Kohli or Richards? Who is the best One Day Batsman?



Some things can never be compared even though you may be lured to compare it. You can never compare a vintage Mercedes S-class with the new age Mercedes 2018. The charm, the history and the quality of the original car is priceless and incomparable. It was also the first car in India which developed a new era of luxury and royal driving. Yes the newer version may be more sleek with more features but the original version will always remain the original. Nothing can replace that and it was path breaking during that time which created a trend and it’s so good that people still value it in today’s date and are ready to shell out lakhs to get a hand on it and preserve the model.

Similarly comparing Kohli with Sir Viv Richards is not only an insult to Sir Viv but it doesn’t make sense either. West Indies great Alwin Kalicharan who was a great cricketer himself in his time made a blunder by saying Virat is better than Richards if comparisions are to be done. That statement garnered a lot of backlash as there were so many people did not agree with it. They were the selected ones who also knew the value of the original Mercedes, the pathbreaker which first entered the market with its tanklike build quality which can last for wars.

We at Sportsnasha team gave it a try and analysed as in why Kalicharan made such a statement, in fact we sat down and decided to make one article on it too. We decided that we will make a simple comparision chart and score it in favor and against favor for both the players and see who emerges out to be as the winner. We certainly wish Virat turns out to be the winner, let’s see!



India's captain Virat Kohli throws the ball to his teammate during the second day of the cricket test match against Bangladesh in Hyderabad, India, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

  • Raw naked Statistics
  • of hundreds
  • His 50 to 100 conversion ratio
  • Consistency

Points Against his favor-

  • Bats in an era of flat tracks
  • Aggressive batting is already a trend
  • Quality of Oppositions
  • Quality of Wickets
  • Quality of Bowlers
  • Usually bats safely without the risks of throwing away wickets which Is sometimes boring
  • Lighter & longer bats
  • Full safety for the batsman head to toe
  • More than half of the runs scored in India on batting friendly tracks against School level or domestic level bowlers
  • Rules favoring the batsman more
  • Has failed to deliver many a times in crunch situations like semi-finals or finals.

Overall Virat’s Comparision outcome is 4<11 where there are only 4factors supporting the argument that he is the best but 11 factors going against him.


Sir Viv Richards


Points in Richards Favor-

  • Was the trendsetter for flamboyant batting
  • Attacked the bowlers ruthlessly without caring about his wicket
  • Played aggressive cricket at a strike rate of 90 when the batsman of those time were not even aware about the ‘Aggressive concept”, in an era when a run rate of 2.5 and 3.5runs per over was the basic standard norms. Most of the batsmen were clueless about this format at that time he excelled.
  • Was the 1st and the fastest to 1000, 2000, 3000, 5000, and 6000 ODI runs
  • Played the kind of fearless shots nearly 4decades ago which were out of imagination for other batsman which most of the batsman hit it nowadays
  • Delivered in crunch situations and important matches
  • There was hardly any safety for the batsman
  • The quality of opposition and the bowlers was really competitive
  • Was responsible to introduce modern day batting in One Day Concept where the average strike rate of a batsman was not more than 50 or 60.
  • The bats were heavier and longer
  • The wickets were not customized rather they were difficult
  • Scored with dominance in foreign countries
  • Rules were almost neutral for batsman as well as bowlers unlike today’s era of batsman dominated game

Points against Richard’s favor-

  • ODI games were played less per year compared to the number of games which are player per year in today’s generation, hence Sir Viv only played 187 ODI’s
  • Only 11 ODI hundreds compared to Kohli’s 34* hardly describes the dominance he inflicted in ODI’s at that time
  • If only naked statistics are to be considered than Sir Viv Richard loses the comparision game but a real cricket connoisseur is not a fan of stats either. If naked stats are only to be considered tha let us give you a fair example why only stats on paper doesn’t work- Many may still remember that knock of 85 by Sachin Tendulkar vs Pakistan where he was dropped by a sitter by Afridi and one more player. In his 85, Sachin was dropped twice once on 13 and 2nd time on 42 but when he went back to the pavilion, 85runs were added to his statistics which was definitely twice his career average plus a boost to his batting average. But does that 85 really were genuinely 85runs scored with dominance? No. Hence, pure statistics will never define a player’s class or contribution towards the game. Another example can be- Even Afridi averaged 24 and Sehwag just 36 in ODI’s but does that mean they were mediocre or less impactful, rather they are hailed as two of the most destructive and most impact limited overs batsman of today’s generation.
  • Score of Sir Vivian Richards- 11>3




Sir Vivian Richards- 11 > 3, 82% of the arguments prove in Sir Viv Richards Favor as he was the greatest.

Virat Kohli- 4<11, while only 38% of the arguments go in Virat’s favor as to being the greatest ever ODI batsman.

Sir VIVIAN RICHARDS wins the comparision game hands down!


Also Virat may have scored a lot of runs and centuries and especially during the chases but 6 out of 10 times as per the research it shows Kohli has failed to fire in high pressure matches like Semi-finals and finals of any International ODI tournaments. The champions cup finale against Pakistan in 2017 was just a recent example out of many. Virat also had a slow start where in he averaged around 40 in his first 50ODI’s and slowly slowly achieved consistency reaching an average of 57 (wherein between he also faced some school level bowlers of Windies and Sri lanka in the last few years) while RICHARDS on the other hand was always consistent right from the start to the peak of his career to the twilight phase. Also Richards thrived under big pressure matches, Sir Viv made centuries in high octane finals of the  1979 World Cup, scored a thumping ton in the World Series finals in Australia while also smashed a world-record 189* at Old Trafford in 1984, adding 106 for the last wicket with Michael Holding while scoring 94 of those runs. By the time richards’s career ended his glorious career, Richards had made three 150+ scores (and a 149 against India) and won 31 player-of-the-match awards in just 187 matches.


Just even thinking of comparing Viv Richards with someone is not worth arguing but still to prove the critics wrong we made an effort to point out just the few facts which shows who is the real legend. There was and will always be one and only one Sir Viv Richards.





Editor Haineel Shah





Article orignally first written for sportsnasha.com  by the same writer

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