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‘There’s no one who can get close to him’ – Sanjay Manjrekar picks his all-time greatest ODI batter

Sanjay Manjrekar

Cricket News

‘There’s no one who can get close to him’ – Sanjay Manjrekar picks his all-time greatest ODI batter

Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has picked his greatest batter of all time in ODI cricket. The cricketer-turned-analyst shockingly snubbed Indian batting greats like Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli and chose the West Indies legend Vivian Richards. Sachin Tendulkar is hailed as the greatest batter of all time having staggering numbers in both ODIs and Test formats. He has a whopping 100 centuries to his name.

Virat Kohli is the only batter in the race to break Tendulkar’s record of 100 international centuries. However, the 34-year-old still needs 26 centuries to reach Tendulkar’s record. So far, Kohli has scored 12,773 runs to his name in ODIs at an average of 57.79. He recently entered the list of the top 5 of all-time run-scorers in the format. He is just three centuries away from equalling Tendulkar’s record of most hundreds in ODIs (49).

Manjrekar believes that Kohli is undoubtedly the best ODI batter in the last 20 years but no one can match the greatness of Viv Richards.

“When you look at the modern era, in the last 20 years or so, Virat Kohli is right up there. Tendulkar is also one of the time all-time greats. Virat Kohli, in my book just fits in as a pure one-day player. MS Dhoni is another player that comes to my mind,” Manjrekar told Star Sports.

“But, all-time one-day batter, there is nobody who can get close to Sir Vivian Richards. Now, this might seem a little old-fashioned,” he added.

Manjrekar emphasised on Richards’s records during his playing days and said that difference between him and the second-best of his era was very big.

“Viv Richards played from 70s to 90s in a time when all top-class batters, people like Gordon Greenidge averaged about 30 and strike rate in the 60s. Viv Richards, from 70s to 90s, including a World Cup final hundred, averaged 47 and a strike rate of 90. The second-best in his era was second-best by a long way.”

“And that’s how you compare all-time greats, that’s the best way to do it. But, in the modern era, when it comes to Virat Kohli, certainly right up there,” he said.

During the discussion, a poll was also live on Television comparing Kohli and Tendulkar in the ODIs where the 34-year-old was leading the race.

Take a look at Viv Richard’s numbers and compare with the current lot: Sanjay Manjrekar

Manjrekar said that the polls usually favour the players who are playing in that era only as he also pointed to the match-winning performances of Richards.

“Fans who are watching are mostly watching today’s cricket. When you look at polls in white-ball cricket, you will have most players who have played recently. One-dayers…Viv Richards, have the time and take a look at his numbers and compare with the current lot and also with the lot that he played with. When you talk about match-winning innings, there were plenty,” Manjrekar said.

“Virat Kohli, in the modern era, right up there. All time, absolutely no doubt in my mind about Sir Viv,” he added.

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