Sachin Tendulkar with Virat Kohli
Sachin Tendulkar with Virat Kohli. Image Credit: AFP

Gautam Gambhir, the former India opener, has opted for the legendary Sachin Tendulkar over current India skipper Virat Kohli as the greatest batsman considering the change in rules in ODI cricket and also the longevity of the former’s career.

Tendulkar played ODI cricket for more than two decades, representing India in 463 matches in which he scored over 18,000 runs with 49 hundreds. Kohli, on the other hand, has so far played 248 ODIs for the Men in Blue in which he has amassed close to 12,000 runs, including 43 centuries.

“(I would go for) Sachin Tendulkar, because probably with one white ball and four fielders inside the circle, not five fielders outside, it will be Sachin Tendulkar for me. It’s difficult because Virat Kohli has done phenomenally well but I think the rules have changed as well, which has helped a lot of new batters,” Gambhir said.

In contemporary times, an ODI inning is played with two new white balls from each end. When it comes to field restrictions, each inning is divided into three powerplays.

In the first powerplay from overs 1-10, only two fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle. In the next 30 overs, i.e. from 11-40, four fielders are allowed and in the last 10 overs, five fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle.

“The new generation, with two new balls, no reverse swing, nothing for the finger spin, five fielders inside for the 50 overs, probably that makes batting much easier,” said Gambhir.

“Look at how Sachin Tendulkar has played, different rules, that time 230 to 240 was a winning total. Probably, I’ll go with Sachin Tendulkar if we see the longevity and flow of the one-day cricket format.”