#SriniStats – Rohit vs Virat in ODIs

Does the Blog title sound funny to you?

If yes, you’ve probably just not noticed what Rohit has done in ODI cricket in the last 2-3 years. With 3 double hundreds and 7 150+ scores, both World Records as of today, Rohit Sharma the HitMan is already an ODI Legend.

The objective of this post is not to compare Rohit with Virat. We all know Virat is leagues apart from any other ODI cricketer, not just Rohit. Objective of this post is rather to show how impressive Rohit’s been in the format over the past few years.  No wonder he is #2 ranked ODI Batsman at the moment.

How have the cumulative batting averages of Rohit and Virat fared over the years? Here’s a snapshot:

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I have 2 key observations from this snapshot

  1. Virat Kohli’s Career Average started teeing off from around this 150th innings (late 2015) – his career average has increased from ~ 50 to ~ 60 in a matter of 50 odd innings. INSANE stuff!
  2. Rohit’s Batting Average at the halfway mark (his 90th innings) was ~30, pretty poor; mainly because he was batting at #4, #5 or below till 2013. From ~ 30 in 2013, he’s managed to pull up his career batting average to 47.5

Batting Average by Batting position will help put things in better perspective.

Rohit’s average opening the innings for India is a mighty impressive 58.4, which is comparable with Virat’s 63.6 batting at #3.

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Batting average by Year also gives a similar perspective. Rohit’s ODI career can be split into 2 parts. Pre-2013 and Post-2013. Numbers in table below speak for themselves. Rohit 2.0 has consistently averaged 50+ over the last 6 years. In fact, he’s averaged ~ 70 from Jan 2016. Staggering numbers by themselves. Just that they’ve been dwarfed by another man who’s playing at a different level (Virat).

Since Jan 2017, Rohit has scored 11 hundreds against Virat’s 12.

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Let’s come to the important aspect of consistency. Who gives you good starts more often than not? Given a start, who converts them into a big score?

Here’s the summary.

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You have the answer. Half the time Rohit comes out to bat, he gets out below 25. Virat’s starts are far superior. 3 out of 4 times he comes out to bat, he scores at least 25.

But Virat’s supremacy ends there (compared to Rohit). Once they reach 25+, Rohit fares better compared to Virat in every further funnel (25s to 50s, 50s to 100s, and 100s to 150s).

Conclusion: If you let Rohit score 25+, you’ll regret it

Rohit is susceptible to LBW earlier in his innings. You know why. He has the tendency to freely swing across the line with utter disregard for the bowler/line of ball.

Rohit averages a paltry 14 on matches where he gets out LBW. If you are a non Indian bowler, here’s the secret sauce to get Rohit out early on –  bowl over the wicket, target the stumps, keep the leg side field open and wait for Rohit to miss the line while swinging across the line.

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Hope you liked this edition of #SriniStats. Feedback in comments below, please. What are the other cuts worth looking at?

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