Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli both achieved 1000 Test runs against Australia in 19 innings and in the same venue and same age. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
There is a growing debate as to who is the greatest Indian cricketer in the modern era. Many would argue that Sachin Tendulkar is the greatest player to have ever stepped up on the playing field. In the current generation, Virat Kohli, the current Indian cricket team skipper is on the path of achieving greatness and even possibly usurping Sachin Tendulkar when it comes to records and numbers. Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar are possibly considered two sides of the same coin when it is about greatness. There have been countless articles about the career comparison between Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar. However, there is one statistical coincidence that will blow everyone's mind away. The statistical miracle is against Australia.
Tendulkar scored 1000 Test runs against Australia at the age of 26 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1999. When he reached 1000 runs, he had scored two fifties and five hundreds against Australia and he achieved the feat in 19 innings. Now, here is the freakish part. Kohli also scored 1000 Test runs against Australia during the 2014 Test series. Here is the clincher. Kohli's age at that time was 26, he took 19 innings to achieve it, he got to the landmark in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne and like Tendulkar, he scored two fifties and five hundreds when he reached the landmark.
Apart from the year, everything about Kohli and Tendulkar achieving the record against Australia is freakishly similar. In the 1999 Boxing Day Test, Tendulkar hit a century and fifty (116 and 52) while in 2014, Kohli also hit a century and a fifty in the same Test (169 and 54). Tendulkar went on to score 3630 runs against Australia at an average of 55 with 11 centuries while Kohli so far has 1604 runs at an average of 48 against the Aussies.
Both Tendulkar and Kohli have been acknowledged as the batsmen who have hurt Australia immensely in all forms of cricket. Both players started off poorly against the Aussies but recovered to score heavily. After three failures, Tendulkar's first major knock against Australia was 148 at Sydney in 1992, a match remembered for Shane Warne's debut and for current India coach Ravi Shastri's brilliant 206. Tendulkar followed it up with a century on a superfast track in Perth and that was his first major knock.
Virat Kohli has scored six centuries in Australia while Sachin Tendulkar also has six tons Down Under. (Image credit: File Photo)
After his exploits in Australia, Tendulkar came into his own with a brilliant display at home as he smashed 155 in Chennai and 177 in Bangalore before getting to the landmark in Melbourne. Just like Tendulkar, Kohli's first century against Australia was also in their own backyard. After two miserable Tests, Kohli showed his class with a 75 on a quick pitch in Perth before smashing 116 in Adelaide in the 2011/12 series what proved to be one of few memorable moments for India on a miserable tour where they lost 4-0.
Kohli hit another century against Australia, this time in the Chennai Test in 2013 as India avenged their whitewash with a 4-0 whitewash on their own. Kohli was the star in 2014/15 as he hit centuries in both innings in Adelaide before getting to the landmark with a century and fifty in the Melbourne Test. India went on to lose the series 2-0.