Legendary Pakistan captain Imran Khan has edged past modern-day great Virat Kohli of India in a Twitter poll for best player who improved their individual performances after becoming captains, conducted by the International Cricket Council. The poll draw 536,346 votes with fans asked to choose among Kohli, Imran, AB de Villiers and Meg Lanning.Also Read - Sachin Tendulkar: The Cost of Little Master's Hundred International Centuries
There was neck and neck competition between Imran and Kohli with the former polling in 47.3 per cent of the votes while the latter finishing with 46.2 per cent of the votes. South Africa great de Villiers managed 6 per cent while Australia legend Lanning got 0.5 per cent of the votes. Also Read - Anushka Sharma's Fans Schools Shoaib Akhtar For His Misogynist Statement: 'Shameful And Attention Seeking'
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The four cricketers were selected among those for whom “captaincy proved a blessing” and as a result their averages improved as leaders”.
Kohli, who leads India across formats, has a batting average of 51.29 in ODIs when he hasn’t led India but as captain it shoots up to 73.88.
Imran, who led Pakistan to world cup win in 1992, averaged 25.43 with the bat and 25.53 with the ball in Test cricket. However, his batting average zoomed to 52.34 and his average with the ball improved to 20.26 in matches he led.
De Villiers. who holds the record for the fastest ODI century in men’s cricket, averages 63.94 with the bat as captain (45.97 not as captain).
The 28-year-old Lanning has won five world cup titles (one ODI WC and four T20I WCs) in her career so far. When not captaining, she averages 43.87 with the bat but it jumps to 60.93 as captain.
Such was the popularity of the poll that Vote for Kohli became one of the top trends on Twitter in India with the comment section littered with fans appealing others to vote for their favourite cricketers.