Indian cricket has been served by numerous greats over the years but only a few come close to the stature of legends Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli. Kapil Dev’s captaincy defined a new era, Sachin Tendulkar’s batting prowess is unmatched and Virat Kohli’s exploits with the bat as well as his aggressive captaincy style brought a renewed vigour to the Indian team. Together, their contributions over the years have elevated Indian cricket to another level. Although the trio represent different eras of Indian cricket, we take a look at the various facets of the three Indian superstars.
Kapil Dev is considered to be one of the greatest captains in the history of Indian cricket. The all-rounder’s impact on Indian cricket is massive. By leading India to glory in the 1983 World Cup, he inspired a generation of cricketers. His charismatic personality, combined with an aggressive and fearless style of play, not only defined him as captain but also as a cricketer. His achievements have established a benchmark that aspiring all-rounders aim to reach.
The legendary cricketer’s unwavering determination, grit and on-field heroics have always been admired. His innings of 175 against Zimbabwe in the 1983 Cricket World Cup is an example of his never-yielding attitude. Kapil Dev’s feat of 434 Test wickets in a career spanning nearly two decades is a testament to his fitness. The former cricketer hardly missed a game due to injury. He was the first Indian cricketer to highlight the fitness factor. Kapil Dev’s commitment to fitness during his cricketing career set a benchmark for athletes in the sport.
After Kapil Dev, if there is any cricketer who has had a colossal influence on generations, it is Sachin Tendulkar. Hailed as the ‘God of Cricket’, Tendulkar’s impact on Indian cricket is immeasurable and extends far beyond his records and achievements.
Sachin Tendulkar’s statistical achievements are humongous. He is the highest run-scorer in both Test (15921) and ODI (18426) cricket. His records include being the only player to score one hundred international centuries and the first to reach 10,000 runs in ODIs. Tendulkar played in an era that featured legendary bowlers such as Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram, Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan, renowned for their ability to trouble even the most accomplished batsmen. He single-handedly won matches for India and played a crucial role in propelling India from a competitive cricketing nation to a powerhouse.
Similar to Kapil Dev’s impact in the 1983 World Cup, Tendulkar played a vital role in India’s journey to the 2003 World Cup final. He emerged as the highest run-getter, scoring 673 runs in South Africa. His contributions in the 2011 World Cup-winning campaign cemented his legacy as the biggest superstar of Indian cricket.
Just when Indian cricket was looking for a new heir to Sachin Tendulkar’s throne, Virat Kohli emerged as the talismanic figure, who announced himself as the new superstar of Indian cricket. The former India captain solidified his place among the pantheon of cricketing legends when he scored his fiftieth ODI century to surpass Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 tons in the 50-over format. En route to his 113-ball 117 against New Zealand in the first semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 at the Wankhede Stadium, Kohli also eclipsed Tendulkar’s record for the most runs in a single ODI World Cup. Kohli also became the first batter to score over 700 runs in an ODI World Cup.
Kohli’s achievements are a testament to his unwavering commitment, insatiable hunger for success and unyielding passion for excellence. The consistency with which he has scored runs has cemented his status as a modern-day superstar.
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