18th August 2008. This date holds a special place in the history of Indian Cricket. A passionate and chubby teen, who led India to the U19 World Cup victory a few months prior to that date, made his ODI debut for the Indian Team against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka.
Exactly eleven years ago, a nervous Kohli batted for the first time for India, restless and unpolished, but filled with a never-ending hunger to fight. Those 22 balls weren’t the best indication of what laid ahead, but a look back now to when the journey started in 2008, is a lovely illustration of how hard work, determination, and tremendous perseverance can transform one man.
Few players have been able to metamorphose themselves as comprehensively and extraordinarily as Virat Kohli has. Over the course of eleven years, ever since the time he was branded as a chubby whippersnapper to present day when he’s one of the game’s modern greats, Kohli has kept evolving; physically, technically and mentally.
Since then, what we have witnessed are some staggering numbers in Limited Overs as well as in Test Cricket from the flamboyant Delhi-lad.
Currently, Virat Kohli’s Numbers in International Matches are : 11,520 Runs in ODIs @60.31 || 2369 runs in T20Is @37.85 || 6613 runs in Tests @53.76, and a total of 68 International Centuries. These are some staggering numbers by Virat Kohli who has been India’s best batsman across formats for a few years now.
The modern era legend has received various praises from the legends of this generation as well as of the previous generations.
- “To become a good player, you need talent. To become a great player, you need an attitude like Kohli.” – Sunil Gavaskar
- “He’s just an unbelievable batsman. No need to say anymore.” – Brian Lara
- “Even if they used a marble, Virat Kohli would still see it like a balloon.” – David Warner
- “He is a consummate surgeon at the crease, intensely focussed, working hard, playing the ball into gaps in the field and staying calm under pressure. He is always judging the right time to consolidate and the right time to seize a game by the scruff of the neck.” – AB de Villiers
- I love watching Virat Kohli bat. I love his aggression and serious passion that I used to have. He reminds me of myself.” – Sir VIV Richards
Aggression is probably what defines the on-field nature of Virat Kohli. It won’t be wrong to say that this attitude has taken him to the path towards greatness, and Kohli has handled it really well by not letting success and pride takeover and derail his career.
Virat Kohli is an absolute superstar. He is certainly one of the modern day greats and looks set to break numerous cricket records. Kohli’s hunger, passion, work ethic and his attitude separate him from the rest.
Has been scoring centuries for fun
The way he is scoring runs, making centuries for fun, chasing down totals with utter ease and creating one record after another, Virat Kohli seems to be batting in a parallel universe. No other batsman emanates the kind of class and comfort that Kohli exudes at the crease.
In the calendar decade, Kohli has registered 68 international centuries with 50-overs cricket, making him the batsmen with most in a decade. His contribution increases by many folds in his team’s success.
He has 26 hundreds while chasing in ODI cricket and 22 in successful run-chases, most for any batsmen in World cricket. Kohli’s glory is not just limited to India, his hundreds outside home are a tally of 28 centuries.
One of the 10 batsman to top ICC test and ODI batting rankings at the same time
Often people call him the run-machine and in all true aspects, he is when it comes to taking the entire load upon his shoulders. After his majestic innings at Edgbaston, Kohli claimed the No.1 spot in Test rankings, toppling Steve Smith to achieve his career-best rating. At the same time, he also happened to be the No.1 rank holder in ODI cricket. He is only the second Indian after Sachin Tendulkar to achieve this feat in last ten years.
It has been 11 years for Virat when he first donned the Indian jersey for the senior men’s team and there has been a constant approach in breaking all records through his class in batsmanship, although he has been successful enough in breaking many of those records.
There is no denying the fact that in modern era if there’s someone who is as consistent as Sachin Tendulkar, possesses the same attitude as of Vivian Richards and is as hungry for runs as any other batsman, it’s the Indian skipper Virat Kohli.
A real tough guy who was born to bat and to play the great game of cricket is now ruling the cricketing world. It has been a privilege to watch the growth of someone who already has reached a stage where he has earned himself the title of legend with a good long part of his career still to be unfolded.