The next instalment in our series where we compare two legendary cricketers from the same generation. Rather than necessarily settle the debate on who is ‘better’, this series attempts to illustrate who had a greater say in dictating his team’s cricketing fortunes.
This week features our first comparison in T20 cricket. We pit two giants of the format – Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli.
Chris Gayle vs Virat Kohli
A batting comparison in T20 cricket
|PARAMETER||Chris Gayle||Virat Kohli||Maximum or
|Number of matches||295||219||Kieron Pollard (372)|
|Runs scored||10137||6821||Chris Gayle (10137)|
|Batting Average||40.06||40.60||Virat Kohli (40.60)|
|Batting Strike Rate||148.92||132.39||C de Grandhomme (168.41)|
|Dot Ball Percentage (min. 1000 runs)||41.66%||32.5%||Gordon Muchall (25%)|
|Boundary Percentage||22.89%||16.82%||Alistair Brown (28.57%)|
|Number of 30+ scores||131||97||Chris Gayle (131)|
|Strike Rate in Powerplay||138||113||Alistair Brown (179)|
|Strike Rate in Death||211||193||Adam Gilchrist (241)|
|Runs in IPL||3626||4418||Suresh Raina (4540)|
|Average in IPL (min. 30 matches)||41.20||37.44||Chris Gayle (41.20)|
|Strike Rate in IPL (min. 30 matches)||151.20||129.82||Glenn Maxwell (164.39)|
|Runs in WT20||920||777||Mahela Jayawardene (1016)|
|Average in WT20 (min. 10 matches)||40||86.33||Virat Kohli (86.33)|
|Strike Rate in WT20 (min. 10 matches)||146.73||133.04||Darren Sammy (164.12)|
|Failure Rate (in %)||45%||37%||Virat Kohli (37%)|
|Tournament-Defining (TD) performances||3||1||Suresh Raina, Imran Nazir,
Kieron Pollard and Dwayne
Smith (5 each)
|High impact performances||84||55||Chris Gayle (84)|
|Highest impact batsman in a match||65||27||Chris Gayle (65)|
1) All parameters from ‘
Example: Andre Russell has the highest
2) From ‘Batting Average’ till ‘Strike Rate in Death’ and then from ‘
3) All numbers updated till May 14th, 2017.
While Chris Gayle is widely regarded as the greatest T20 batsman of all time and holds all the aggregate records in the format, his impact as a T20 batsman (domestic and international, combined) is marginally (2%) lower than Virat Kohli’s.
Overall, Kohli is the fifth-highest impact batsman in T20 cricket history (min. 60 matches) while Gayle comes in at number seven.
Gayle has a 17% higher impact than Kohli in domestic T20 cricket. In the IPL it is Gayle who has a 14% higher impact with the bat than Kohli whereas the latter’s impact is 32% higher when it comes to T20Is.
Not surprising then that Gayle is the highest impact batsman in RCB’s T20 history. Kohli comes at number three after him and AB de Villiers.
This is because of the different roles Kohli plays – for India he is the aggressor and the pivot around which the team revolves. For RCB, he plays the role of an accumulator and lets the likes of Gayle and AB de Villiers take the lead.
This also explains why Kohli with a healthy strike rate of approximately 133 in T20 cricket, has a negative
While Kohli has scored a higher proportion of runs for his team (taking match context into account) and is a better chaser (the best in T20 cricket history in these two parameters), it is Gayle who has a higher impact in wins and is a greater big-match batsman with three
Kohli is also the more consistent batsman. In fact, he is the most consistent batsman in T20 cricket history (min. 60 matches).
Gayle is considered to be the poster boy of T20 cricket with a style of batting tailor-made for the format. While his aggregate records suggest he is still the greatest T20 batsman of all time it is Kohli who has scored a higher proportion of team runs, is more consistent and turns out to be a higher impact batsman. It is also quite evident that while Kohli will continue to rise as a T20 batsman, Gayle is past his peak and is on the decline.
Illustrations: Vasim Maner