Indian cricket has a tradition of producing larger than life cricket stars whose skills and flair have kept the global cricket loving populace in awe at different points in time. One name is Virat Kohli who has dazzled his way to this exclusive list by amassing runs format by format, match by match, series by series and year by year. The Delhiite is instrumental when India has to put up a score on the board to challenge the opposition and the best bet when the men in blue have to chase totals. To nobody’s surprise, Kohli sits atop a mountain of runs and centuries and with no one among the contemporaries to leapfrog his statistical excellence, his reign at the top will continue.
Although his runs and centuries can be quantified, his impact on the game is to be felt than measured. Kolhi has the reputation for decimating attacks, putting oppositions on the back foot and altering outcomes through high calibre stroke play, aggression, tenacity, and game awareness. As the leader too, his legend has grown consistently over the years. He has led the Indian side to remarkable victories at home and overseas since taking the reins of the test and one day team from Mahendra Singh Dhoni in 2014 and 2017 respectively.
If stats never lie, Kohli is probably the best in the business across all formats, leaving contemporaries like Joe Root, Williamson, Hashim Amla and others to trail.
Virat’s success has been humongous, just like his name. Here are a few records that justify it.
Only second to Tendulkar when it comes to the highest number of centuries in ODIs
The highest number of centuries in run-chases
The fastest batsman to reach 10 ODI centuries, 5,000 ODI runs
The fastest batsman to reach 1,000 runs and 2,000 runs in T20Is
The fastest ODI century by an Indian in any format
The highest Indian ODI run-getter in a calendar year in 2010, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 16
The highest Indian Test run-getter in a calendar year in 2012, 15 and 16
The highest T20I run-getter in a calendar year
Maximum number of the fifties in the T20 format
The highest run-getter in a single World Twenty20 and the IPL tournament
The only batsman to average over 50 across all three formats
The highest number of runs in a bilateral ODI series
On November 5, 1988, a baby boy was born in a traditional Delhi-based Punjabi family. Father, Prem Kohli, who practised law in the local court, named the baby Virat. Little did he know that the boy will go on to justify his name at an age when other kids will be struggling with issues typical to teens. Virat, the youngest of the three siblings, was hooked to cricket at a very early age and the passion endured all through his teens. He attended Vishal Bharti Public School until the 8th standard and later moved to Xavier Convent from where he passed his secondary exam.
Virat made it to the Delhi Under-15 squad in October 2002 and went on to captain the side in later years. The year 2006 proved to be an epoch-making one for the Kolhi in many ways, as he earned a place in India Under-19 team that toured England and Pakistan. A string of consistent performances eased Kohli’s way into the Delhi Ranji team in the same year. At the far end of the year, tragedy struck the Kolhi family, as his father died of cardiac arrest when the young man was representing his team in a Ranji match against Karnataka. He attended the funeral but only after steering his team to a position of strength with a classy 90 runs innings.
Selectors were quick to gauge his leadership abilities and readily handed him the reins of ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup team in 2008. Kolhi did not disappoint, leading India to tournament victory with a display of exceptional batting and leadership skills. It was only about time that he would be called to do the national team. In 2008, he made his international debut against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Success formula of Virat Kohli:
Virat’s success is not an overnight one but built on a strong foundation of steadfast focus, ability to go beyond the convention and, of course, outstanding batting skills perfected over years of toil. He is the celebration of modern-day batsmanship having all shots in the book and the ability to time and place the ball exquisitely, run between the wickets aggressively and strike at run a ball. His strong batting technique and adaptability renders him the versatility to bat at any number, at any condition, against any opposition and on any surface. He has consistently broken stereotypes, bringing ingenuity in his appearance, stroke play and approach. Even as the legend of Virat Kohli grows larger than life, he is ready to hone his skills, push boundaries of mental and physical fitness and pursue excellence – the true hallmark of a champion.