The second Test of the ongoing India- England Test series at Vishakapatnam is a milestone Test for two of the very best exponents of willow in international cricket at the moment. Joe Root and Virat Kohli reached the half-century mark in their terms of number of Test appearances when they took to the field at Vizag on Thursday morning .
With Root scoring a century in the Rajkot Test, it is to be seen if Kohli can return the favour to the visitors at Vizag.
With the ongoing Test series between India and England, a bit of a rivalry has sparked off between two of the very best in the game at the moment, India's Virat Kohli and England's Joe Root.
Every era in cricket sees a group of legendary cricketers who are pitched against each other in a virtual race to be hailed as the best of their time. In the 80s, there was an ongoing bragging battle between cricketing fans as to who was the greatest all-rounder among the great troika of Ian Botham, Imran Khan and Kapil Dev.
In the 90s, comparisons were drawn between Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar and West Indies enigmatic batting maverick Brian Lara as to who was the greatest batsman of their era.
At present, there are three batsmen in the world who have been hailed as the best batsman of this era owing to their batting prowess. Cricketing pundits and fans have ranked India's run scoring machine Virat Kohli, England's Joe Root and New Zealand's Kane Williamson a touch above the rest when it comes to their ability with the willow.
All these batsmen are bestowed with immense natural talent and have honed batting their skills with sheer hard-work and an indomitable spirit to succeed.
Both Root and Kohli have to carry on a great legacy and tradition forward as their sides had some of the finest exponents with the willow in their ranks.
If the English had the likes of Wally Hammond, Ken Barrington, Len Hutton, Mike Gatting and David Gower who mesmerised the cricketing with their exquisite stroke-play, the Indians had Vijay Hazare,'Little Master' Sunil Gavaskar, Gundappa Vishwanath Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid who stand tall among the all-time greats of the game.
After the mass exodus of the 'Fab Five', Indian cricket looked up to the next generation to take their cricket to the same glorious levels.
Virat Kohli emerged as the leader of the pack of young turks by assuming responsibility and taking onus to win matches for the country.
Kohli has turned into a run-scoring machine for India across conditions and formats. He is a tenacious character with a lot of self-belief and raises his game when it matters the most. He has been arguably hailed as the best finisher of the game courtesy his brilliant record at chasing down big totals.
England batsman have traditionally been considered technically correct and known to have played text book cricket.Joe Root has certainly lived upto that billing.
Root is an accomplished batsman who is adept at both offensive and defensive stroke-play. He has a solid defence and well-organised technique to hold fort in tough batting conditions. He can also wield an onslaught with his wide array of attacking strokes if the situation demands.
Root came into the English side in a similar crisis-like situation. The English too went through a period of transition when experienced campaigners like Andrew Strauss and Kevin Petersien bid adieu to Test cricket. With Ian Bell struggling for runs and Jonathan Trott unexpectedly retiring from the game after an extended slump in form, the English middle order was devoid of a class act in their middle order. A young Root grabbed the opportunity with both hands and has never looked backed.
Kohli holds the edge in ODI's, Root looks more solid and compact in Test
Virat holds the edge over Root in terms of having a penchant of scoring bug hundreds. The Indian batting ace has a better conversion rate than Cook once he gets his eye in. Kohli also holds the edge in terms of the pace at which he scores his runs. He is a touch more aggressive than Root and his better strike rate in ODI's testifies the same.
Root has proven his forte as a batsman comfortable at playing both spin and pace. Meanwhile Kohli still has certain chinks in his armour which he needs to overcome. The Indian skipper looked completely at sea facing quality swing bowling in hostile conditions in England.
Different Personalities and Approach to cricket
Joe Root's personality exhibits a sense of calm and composure while Virat is all about expression and aggression. Kohli brings out his emotions on and off the field whereas Root is more subdued in his persona. They both go about their business in two different manners but get the desired results in winning games for their sides.
Elegant Stroke players - Similar styles of playing
Both Kohli and Root are stroke-makers who like to score their runs in conventional manner.They both like to play the orthodox cricket shots and dont believe much in playing the horizontal shots. They both are elegant looking stroke-makers who believe in caressing the ball rather than blatant hitting which has become the order of the day. They both are selective in going for the aerial shots and calculative in taking the risks.
Both Kohli and Root are relatively young in their career on top of their game, so they have plenty of time to cement their names among the greats of the game.
In a nutshell, the cricketing world shall eagerly watch as to how the careers of these two men progress and where would they stand among the greats at the end of their games.