Virat Kohli is arguably hailed as one of the best batsman in world at present. He has become the poster boy of Indian cricket courtesy his stupendous performances with the willow over the last five years. Virat has been the mainstay of Indian batting ever since the ‘Little Master’ Sachin Tendulkar called it an end to his international career. Kohli took over the captaincy of the Indian Test team in 2014 from Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Kohli’s rise to the very top in international cricket is a story of sheer hard work and tenacity. His ascendancy to the top of the game has given him a celebrity like status and the ace batsman has been a hot favourite among corporates to endorse their flagship brands.
Early Life and Initial Cricketing days
Virat Kohli was born on 5 November 1988 in Delhi into a Punjabi family. His father, Prem Kohli, was a criminal lawyer and his mother, Saroj Kohli, is a housewife. He has an elder brother, Vikash, and an elder sister, Bhavna.
Kohli learned the nuances of cricket under his coach Raj Kumar Sharma at the West Delhi Cricket Academy. He then went onto make an impression among the national selectors by scoring heavily with the bat in the Ranji Trophy for Delhi and Under 19 tours for India.
Kohli shot to fame after captaining the Indian team to victory at the 2008 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup held in Malaysia. Batting at number 4, the Young Turk scored 235 runs in 6 matches at an average of 47, and finished as the tournament's third highest run-getter and one of the three batsmen to score a hundred in the tournament. Kohli made his ODI debut against Sri-Lanka in 2008. He dint have the best possible starts to his ODI career but slowly established himself as a dependable middle order batsman by getting into the grove of scoring runs consistently post the 2010 season. Virat Kohli made it to the Indian Test team by making his debut against the West Indies in 2011. Ever since Kohli has proven to be an outright match winner for India in all three forms of the game.
Kohli as a personality – The Ultimate Fighter
Virat Kohli is known to be an extremely fierce competitor and his notable aggression on the field is testimony to the same. But what makes Kohli stand apart from his contemporaries is his never ending zeal to succeed. Despite being bestowed by immense cricketing talent, Kohli puts in those extra yards in the nets and practice sessions and what come out on the field are some superlative performances. Kohli lost his father when he was just but that dint deter his spirit from honing his skills at the game he loved.
From being the Under-19 captain to India’s Test captain, Virat Kohli has undertaken a giant leap in his cricket career and leapfrogged to the very top as a batsman in international cricket.
Kohli as a batsman - the Prolific Run Scoring Machine
Consistency in run getting has been Virat Kohli’s forte as a batsman. Kohli has proven to be a prolific run getter for Indian on home as well abroad across all formats of the game. Like all great players, he steps up is play in the big games when it matters the most. Talk about his mental fortitude and composure, and he rarely fails on that front too.
Virat has all the qualities of a great batsman. He has a good all-round stroke play and an equally well organised defence. He is nimble footwork to combat quality pace or spin bowling. His cricketing strokes are destructive yet have that sense of elegance which the purist would die for. He is not a blatant hitter of the ball but caresses the ball like a painter uses his brush on the canvas. In ODI’s, he has made the No. 3 position a one of his own and puts a heavy prize on his wicket. He has said that the cover drive is his favourite shot, while also saying that the flick shot comes naturally to him.
7500 plus ODI runs a staggering average of over 50 with a strike rate of 90 plus throws light to how prolific Virat has been in the shorter format of the game. Kohli has been equally menacing in Test cricket and boasts of an impressive record.
VIRAT KOHLI’S AMAZING CAREER IN NUMBER
Game Mat Inns Runs HS Ave 100 50
Tests 48 82 3554 211 45.56 13 12
ODIs 176 168 7570 183 52.93 26 38 90.43
Virat has scored 26 centuries in ODIs. He is fourth on the all-time list behind - Tendulkar (49), Ponting (30) and Jayasuriya (28)Virat has scored 22 centuries in a winning cause in ODIs. Only three batsmen have registered more hundreds in wins - Tendulkar (33), Ponting (25) and Jayasuriya (24).Virat Kohli has an 22 Man of the Match to his credit.He is now fourth on the all-time list of Indian Sachin (62) Saurav Ganguly (31) Sehwag (23) and Yuvraj Singh (25)
The Master Chaser in ODI’s
Kohli thrives under pressure and it brings out his best while chasing down imposing totals. He has nerves of steel and never lets the pressure get to him. He has mastered the art of pacing his innings and has more often than not been seen taking India to victory by carrying his bat home.
Kohli has been rightfully labelled as the master chaser as he has the most number of centuries while chasing down totals.
Here are some records which are clearly indicative as to why Kohli is hailed as one of the best batsman in the world.
1. Kohli has most centuries (14) in successful chases in ODI’s. He has equalled the record of the Little Master Sachin Tendulkar.
2. Kohli has second highest centuries while chasing totals in ODI’s. Kohli has 16 ODI centuries, only one behind the Indian great Sachin Tendulkar.
3. Kohli is averaging 90.10 in successful chases while amassing 3514 runs in 62 ODIs, the highest average among the batsmen with 2500 runs or more.
4. Apart from his batting, Kohli is a brilliant fielder too. Virat’s natural athleticism and his keenness towards fitness have paid off big time in making him one of the best close in fielders in the world at the moment.
Kohli as a captain – The natural aggressor
After his resounding success with the bat, Kohli was tipped to be the heir apparent to MS Dhoni as Indian Test captain. Kohli took over the captaincy of the Indian Test team in 2014 from Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
He created history of sorts by becoming the first Indian Test captain to score a double hundred overseas in the West Indies. Virat bettered his record by becoming the first Indian Test captain to score two double centuries. Much like his batting, Virat has an aggressive brand of captaincy and leads by example with his performances on the field. Kohli is a good learner of the game and commands the respect of both seniors and team management. Kohli’s captaincy looks more on the proactive side as he constantly makes changes to his fielding positions to get the desired results for his bowlers.
He has been pretty successful in his tenure as captain of the Test team.Although most of the series under his captaincy have been played at home, he managed to win the 2016 Ind-WI series in the Caribbean.
Awards and Accolades
Kohli has been the recipient of many awards such as the ICC ODI Player of the Year in 2012 and the BCCI's international cricketer of the year for the 2011–12 and 2014–15 seasons. In 2013, he was given the Arjun Award in recognition of his achievements in international cricket.