Joe Root vs Virat Kohli: A statistical analysis

Joe Root and Virat Kohli both have fantastic statistics. So, who is the best based on analysis?

The comparison between Joe Root & Virat Kohli

In this article, we will be comparing Joe Root vs Virat Kohli, using a statistical analysis to make judgements. It will be based on their entire careers and also all three formats – Tests, ODI’s and T20I’s.

Joe Root has scored 8249 runs in his test match career at a batting average of 49.49 and at a strike rate of 55. He also has 19 test match centuries and 49 half-centuries. His conversion rate has often been spoken about as a problem and it is quite evident that it is, looking at these statistics.

Joe Root batting averages by country

Country Average 100s
England 51 11
Australia 38 0
New Zealand 39 1
India 53 1
South Africa 50 1
UAE 57 0
Sri Lanka 66 3
West Indies 54 2
Bangladesh 25 0


Virat Kohli batting averages by country

Virat Kohli has scored 7318 runs in test matches at a batting average of 53.42 and at a strike rate of 57.44. This means that his batting average and strike rate are both ahead of Joe Root. Unlike Root, Kohli has a superb conversion rate – with more centuries than half-centuries in test cricket.

Country Average 100s
England 36 2
Australia 54 6
New Zealand 36 1
India 68 13
South Africa 56 2
Sri Lanka 44 2
West Indies 36 1
Bangladesh 14 0

Root has excellent stats all over the world. He averages over 50 in every single country that he has played in outside Australia, New Zealand and Bangladesh. Even in the trans-Tasmanian outlook, Root averages nearly 40. He has struggled with pace and bounce at times, which may have brought his average down. Plus, England has struggled in those two countries in recent times, which could have something to do with it.


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Virat Kohli is also very similar to Joe Root in that regard. Bangladesh aside, Kohli also averages high 30’s in three countries – West Indies, New Zealand and England. This is probably due to his first few tours in these countries, in which he struggled to score runs against the moving ball.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 06: England captain Joe Root batting with Australia captain Tim Paine keeping wicket during day three of the 4th Specsavers Ashes Test at Emirates Old Trafford on September 6, 2019 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Root vs Kohli statistical analysis: The techniques 

Joe Root is a terrific player of spin bowling and has excelled in Asia. This is because of his footwork against spin which is very crisp and precise. He gets right forward to smoother full balls and right back against short balls, which means that he is very rarely caught in between. He will need to delve on all the experience he has in order for England to compete in India.

Kohli is a very efficient player of spin bowling. His technique is excellent and he has the ability to nudge and nurdle singles, in order to rotate strike freely. This means that he does not allow pressure to be built on him by spinners.

Against seam and swing, Root has a good technique – a typical English back and across technique. Sometimes this does mean that he gets bowled or trapped leg-before wicket due to missing straight balls. 11 out of his 19 centuries have come in England.

Joe Root has a great chance to become England’s leading run scorer in test match cricket. Alastair Cook has a lead of over 4000 runs but Root is only 30 and should surpass his record.

Virat Kohli's record is superior to Joe Root statistically in all three formats of the game.
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – AUGUST 02: India batsman Virat Kohli celebrates his century during day two of the First Specsavers Test Match between England and India at Edgbaston on August 2, 2018 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Virat Kohli will probably struggle to beat the number of test match runs scored by Sachin Tendulkar. He is not yet half way and therefore would need to play for at least another 5-7 years to get close to the record and be in top form for that entire time.

In ODI cricket, Joe Root has been great for England since his debut. He has scored nearly 6000 runs at a batting average of 50 and at a strike rate of 86. Root had a successful 2019 Cricket World Cup campaign in which he helped England win the tournament. He scored 556 runs at a batting average of 62 and at a strike rate of 90. This included centuries against Pakistan and the West Indies.


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But, in fairness there is a clear winner in the “Root vs Kohli statistical analysis for ODI’s. Virat Kohli has taken his ODI game to another level in the past few years and he is regarded as the best ODI batsman currently and perhaps the top 3 of all-time. He averages nearly 60 in ODI cricket and strikes at 93 – incredible numbers. His ability to chase down totals is Kohli’s biggest strength.

LEEDS, ENGLAND – JULY 17: England batsman Joe Root celebrates his century off the last ball of the match as Virat Kohli looks on during 3rd ODI Royal London One Day match between England and India at Headingley on July 17, 2018 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

In T20I cricket, Joe Root often finds himself out of the side, due to the nature of England’s approach of attacking cricket. However, when he does play, as seen in the 2016 World T20, he usually forms a solid anchor for the other batsmen to bat around. However, with Dawid Malan cementing a place at number 3, questions are still unanswered around Joe Root’s future in the shortest form of the game. He averages 36 in the format.

Virat Kohli has been brilliant in T20 cricket and averages over 50 in the format. This is very difficult, considering how rare consistency is to find in T20Is. Like ODI’s, he is the master of a chase and one of his best innings came in an exact scenario. Kohli’s 82 vs Australia in 2016 was a master innings that took India to the World T20 Semi Final.

We hope you enjoyed our Joe Root vs Virat Kohli statistical analysis!

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