India have always been a land of great players and it has given many legendary performers to the cricketing world. This great nation has given us players like Lala Amarnath, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, Virender Sehwag, MS Dhoni and many more. The list can go on & on and we will never be able to settle to the fact that who among them is greatest of all.
But one player who came out of nowhere and booked a special place in the hearts of the people is none other than Virat Kohli. Known as the ‘milestone man of international cricket’, Kohli is taking the game of cricket to a whole new level.
For a nation of more than a billion people and cricket lovers, we have, inadvertently, shown a lop-sided interest towards batsmen. Virat has added a new dimension to that consciousness and he has used different aspects of the game to enhance his performance. His unorthodox thinking and his Fitness has bolstered his temperament and talent. Virat’s dedication towards fitness has changed the way this game is played in India or in the sub-continent.
But Virat was not a ‘beast’ when he started his career. A spunky, chubby teenager with gelled hair shot to fame after leading India to glory in the Under-19 World Cup at Kuala Lumpur in early 2008. His ‘bad boy’ intensity made him an ‘outcast’.
Later that year, he made his entry to the Indian squad and played a series against Sri Lanka. He was brought in as a replacement for Virender Sehwag who was injured. Kohli scored 12 runs on his debut before getting out LBW. In 5 games, he scored 159 runs at an average of 31.80.
It is 2018 now, which mean, it’s been 10 years now that Kohli has been a part of Team India and we are seeing him breaking numerous records that were made by various legends of the game. This shows how skillful this player is. Virat is an amazing batsman, there is no doubt. But he did not become this successful merely by chance, he has worked for it. He has capitalized on his batting abilities and has managed to single-handedly win matches for India. His knack for timing the ball and placing them through the gaps, those glorious drives through the covers that could pierce any field placement are a feast to the eyes and they always send the fans into a frenzy.
Kohli is the ultimate professional who never takes the game lightly and never lets his guard down. The opposition can be Zimbabwe or South Africa, he would take the game and the opposition very seriously. That is the mark of a ‘true cricketer’.
The amount of cricket that is being played nowadays is frenetic. Cricketers are increasingly complaining about the tight schedules and excessive workload. But Kohli is different. He loves the game so much that Virat likes to play all the three formats for India and does it with equal aplomb. To go out into the field every single day and perform for your team every single time is not a child’s play. Kohli has been doing this for the last 7-8 years.
He has the records to prove why he is “one of the greatest of all time”. Here are some records held by Kohli –
Kohli is the fastest batsman to reach 10,000 runs in ODIs. He achieved this feat in just 205 innings. He surpassed Sachin Tendulkar in the list, who took 259 innings to reach that magical figure.
He is the first player to hit 100s in three consecutive innings against two opponents. (Sri Lanka & West Indies)
The fastest man to score 1000 ODI runs in a calendar year. He beat Hashim Amla’s record of 15 innings to score those runs in 2010.
On October 5 of this year, Virat became the first captain to score 1000+Test runs in three consecutive years.
Kohli is the fastest to complete 7000 runs in International cricket as captain in just 124 innings. He is the quickest to the milestone surpassing Brian Lara who achieved this feat in 164 innings.
He has scored over 300 runs in a bilateral ODI series on six different occasions. No other player has done it more than four times.
These records show that every time he steps on the field, his hunger to perform for his team makes him a lethal player. His intensity takes Virat Kohli a cut above the rest.
Last but not least, Kohli has changed the way people look at their fitness these days. Fitness is not just about hitting the gym every day and following set work-out routines. It is also about diet and other radical lifestyle changes play a crucial role as parameters for cricketers to the required levels of fitness to be a competitive player in international cricket. For Kohli, the moment of glory came in Border-Gavaskar series in Australia. He was handed over the Test captaincy for the very first time in 2014-2015.
After being the captain for more than 2 and a half years now, Kohli hasn’t stopped. He has become more dangerous than ever. The maturity he has shown in the recent years has made him a better player. Not just better, he is now being considered as “one of the greatest players of all time”.
These records, this amount of talent doesn’t come in a day, you have to sacrifice so much to be at this level and Kohli has done that. This is what makes him a champion.
On the occasion of his 30th birthday, we all want to say that he is truly and undoubtedly a LEGEND OF THE GAME.
STATISTICS OF VIRAT KOHLI IN INTERNATIONAL CAREER:
Matches – 73
Runs – 6331
Average – 54.58
100s – 24
50s – 19
Matches – 216
Runs – 10,232
Average – 59.84
100s – 38
50s – 48
Matches – 62
Runs – 2102
Average – 48.88
50s - 18
About the Author
Sports Journalist by profession, a Cricket Fanatic by passion. Aayush Sharma has been following the game of cricket since childhood and considers Sachin Tendulkar as his idol. When in free time, he loves to read books or go out and play some gully cricket with friends. For him, Tennis ace Roger Federer and F1 Legend Michael Schumacher are the only sportspersons that reach the level of Tendulkar