Two players who have made immense contributions to cricket in the last decade or so are MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli. The two Indians have played major roles and have emerged as leaders of international repute in the game. Also, they’re pretty decent finishers when they’re at the crease.
While decent might be an understatement, it is a universally known fact that Kohli and Dhoni are probably the best chaser and finisher that the game has ever seen.
Kohli is able to calculate and attack at the right moment while Dhoni is able to apply pressure thanks to his superb ability to hit the big ones when needed. However, there is a school of thought that Kohli might be a better finisher than Dhoni and we visit that to see if there’s any truth:
Virat Kohli plays up the order:
One of the main reasons that Kohli is a better chaser is the fact that he plays much higher up the order than Dhoni. Kohli has to come in within the first five or ten overs when the ball is still swinging and his role as an anchor is not easy to play. He has had to go on the attack at times immediately and he has shown that he can take up that mantle or play conservatively when needed.
Playing the swinging ball is not an easy task. It requires a lot of concentration and skill and Kohli has proven time and time again that he can do it better than anyone else.
Virat Kohli can get started immediately:
One facet that Dhoni may have against him while batting is that he takes around 10 to 15 balls to get started and post that initial phase, he can go on the offensive. However, Kohli is so talented that he can come on and almost attack the bowlers immediately. That is also not an easy skill to pull off as one would require some time to get warmed up properly and hitting the ball well.
This aspect comes in handy during the chase because it immediately sets the tone and puts pressure on the bowler.
Virat Kohli finishes it off sooner:
Another reason that Kohli is a better chaser is because he finishes games much faster than Dhoni. While it is a known fact that Dhoni will ultimately get the job done, he does take it till the last over and this has caused him to sometimes lose games at the end.
Kohli however, is unstoppable once he gets in the zone. He can hit even the bad balls extremely well and is technically much sounder, which makes it easier for him to find the gaps.
This does not take anything away from the fact that Dhoni is still the greatest finisher the game has ever seen. Kohli is just a better chaser and a more talented batsman and Indian cricket is truly blessed to see such immense figures taking our sport to the next level.
By Rohit Nair