2011 World Cup winner Gautam Gambhir was mercilessly trolled for his comments on Virat Kohli after the talismanic India batter broke a slew of records during his century in the first ODI against Sri Lanka in Guwahati on Tuesday.
After Virat Kohli brought up his 45th ODI hundred, his 73rd in international cricket, Gautam Gambhir opined that the former can’t be compared with the legendary Sachin Tendulkar as the scenario was completely different when he was an active cricketer.
“You can’t compare Virat with Sachin. In Sachin’s era there weren’t five players inside the 30-yard circle,” Gautam Gambhir said during his commentary stint with Star Sports.
“It’s not fair to compare eras as well where there was one new ball as compared to now when there are 2 new balls with five fielders inside. But yes, he has been a master in this format and he has shown it over such a long period of time,” he added.
“It’s not about the record honestly. Virat Kohli will go on to get many more centuries than Sachin Tendulkar in the 50-over format. See, the rules have changed,” Gautam Gambhir opined.
Gautam Gambhir’s comments on air didn’t impress Virat Kohli’s supporters who took to social media to lash out at the former India opener.
While some dubbed him the “Arvind Kejriwal of cricket, others blasted him for his unending jealousy towards one of India’s most iconic players.
Did anyone else notice how the first sentence Gambhir said today about being asked about Kohli's 100 and his comeback was how the bowling was very ordinary?
It was, but how's that for belittling someone's efforts and saying he did well BECAUSE the bowling was bad.
— Sarah Waris (@swaris16) January 10, 2023
Gautam Gambhir is basically Arvind Kejriwal of Cricket.
— Abhijeet (@bhature_bazz) January 10, 2023
*Kohli makes a T20 century*
Gambhir – SKY is faster
*Kohli makes an ODI century*
Gambhir – Tendulkar made centuries with more difficult rules
Gambhir – Baba Ramdev does better Pranayam
— Sagar (@sagarcasm) January 10, 2023
Gautam Gambhir, whenever Kohli scores a century pic.twitter.com/7kPFQDJFCC
— ಟ್ರೋಲ್ ಹೈಕ್ಳು (@TrollHaiklu) January 10, 2023
Virat Kohli scored a century
Gautam Gambhir : pic.twitter.com/IeAJ6tURnF
— ಭಲೇ ಬಸವ (@Basavachethanah) January 10, 2023
Gambhir in commentary box watching Kohli score another 100.pic.twitter.com/bYcgeX3L7k
— Abhi (@D4nAfc) January 10, 2023
Among the major world records, Virat Kohli shattered during his sensational innings against the Lankan Lions was to become the fastest to reach 45 hundreds and 12,500 runs in One-Day Internationals.
While Sachin Tendulkar needed 424 innings to complete 45 tons in ODIs, the Delhi-born batter only required 257 knocks to get there. Additionally, Virat Kohli achieved 12,500 runs in 257 ODI innings, ahead of the Little Master who did it in 310.
Virat Kohli also has the most centuries in international cricket as a non-opener.
Besides the above-mentioned milestones, he became the first man to score at least nine centuries against two different teams in ODI cricket.
Previously, both Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar had 9 tons each against West Indies and Australia respectively. The legendary cricketers had collected 8 hundreds each against Sri Lanka as well. But with his century against Dasun Shanaka and his men, Virat Kohli now stands alone in the list with 9 centuries against both Sri Lanka and West Indies.
The 34-year-old matched Sachin Tendulkar’s record of making the most number of centuries on home soil as well. Both Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli now have 20 tons each in India.
The number of knocks Virat Kohli took to reach there though was far less compared to Sachin Tendulkar. While Little Master needed 160 innings to hit 20 centuries in ODIs at home, the India No.3 accomplished the feat in only 99 knocks.
Virat Kohli came out at the crease after captain Rohit Sharma and his opening partner Shubman Gill gave India a blistering start with both men making fifties. The youngster Shubman Gill was the first to fall after scoring a quickfire 70 off 60 balls. Rohit Sharma, on the other hand, looked good to hit a hundred but played on to be dismissed for 83 off 67 deliveries.
Virat Kohli started his knock with a couple of straight drives down the ground. Once Rohit Sharma left, the Delhi-born cricketer played the sheet anchor’s role to perfection as he took singles and doubles and struck an odd boundary to keep the scoreboard ticking.
But once India neared the 300-run mark, Virat Kohli upped the tempo and subsequently brought up his 45th hundred in the 50-over format. It was the 34-year-old’s second successive century in ODIs after he ended a three-year wait for a ton in the second shortest version of the game in Bangladesh last year.
After failing to cross the hundred-run mark in over a thousand days, Virat Kohli has now made three tons in the last 4 months, beginning with his maiden T20I century against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup in the UAE in September.
It was also Kohli’s 73 ton in international cricket. He’s only behind Sachin Tendulkar in terms of international hundreds. Tendulkar is the only cricketer to smash 100 centuries – 49 in ODIs and 51 in Tests.
Despite Virat Kohli’s numerous accomplishments, Gautam Gambhir appeared to be “belittling” his effort.
But his fellow panelist Sanjay Manjrekar didn’t agree with his views as he backed Virat Kohli to overtake Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 centuries in ODI cricket.
“He (Kohli) is not an opener so in every 50-overs game, he is not going there from ball number 1 and you are looking at the whole innings to get a hundred. He has batted at 3 most of the times so that is something you have got to consider. I have no doubt that he will overtake Tendulkar in one-day hundreds. I mean, it’s just four hundreds to equal Tendulkar. It may happen in a year and a half. It’s a 50-over World Cup year so I believe it could happen,” Sanjay Manjrekar signed off.