Second God of Cricket

Know who is the second God of Cricket after Sachin Tendulkar and why is he called so. Also, get all his batting records in international cricket.

Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan Dutta

Last Updated: 2024-01-04

Dillip Mohanty

5 minutes read

Former India cricket captain Virat Kohli is widely believed to be the Second God of Cricket after his idol Sachin Tendulkar, who is called the God of Cricket. The ICC Men’s Player of the Decade, Kohli has easily been the best batsman in world cricket over the last decade, standing tallest amongst world-class contemporaries like Steve Smith, Joe Root, Rohit Sharma and more.

Virat Kohli Test Potrait.jpeg

India’s propensity to produce otherworldly batsmen since Sunil Gavaskar has been quite astonishing. While Gavaskar was followed by Sachin Tendulkar, the Master Blaster was succeeded by Kohli. They both shared the same playing eleven that won India their second ODI World Cup title after 28 years; the rest is history. Kohli is so widely accepted as the second God of Cricket, that some of the best cricket betting sites have already started offering odds on who will be the third God of Cricket.

Why is Virat Kohli Called the Second God of Cricket?

While Kohli hasn’t shattered every record of Tendulkar and given his age, that seems like a distant possibility, the most recent one was leapfrogging Sachin in scoring the most runs in a single ODI World Cup.

The 2023 ODI World Cup saw Kohli tallying a whopping 711 Runs, which is easily the most by any cricketer ever in a single edition of the tournament history. In the process, Kohli broke Tendulkar's long-standing record of 673 runs, which the Master Blaster had accumulated in 2003 in South Africa when India had reached the final.

Apart from this, below are a few instances when Kohli showed the world that he is better than Tendulkar.

Virat Kohli's Career Stats: Test, ODI and T20Is

Fastest to Reach 10,000 ODI Runs  

On October 24, 2018, on his course to an unbeaten 157 runs, Virat Kohli reached his 10,000 ODI runs when he scored 81 runs. He tallied the milestone in a world record 205 innings, which was 54 fewer innings than Tendulkar, who had reached the same milestone in 259 innings in 2001 against Australia.

Apart from Tendulkar, Kohli had also surpassed 12 other batsmen, including Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara and former India captain MS Dhoni, to reach this milestone. The other big names on this elite list included Sourav Ganguly (263 innings) and Australia’s Ricky Ponting (266 innings). Kohli tallied 10,000 runs in just 10 years and 67 days since his ODI debut.

Virat Kohli Pull Shot in ODI.jpg

Fastest to Reach 12000 ODI Runs

Following his tally of 10,000 runs, Virat Kohli next reached his 12,000th ODI run while playing against Australia in Rajkot. Coming to the second game of the three-match ODI series, Kohli required just 23 runs to reach 12000 runs and he managed to reach it in only his 242nd innings, 37 innings after his 10,000 run-tally.

Kohli became the fastest batsman in cricket history to reach 12,000 ODI runs and consequently broke Tendulkar’s record of reaching the same milestone in 300 innings, 58 more innings than Kohli. 

Highest ODI-Rated Indian Batsman Ever

The then-captain of the Indian team, Virat Kohli was in mercurial form in 2017 as New Zealand toured India for a three-match ODI series. His scores in that series were 121, 29 and 113. Consequently, Kohli leapfrogged his contemporary and RCB teammate AB de Villiers to regain the ICC top spot with a rating of 889.

This was also the highest ICC batting rating that any Indian had gotten since Sachin Tendulkar had managed to do in 1998. The Master Blaster had attained the highest career rating of 887.

Fastest Batsman to Score 50 International Centuries

Hosting Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens in 2017 was a momentous occasion for Virat Kohli as his unbeaten 104 put India in a great place at a time when the entire middle order crumbled on single figures. Though India managed to draw the match, Kohli’s ton moved him to 50 centuries across all formats.

By scoring his 18th Test century, Kohli had equalled South Africa’s Hashim Amla to score 50 centuries in 348 innings. This was 28 innings fewer than Sachin Tendulkar, who had taken 376 innings to reach 50 international centuries. Tendulkar, however, managed to retire with 100 centuries, which is 20 more than what 35-year-old Virat Kohli has at the moment.

Fastest Batsman to Reach 40 ODI Hundreds

When Virat Kohli became only the second batsman in cricket history to score 40 ODI centuries, all debates on the best ODI player ever were dissolved. Kohli’s 116 runs against Australia on March 5, 2019, in Nagpur, moved him to 40 ODI tons in just 216 innings, which was a whopping 139 innings fewer than Tendulkar’s (355).

Only Batsman to Score 50 ODI Centuries

It was concluded in Nagpur itself that Kohli would go on to score 50 ODI centuries, a milestone no other batsman had achieved in cricket history. The inevitable happened on November 15, 2023, at the Wankhede against New Zealand, when Kohli scored 117 in front of a packed crowd that had Tendulkar himself, to score his 50th ODI ton. The biggest of all was the occasion - the 2023 World Cup semi-final.

Virat Kohli with Player of the Match Award in ODIs.jpeg

Virat Kohli

In ICC World Cups

FormatsInningsRunsAverage100 / 50s
ODI World Cups37179559.835 / 12
T20I World Cups25114181.500 / 14
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Longevity has been the lynchpin in Tendulkar’s unparalleled career, something Kohli has to match. However, he wouldn’t have to match his game by game as his scoring rate, fitness and consistency are superior to his idol. This gets clarified by his ODI World Cup record.

Kohli has played two fewer World Cups than Tendulkar and trails the latter by just 483 runs in the tournament history. He is one short of matching Tendulkar’s World Cup century tally of six and three short of matching his half-century tally of 15.

In the T20I World Cups, there is no catching Virat Kohli. He is the highest scorer with 1141 runs in 25 games with an astonishing average of 81.50. The second-highest run-scorer is the now-retired Mahela Jayawardene with 1016 runs.

Cricket Legends on Virat Kohli

To become a good player, you need talent. To become a great player you need an attitude like Kohli – Sunil Gavaskar

”Not sure I have seen a better white-ball cricketer ever than kohli ” – Ricky Ponting

"Virat Kohli’s success does not surprise you. His failures do.” - Sanjay Manjrekar

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan DuttaSports Writer

An M.A. in English Literature, Subhayan is an experienced journalist and sports writer. Having worked as a journalist at Hindustan Times, Subhayan covered diverse beats including sports, education, and health, showcasing his versatility and in-depth understanding of various subjects.