Cricket fans have always enjoyed drawing parallels between the game’s legends. Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli are two such legends whose careers have run curiously parallel. While Tendulkar is widely regarded as the “God of Cricket,” Kohli is widely regarded as his rightful successor. Indeed, their careers have displayed an uncanny symmetry on several levels. Here, we look at four extraordinary coincidences that make you wonder if fate had a hand in shaping their cricket careers.
1. A Common ODI Debut Date
The first startling coincidence is their ODI debut dates. On December 18, 1989, Tendulkar faced Pakistan for the first time. Fast forward 19 years, and Kohli made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka on August 18, 2008. Have you noticed anything? Both debuts took place on the 18th, though in different months. Coincidence? Perhaps, but it’s certainly interesting.
2. Australia’s Nightmare in Their First Test Century
In their 14th innings, both players scored their first Test century. The common adversary is even more remarkable. Tendulkar and Kohli both accomplished this feat against Australia, and both did so on Australian soil. Tendulkar’s first century came in 1992 in Sydney, while Kohli’s came in 2012 in Adelaide. Both instances demonstrate their mettle against a strong Australian lineup, highlighting their talent.
3. Orange Cap Winners of the IPL
Both legends have played in the Indian Premier League (IPL), albeit in different eras. Tendulkar became the first Indian captain to win the Orange Cap in the IPL in 2010. Kohli followed suit six years later, winning the coveted Orange Cap in 2016. They are two of three Indian captains to have received this honor, with KL Rahul being the third.
4. Debut as Captain Against Familiar Opponents
Tendulkar took over as India’s captain for the first time in an ODI against Sri Lanka. Similarly, Kohli made his ODI captaincy debut against the island nation. In Tests, both legends began their captaincy careers against Australia. In 1996, it was Tendulkar, and in 2014, it was Kohli. The symmetry is difficult to overlook, and it adds another layer to their parallel journeys.
5. The Weight of Expectations is a Fifth Coincidence.
Although this is not a numerical coincidence, it is noteworthy. Tendulkar and Kohli both walked onto the field, carrying the hopes of a billion people with them. The weight of expectations was enormous, but they consistently met, if not exceeded, them.
Tendulkar and Kohli share more than just numerical similarities. They provide insight into the extraordinary abilities, temperaments, and responsibilities that both players have borne. These strange coincidences add mystery to their already legendary careers. They also provide food for thought for cricket fans and statisticians who enjoy making such intriguing comparisons. Is it fate, chance, or a testament to their greatness? That is entirely up to you to decide.