Indian skipper Virat Kohli shall be turning 29 on Saturday. At 29, Virat is considered by many cricketing pundits and the fans in general as the best batsman in the international cricket at present. Kohli has cemented his place as one of India’s greatest batsman by churning out stellar performances with the bat with phenomenal consistency.
In sports, once in every two decades comes a player who raises the standard of the game and leaves behind a legacy for others to follow.
In Indian cricket we had the legendary Sunil Gavaskar who took on the best bowlers in the world with his rock solid defence and flawless technique. Then came along Kapil Dev who became the greatest match winner with his all-round heroics. The 90s belonged to the ‘Master Blaster ‘ Sachin Tendulkar who became India’s batting lynchpin. In the last 5 years, Virat Kohli seems to be the heir apparent to such an illustrious list of stalwarts.
Consistency at scoring runs against different oppositions has been Kohli’s hallmark. He has been a prolific run getter for India in all forms of the game, especially in ODI and T20 cricket. Such has been Kohli’s Bradmanesque form that in every other innings he plays, he goes onto break a batting record. His staggering consistency is reflective from the fact that he has been the fastest to get to 8000 and 9000 ODI run milestone.
Kohli’s ODI batting average of 55 is second to none at present among frontline batsman. His pedigree at chasing down big totals courtesy his numerous tons while batting second and taking his team across the line more often than not has earned him the nickname ‘Chase Master’. His strike rate of 90 plus reflects the pace at which he gets his runs with his wide array of shots. Virat has all the qualities of a great batsman. Be it perfect balance, wristly stroke play, nimble footwork and sublime timings, are all engraved into Kohli’s batting.
Virat has struck a purple patch ever since taking over captaincy. In 2017, he went past Aussie great Ricky Ponting’s record for most runs by a captain in an ODI season .This indicates that Kohli is enjoying batting under pressure while donning the skipper’s hat.
However the biggest factor that makes Kohli standout among his peers is his penchant to score hundreds with phenomenal consistency. With a staggering 32 ODI tons in his kitty, he already is the second highest century maker in ODI cricket. His 50 to 100 conversion is the best by a mile among the current crop of players.
When it comes to fitness, Kohli once again leads by example. He leaves no stone unturned to be in super fit shape and the results are there to show with his sheer athleticism on the field.
When the ‘Little Master’ Sachin Tendulkar bid adieu to the game, everyone thought that his 18426 run record would stand the test of time. However the pace at which Virat Kohli is scoring runs, he seems to be the most likely candidate to go past the Indian legend.
At 29, Kohli already has 9000 plus ODI runs under his belt. He has been consistently scoring 1000 plus runs, 3 times in a calendar year over the last six seasons. With another 6 to 7 years of good cricket left in him, the Delhi lad has a realistic opportunity of coming close or even breaking Sachin’s record.
In sports there is a famous cliché that record are meant to be broken. With every run Kohli is scoring he is slowly but surely inching close to the herculean 18426 ODI runs target set by the ‘Little Master’ Sachin Tendulkar.