 264 against Sri Lanka in 2014. Kohli’s highest score is 183, but his average is a frankly stupendous 58.07 after 251 innings. Rohit averages an imposing 48.60, but that’s still nearly 10 runs an innings less than Kohli.

When it comes to strike-rate too, Kohli nudges ahead, scoring nearly 4 runs more per 100 balls – 92.92 to 89.01. Both players have saved their best for the most dominant team in ODI history, with 8 hundreds apiece against Australia.

Virat vs Rohit ODI Stats Comparison

 
Virat
Rohit
Matches
262
 
233
Runs
12344
9376
Average
57.68
48.58
Strike Rate
92.84
89.18
Centuries
43
29
50s
64
45
Highest Score
183 vs Pak (2012)
264 vs SL (2014)

Virat vs Rohit in T20Is

 

In T20 cricket, Rohit and Virat are considered two of the all-time greats. This is the format where Rohit has had so much success in the Indian T20 League, but when it comes to international cricket, Kohli is once again the dominator. At first glance, you might think otherwise, given that Rohit has 4 international hundreds in T20s, compared to Kohli’s zero. But they have the same number of 50-plus scores (30) and Kohli’s average is way superior – 51.50 to 32.48. Rohit has a marginally better strike rate, but Kohli’s consistency has been nothing short of mind-boggling. He was player of the tournament at the T20 World Cup in both 2014 and 2016. 

Rohit vs Virat T20I Stats Comparison

 
Virat
Rohit
Matches
99
129
Runs
3308
3443
Average
50.12
32.18
Strike Rate
137.66
139.73
Centuries
0
4
50s
30
27
Highest Score
94* vs WI (2019)
118 vs SL (2017)

Even when it comes to the T20 format, Kohli has more runs at a better average, and more 50-plus scores. Rohit has 1 more century, and a slightly better strike rate.

Virat vs Rohit Indian T20 League Stats Comparison

 
Virat
Rohit
Matches
223
227
Runs
6624
5879
 
Average
36.2
30.3
Strike Rate
129.15
129.89
Centuries
5
1
50s
44
40
Sixes
218
240
Fours
578
519
Highest Score
113 vs Punjab (2016)
109 vs Kolkata (2012)

Who is The Better Batsman – Rohit or Virat?

Rohit may have hit the high notes more often, but Virat has been in a different league when it comes to consistent performances in every format of the game. Despite no centuries since 2019, the numbers remain overwhelmingly in Kohli’s favour, in every format of the game.

Who is The Better Captain - Virat or Rohit?

It’s easy to get carried away by Rohit’s 5 Indian T20 League title wins as a captain and to forget what an outstanding group of players he had around him. Kohli didn’t win any major titles as Indian captain, but he was instrumental in India’s most successful phase as a Test team. His record of 40 Test wins is behind only G. Smith (53), R. Ponting (48) and S. Waugh (41). 

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