Indian cricket has been served by numerous greats over the years, but few come close to legends Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli. Kapil Dev’s captaincy defined a new era, Sachin Tendulkar’s batting skills are unmatched and Virat Kohli’s exploits with the bat as well as his aggressive style of captaincy brought renewed vigor to the Indian team. Together, their contributions over the years have taken Indian cricket to another level. Although the trio represent different eras of Indian cricket, we take a look at the different 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 immense. By leading India to greatness in the 1983 World Cup, he inspired a generation of cricketers. His charismatic personality, combined with an aggressive and fearless style of play, defined him not only as a captain but also as a cricketer. His achievements have established a benchmark that aspiring all-rounders aim to achieve.
The legendary cricketer’s unwavering determination, grit and heroism on the field has always been admired. His innings of 175 against Zimbabwe in the 1983 Cricket World Cup is an example of his never-give-up attitude. Kapil Dev’s feat of 434 Test wickets in a career spanning almost two decades is a testament to his fitness. The former cricketer hardly missed a match due to injury. He was the first Indian cricketer to highlight the fitness factor. Kapil Dev’s commitment to fitness during his cricket career set a benchmark for athletes in the sport.
After Kapil Dev, if there is any cricketer who has had a colossal impact on generations, it is Sachin Tendulkar. Hailed as the ‘God of Cricket’, Tendulkar’s impact on Indian cricket is immeasurable and goes far beyond his records and achievements.
Sachin Tendulkar’s statistical achievements are immense. He is the highest run scorer in both Test (15921) and ODI (18426) cricket. His records include being the only player to score a hundred international centuries and the first to reach 10,000 runs in ODIs. Tendulkar played in an era when legendary bowlers like Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram, Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan were known for their ability to trouble even the most skilled batsmen. He single-handedly won matches for India and was instrumental 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 crucial role in India’s journey to the World Cup final in 2003. He emerged as the highest run-getter and scored 673 runs in South Africa. His contribution in the 2011 World Cup winning campaign cemented his legacy as the biggest superstar in Indian cricket.
Just when Indian cricket was looking for a new heir to Sachin Tendulkar’s throne, Virat Kohli emerged as the talismanic figure announcing himself as the new superstar of Indian cricket. The former India captain cemented 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 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 unwavering passion for excellence. The consistency with which he has scored runs has cemented his status as a modern superstar.
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