Can Virat Kohli Break All Sachin Tendulkar Records?

Last UPDATE: 23rd October 2017.


There has always been a lot of talk about Virat Kohli and how he is probably the best batsman on the planet, regularly being compared to the greats of the game like Tendulkar, Ponting, Bradman, Lara and more…

There was a time when Kohli topped the ICC Batting Rankings across all formats, and we surely will see that happen many more times in the future. Here are his current rankings:

#2 on the ICC ODI Batting Rankings

#1 on the ICC T20I Batting Rankings

#6 on the ICC Test Batting Rankings (All stats as of 23rd October 2017)

Virat got into the limelight once again, after scoring 110* in the 5th ODI against Sri Lanka. He scored two consecutive ODI centuries, finishing the ODI series as the highest run-getter – 330 runs at a staggering average of 110.

The Indian captain has a huge passion for the game of cricket and that not only helps him keep scoring runs, but also influences his team which has been doing very well under his captaincy. He enjoys breaking records and you will find him breaking a record or two in every series, if not every match.


He gets better with every passing day and his numbers keep improving too. In the ODI series where India beat Sri Lanka 5-0, he went past Sanath Jayasuriya (28) and equalled Ricky Ponting with 30 ODI centuries. Ponting played 365 ODI innings, while Virat took only 186 innings to get to 30 centuries. In the 1st ODI against New Zealand in October 2017, he scored 121 and brought up his 31st ODI century.

Before the same 1st ODI against New Zealand, Virat Kohli was #21 on the list of highest all time ODI run scorers. With that 31st century, he has moved up to #19, going past two legends of the game – Shivnarine Chanderpaul & Saeed Anwar. Among current cricketers, only AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle & MS Dhoni are now ahead of him.

Everyone is always talking about whether Virat has it in him to beat all of Sachin’s records. Although Virat has already broken a lot of the Little Master’s records, the real question is – will he be able to break Tendulkar’s record of 18,426 ODI runs?

Virat currently has 8,888 ODI runs in his 200 ODIs.

Read Scoops Virat Kohli ODI tons
Source – Espncricinfo

Even though he is already regarded as a modern day cricketing legend, Virat still has only 48.23% of the ODI runs that Sachin scored in his career. Even though we at Read Scoops believe that Virat is THE BEST cricketer ever, one thing he will never be able to match is Sachin’s career span.

Sachin made his international debut at the age of 16 and his career lasted 23 long years. Virat made his ODI debut when he was 19 and we highly doubt that he will be playing cricket till the age of 42; best case scenario is that he will continue pleasing cricket audiences around the world till he is around 36 or 37. He’s a month away from his 29th birthday which means he has around 7 years (give or take) to achieve even more greatness.


One thing on Virat’s side is that he is extremely fit and ever since his debut, he has only missed one test match for India due to injury. If he continues to maintain this level of fitness, expect several more records to be shattered in the future. This is of course, hoping that he never runs into any lean patches or bad form. *Virat Kohli fitter than Djokovic, says RCB trainer*

Read Scoops Virat Kohli Sets Sights on Sachin Records

Virat Kohli is like Sir Edmund Hillary, and Sachin’s ODI record of 18,426 is the Mount Everest cricket fans want him to scale. Double Kohli’s ODI stats (hoping he continues scoring at the same average) and here’s what you will see:

  • Innings – 384
  • Runs – 17,776
  • Centuries – 62

Keep in mind that it took Kohli 9 years to get to his current stats, and doubling his stats to reach these predictions means another 8-9 years of playing cricket, which seems highly unlikely. I believe that while Sachin’s record of ODI centuries is in serious threat, his tally of 18,426 runs seems safe at the moment.

Read Scoops Virat Kohli Year by Year
Source – HowSTAT!

Kohli also recorded 1,000+ ODI runs this year – for the fifth time in his career. Another stat shows that on an average, Kohli scores at an average of around 900 runs in a year. Going by that, he could end up with another 6,300 runs if he plays on for another 7 years. Still nowhere close to Sachin’s 18k.

Even though T20I cricket is relatively new, Kohli holds bragging rights in that format as well. He is #3 on the list of highest all time T20I run scorers and it won’t be long before he tops that list as well, behind only Tillakaratne Dilshan (SL) & Brendon McCullum (NZL), both retired cricketers.


My prediction is that Kohli should be at the top of this list by mid 2018. However, we don’t know whether T20 cricket will become the main format in the future and how much more/less of T20 cricket will be played in coming years, so I can’t say for sure that Kohli will stay on top of that list decades later.

Have a look at how Kohli’s stats are much better than anyone else in the top 5 – much fewer innings taken, most not out efforts, and the highest average by miles:

Read Scoops Virat Kohli T20I stats
Source – Espncricinfo

If there is something that Kohli hasn’t achieved as yet, it’s a T20I century, even though he has 17 fifties and a best score of 90*. However, we did also say that he didn’t have a T20 century before the start of IPL 2016. How did Kohli respond to that? By scoring 4 centuries in the 2016 season – an IPL record that may never be broken. Expect an international T20 ton too. VERY SOON.

The test match scenario is slight different for Virat Kohli as he took a while to get used to the longest format, and it was 2-3 years into test cricket before he started converting the starts into big centuries, recently becoming the first to record 4 double centuries in 4 successive test series.

Kohli’s test average may have slightly dropped after recording a 50+ average in all three formats, but it won’t be below 50 for too long. However, breaking Sachin’s test records seems to be a little too much to ask from the Indian skipper.

Read Scoops Virat Kohli 235

Lets remember two things – firstly, Sachin started his test career when he was 16, while Virat was 22 when he played his first test (3 years after his ODI debut). 6 years more of run scoring definitely gives Sachin a huge advantage here. Kohli has 4,658 test runs at the moment, which is only 29.25% of Sachin’s tally of 15,921 runs.


Secondly, with the uncertainty over the future of test cricket, we can’t say how many tests will be fitted into the Indian cricket calendar in the coming future. Kohli is #52 on the list of most test centuries, with 17 tons. He will be rapidly climbing this list, in competition with Steve Smith (20), but Sachin’s 51 seems too far away to catch up with.

A few things Virat Kohli still has to achieve in his career:

  • Lead India to an ICC tournament victory
  • Score an ODI double century (Current best 183*)
  • Score a test triple century (Current best 235)
  • Score a T20I century (Current best 90*)

Check out our Sports Scoops section for similar content.

Also, don’t forget to leave your comments.

About Dwayne Fernandes 1031 Articles
Indian. 23. Management Graduate. Huge cricket fan. Twitter and Instagram - @dwayneeeboy