I once wrote on my Facebook timeline: “Don Bradman had a better average, Brian Lara played longer innings, Rahul Dravid was more reliable, Viv Richards scored much faster and Gary Sobers was a more complete cricketer. None of them made a poor nation feel rich the way Sachin Tendulkar made India feel.” Or, as Harsha Bhogle once said: “If Sachin plays well, India sleeps well.” The Chennai century mentioned above came days after the mind-numbing terrorist attacks in Mumbai—better known as 26/11—that killed 166 people. When the nation is wounded, who else you expect to apply the ointment but the god?
And there lies the basic flaw in comparing Tendulkar and Kohli. Kohli is a product of the changes ushered in by Tendulkar. In other words, Kohli is himself a creation of the Tendulkar myth—a myth which has to be nurtured and sustained by Kohli. And he is doing a good job of it.