With technique and temperament to succeed in every condition and format, Virat Kohli cutting loose is one of the exalted sights of the modern game — be it for India, Delhi or Royal Challengers Bangalore. He is already at the rarefied top of the ODI and T20 formats.  His style is based on the sound fundamentals of batting, topped with the finishing flair of god-gifted genius.     

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Virat Kohli

Born: November 5, 1988, Delhi

Major teams: India, Delhi, India A, India Blue, India Emerging Players, India Red, India Under-19s, Indian Board President's XI, North Zone, Oil & Natural Gas Corporation, Rest of India, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Surrey

Playing role: Top-order batsman

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm medium

 

ODI Career: India (2008–present)

Mat    Inns    NO   Runs     HS    Ave      BF         SR       100s    50s     4s        6s      

248      239    39    11867    183   59.33    12726   93.25       43     58       1116    121   

 

Career Highlights

  • ICC ODI Player of the Year (2012, 2017, 2018)
  • Highest average (min 5,000 runs) in the history of ODI cricket
  • 2nd most ODI centuries (43)
  • Fastest to 8,000; 9,000; 10,000; and 11,000 runs in ODIs
  • Has scored 5,388 runs in successful run chases at an average of 96.21
  • His 22 hundreds are the most in successful run chases
  • Has scored more than 1,000 runs in ODIs in a calendar year on 7 occasions
  • Reached the 1,000 ODI run mark in a year in record time – 11 innings

West Indies T20 specialist and former captain of the One-Day International team, Dwayne Bravo had some interesting choices to make during an interview on Cricbuzz, leaving out some big names on a list of five of the best T20 players in the game today.

Bravo, who was interviewed by Cricbuzz’s Harsha Bhogle, was given six players to choose from in each of five rounds of choices and here’s what he came up with.

In the first round, Bravo was made to choose from among Australia’s Matthew Hayden and David warner, India’s Virender Sehwag, New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum, and the West Indies’ Dwayne Smith and Chris Gayle.

Bravo chose Gayle.

The second round saw Bravo having to pick one of India’s Gautam Gambir and KL Rahul, England’s Johnny Bairstow and Joss Buttler, and Australia’s Shane Watson and Chris Lynn.

Bravo chose Watson.

India’s Virat Kohli was lined up against teammate Ambati Rayudu and Suresh Raina, as well as South Africa’s Faf Du Plessis and New Zealand’s Kane Williamson.

According to Bravo, while Raina is his favourite batsman, he would have to go with Kohli.

Up next were India’s Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant and Yuvraj Singh, Australia’s Michael Hussey, England’s Ben Stokes, and South Africa’s AB de Villiers.

Bravo went with de Villiers.

In the final round Bravo had a major struggle with picking from a grouping of India’s Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Hardik Pandya, Australia’s Glenn Maxwell, and the West Indian pair of Andre Russell and Kieron Pollard.

Bravo eventually went with Dhoni.

So Bravo’s choices as the top-five players today, given the imitations of the choices put to him were Chris Gayle, Shane Watson, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Given the grouping of choices, is Bravo correct?

Steve Smith and Virat Kohli are talismanic figures who set the tone for their respective international sides, according to David Warner.

Australia's Smith and India's Kohli are two of the finest batsmen of their generation, occupying first and second spot respectively in the current Test rankings.

The duo are set to meet if India's tour of Australia – scheduled to begin in October – goes ahead, although significant doubt remains as the coronavirus pandemic continues to pose a threat.

If it should go ahead, Warner expects to see great things from the two leading men, who he says act as figureheads for their sides.

"When it comes to cricket, they both have got the mental strength, the mental capacity to score runs," Warner told Cricbuzz.

"They stabilise, they boost morale – if they score runs, everyone else's morale is up. If they are out cheaply, you almost sense that on the field that everyone is … [down on morale and thinking] now we all have to step up. It's a very bizarre situation.

"They both love spending time in the middle. Virat's passion and drive to score runs is different to what Steve's would be.

"Steve is going out there for a hit in the middle, that's how he sees things. He's hitting them out in the middle, he's having fun, he's enjoying himself, just does not want to get out.

"Virat, obviously, doesn't want to get out, but he knows if he spends a certain amount of time out there, he's going to score plenty of runs at a rapid rate.

"He's going to get on top of you. That allows the guys coming in [to play their own game], especially in the Indian team you've got a lot of players who can be flamboyant as well."

Virat Kohli has the talent, fitness and drive to break Sachin Tendulkar's all-time runs record, according to Brett Lee.

India great Tendulkar, who celebrated his 47th birthday on Friday, retired in 2013 having scored 34,357 international runs across all formats in a 24-year career.

No other batsman has gone beyond 29,000 runs, yet current India captain Kohli is the leading active player, amassing 21,901 runs in 416 matches since debuting in 2008.

Kohli currently has a higher one-day international average - 59.33 to Tendulkar's 44.83 - and his Test number is similar - 53.62 to 53.78 - while the 31-year-old averages above 50 in Twenty20 cricket, too.

"We are talking about phenomenal numbers here, so you mentioned seven to eight years of cricket and at the rate [Kohli] is going, yes, he can definitely knock it off," former Australian bowler Lee said on Star Sports.

"It comes down to three things, there is one thing I would like to eliminate - so, you talk about talent as a batsman, he's definitely got that talent, eliminate that first and foremost.

"Then fitness - Virat Kohli has got that fitness, so for me it is all about fitness at the age of 30 and also that mental strength, the mental capacity to get through those hard times, being away from home, from his wife, or when they will have children.

"He will do it easily with his talent, it comes down to his mental strength and if he stays fit enough and I believe he has got all those three components to go past Sachin."

Having backed Kohli to better the marks of another India great, Lee was quick to point out the high esteem he holds Tendulkar in.

"But, how can you say someone can go past Sachin Tendulkar," he added. "This is God here, can someone go better than God? We will wait and see."

Australia spinner Nathan Lyon believes Virat Kohli would have no trouble adjusting to playing without fans in attendance but joked the India star may "try and rev up the seats".

An ODI between Australia and New Zealand was played behind closed doors in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It remains to be seen when fans will again be allowed in to watch sporting events, with Australia due to host India from October.

Kohli is renowned for his ability to feed off crowds and Lyon joked the batsman could instead turn to the seats, although he was full of praise for the 31-year-old.

"He's probably good enough to adapt to any scenario," the off-spinner told a video conference on Tuesday.

"I was actually talking to Mitch Starc the other day and we actually said if we are playing with no crowd it would be quite amazing to see Virat try and rev up the seats.

"It's going to be a little bit different, but I think Virat, he's a superstar, he'll be able to adapt to any climate that we're able to play in."

While there is plenty of uncertainty over the series, Lyon said he was excited about welcoming India, who retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in 2018-19.

"I'm just excited about the prospect of India coming out. I think India coming out here to Australia, it's up there with the biggest series alongside the Ashes," he said.

"Obviously they're an absolute powerhouse of the cricket world so to have those guys out here is going to be fantastic. Playing in front of crowds or in front of no crowds, it's out of our control.

"We've got to be supported by and follow the advice from all the amazing medical people around the world giving out all the advice so it's out of our control.

"I haven't really thought about playing in front of no crowds or massive crowds, it's just about the opportunity about playing against India again.

"Obviously they had the wood over us last time they come out here, but I feel like we're a much stronger Australian cricket side at the moment and I'm just unbelievably excited about the prospect of playing them here at home."

Chris Gayle is best known for his power-hitting exploits in all formats of the game.

West Indies legend Shivnarine Chanderpaul has been talking to the media in India sharing his thoughts on who he believes is the best batsman in the world.

Sunday was due to see the start of the Indian Premier League in 2020, with champions Mumbai Indians scheduled to take on Chennai Super Kings in a repeat of last year's final.

It was to be the first of 56 group games during the 13th season, the success of the lucrative Twenty20 competition showing no signs of slowing up despite pretenders springing up all over the world hoping to find the same magic formula for success.

However, the coronavirus outbreak put paid to the best-laid plans.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India announced a postponement until April 15 initially, yet it remains to be seen when – perhaps even if – the campaign will begin, considering the health crisis that is unfolding around the globe.

Still need your IPL fix, though? Why not enjoy a leisurely trip down memory lane to recall some of the notable moments in the tournament's history.

Virat Kohli lamented India's batting after their Test series loss to New Zealand, while paying tribute to the Black Caps.

New Zealand wrapped up a 2-0 series win over India on Monday thanks to a seven-wicket victory in Christchurch.

India struggled with the bat throughout the series, posting scores of 165 and 191 in the first Test in Wellington and 242 and 124 at Hagley Oval.

Kohli praised New Zealand's bowlers and rued his side's batting after their series defeat.

"It was a matter of not having enough intent in the first game and then playing well in the first innings here but then again the small things, small margins," the India captain told Sky Sport.

"When you sit down and look back at this series you have to also give credit to the New Zealand bowlers because they bowled in the right areas for long enough, created a lot of pressure. There were hardly any scoring opportunities so that meant you had to play extravagant shots to get runs rather than just rotating strike and getting runs easily.

"It was a combination of us not quite having the right kind of execution and New Zealand playing really well in their conditions and I think the bowling and the consistency was outstanding and that's something that forced our batting to make those mistakes.

"We're usually a batting side that does show a bit of fight and put up scores on the board, but there was just not enough done by the batsmen in the series for the bowlers to try and attack."

After ripping through the India lower-order to begin day three in Christchurch, New Zealand were untroubled on the way to their target of 132 for victory.

Black Caps captain Kane Williamson was happy with his team and said their ability to combine for small but vital partnerships was crucial.

"Outstanding," he said. "Both fairly sporting surfaces where bowlers had to put the ball in the right area, but if you did you created opportunities throughout every day of this game which was surprising. History suggests that it does a bit initially and then flattens out.

"I guess therein lies the value in a lot of those partnerships that we had with the bat, those 30s and 40s that were huge out there on that surface.

"I don't think the end result reflected how perhaps tight that match was because as we saw in both innings the ball going past the outside of the bat and it is such a fine line, but a fantastic series from our side in terms of the balance with the bat and the ball and the way the guys stuck at it.

"As we know, it is a fine line and India are a world-class side, top of the comp [ICC World Test Championship], so a great effort from the guys."

Kyle Jamieson's maiden Test five-for triggered an India collapse as New Zealand made a strong start to the second and final Test on Saturday.

Jamieson tore through India, who went from 194-5 to 242 all out in a remarkable tea session on day one in Christchurch, with figures of 5-45 in 14 overs.

New Zealand reached stumps at 63-0, trailing by 179 runs, thanks to openers Tom Lathan (27 not out) and Tom Blundell (29 not out) at Hagley Oval.

Rain delayed the start of play in New Zealand, where ICC's top-ranked Test side India were looking to bounce back from their crushing defeat against the Black Caps in Wellington.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to bowl first, and it proved a wise decision when Trent Boult (2-89) trapped Mayank Agarwal lbw for seven after India made it through six overs unscathed.

The Black Caps' bowling attack did not have it all their own way – highly rated opener Prithvi Shaw showing intent early on as he kept the scoreboard ticking over.

Shaw scored 54 runs from just 64 deliveries before he fell victim to Jamieson – who claimed 4-39 in the first innings of the opening Test against India on his debut – prior to lunch, Latham's stunning catch at second slip ending a promising knock.

Tim Southee (2-38) then took the prized scalp of struggling India skipper Virat Kohli (3) shortly after lunch as the tourists fell to 85-3.

Only two other wickets fell in the middle session – Ajinkya Rahane (7) and Hanuma Vihari (55) via Southee and Neil Wagner (1-29) – as India looked relatively comfortable heading into the tea break.

But it all fell apart for India in the final session as Jamieson cleaned up the visitors with four wickets in a stunning spell, which saw Kohli's side crumble for 48-5.

Cheteshwar Pujara (54), Rishabh Pant (12), Umesh Yadav (0) and Ravindra Jadeja (9) were dismissed by Jamieson, while Boult ripped out Mohammed Shami's off stump.

Latham and Blundell then saw New Zealand through to the end of play without loss amid fading light after 23 overs.

Virat Kohli lamented India's uncompetitiveness with the bat in the first innings of their comprehensive Test loss to New Zealand.

The Black Caps secured their 100th Test victory on Monday, beating India by 10 wickets in Wellington in the series opener.

India were bowled out for 165 in the first innings and 191 in the second and Kohli rued their initial effort at the Basin Reserve.

"It was probably the toss that turned out to be very important, but at the same time as a batting unit I think we take a lot of pride in being competitive and we were just not competitive enough," India captain Kohli told Sky Sport.

"I don't think we put their bowlers under enough pressure in the first innings. Anything over 220-230 then you're talking a different language and even the deficit looks much lesser if you get that score on the board and you get the last three batsmen out cheaper, which wasn't the case.

"But I think that first innings really put us behind in the game already and then that lead obviously put us under a lot of pressure which was hard to come back from."

India had New Zealand at 225-7 in their first innings, only for Kyle Jamieson (44), Colin de Grandhomme (43) and Trent Boult (38) to push the hosts to 348.

Black Caps captain Kane Williamson was delighted with the victory, with Tim Southee grabbing a five-for in the second innings.

"It was an outstanding effort over the space of four days and we know how strong this Indian team is all around the world," he said.

"The efforts that went into that first innings to put the ball in the right area for long periods of time and I think that with the bat to get what was a very competitive total on a surface that I thought was a really good one that offered throughout the whole match, and the lower-order runs are really important to try and get a little bit of a lead.

"As we saw that if you did pick up a wicket you could get a couple so an outstanding all-round team effort."

The second and final Test starts in Christchurch on Saturday.

Trent Boult's lower-order runs and three vital wickets catapulted New Zealand into a commanding position against India on day three of the first Test.

The left-arm swing bowler clubbed 38 from 24 balls to help the Black Caps post 348 following valuable contributions from Colin de Grandhomme (43) and Kyle Jamieson (44) at Basin Reserve on Sunday.

India, who managed a paltry 165 in the first innings, trailed by 183 runs when Ishant Sharma (5-68) ended Boult's cameo and their headaches grew before the close of play.

Boult removed Prithvi Shaw (14), Cheteshwar Pujara (11) and Virat Kohli (19), while Tim Southee strangled Mayank Agarwal down the leg side for 58 as the tourists battled to 144-4, still 39 runs behind.

India had looked set for a brighter day in Wellington after Jasprit Bumrah extracted an edge from BJ Watling with the first ball of the opening over, after New Zealand had resumed on 216-5.

Southee lasted 14 deliveries before falling to Ishant, which brought debutant Jamieson to the crease.

The towering quick, who claimed four wickets in India's innings, proved there is more than one string to his bow as he hammered four sixes in an entertaining 45-ball knock.

Jamieson and the more measured De Grandhomme combined for 71 runs before departing within five overs of each other, Ravichandran Ashwin (3-99) striking on both occasions.

Number 11 Boult blasted the Black Caps further ahead and then made inroads into India's top order, his short ball drawing Shaw into an edge behind in the eighth over of India's second dig.

Pujara crawled to 11 runs until his concentration failed on the final ball of the second session - his 81st at the crease - with the batsman made to pay for shouldering arms to a full Boult delivery that seamed in and plucked out the off stump.

Kohli's advice prompted opener Agarwal to waste a review on a thin edge off Southee before the India captain gave wicketkeeper Watling his second catch and Boult his third wicket.

Dropping the anchor allowed Ajinkya Rahane (25) and Hanuma Vihari (15) to reach the close unbeaten but New Zealand appear well-placed to take a 1-0 series lead with two days remaining.

Kane Williamson fell short of a century as New Zealand earned a 51-run lead but India struck back with late wickets on day two of the opening Test.

New Zealand captain Williamson scored 89 runs to help the Black Caps to 216-5 against touring India at stumps in Wellington on Saturday.

But India claimed three wickets during the final session – including the scalp of Williamson – to regain some ground before bad light stopped play after New Zealand threatened to surge clear.

The opening day at Basin Reserve was ended by rain on Friday, with India reduced to 122-5 through just 55 overs due to wet weather.

New Zealand debutant Kyle Jamieson (4-39) starred on day one and he was among the wickets again as India were bowled out for 165 before lunch on Saturday – Virat Kohli's visitors losing 43-5.

Rishabh Pant (19) and Ajinkya Rahane (46) returned to the crease attempting to revive India's flagging innings but an awful mix-up and a stunning piece of fielding from Ajax Patel sparked the Black Caps.

Pant was left high and dry following Patel's direct hit and the wickets kept tumbling for India as New Zealand paceman Tim Southee took centre stage with figures of 4-49.

Southee dismissed Ravichandran Ashwin (0) first ball and then secured the prized wicket of Rahane before sending Mohammed Shami back to the pavilion for 21, while Jamieson had Ishant Sharma (5) caught behind.

The Black Caps navigated a tricky period prior to lunch with the bat, but opener Tom Latham (11) soon fell victim to Sharma (3-31) and the latter then skittled Tom Blundell (30) to leave New Zealand 73-2.

Williamson and Ross Taylor, however, combined for a valuable 93-run partnership to lead the hosts to 166-3 before Sharma removed Taylor just six runs shy of a half-century.

Black Caps skipper Williamson, who posted his 32nd Test fifty, was 11 runs short of another ton after slicing a Shami (1-61) delivery to substitute fielder Ravindra Jadeja.

One more wicket fell as stumps approached, Henry Nicholls sent packing by Ashwin (1-60) as BJ Watling (14 not out) and Colin de Grandhomme (4 not out) ended the day unbeaten in the middle.

New Zealand dominated the start of the first Test against India before the opening day was ended by rain in Wellington.

On debut, Kyle Jamieson (3-38) starred after the Black Caps decided to bowl first at Basin Reserve on Friday.

Virat Kohli (2) was among the 25-year-old paceman's scalps as India were reduced to 122-5 before rain led to an early stumps with just 55 overs bowled.

Ajinkya Rahane (38 not out) top-scored for India and was unbeaten alongside Rishabh Pant (10) as the tourists were left with work to do.

New Zealand needed just five overs to capitalise on the bowler-friendly conditions.

Tim Southee (1-27) got some movement away, hitting Prithvi Shaw's off-stump to dismiss the opener for 16.

The Black Caps continued to cause problems before Jamieson claimed his first Test wicket, Cheteshwar Pujara (11) edging through to BJ Watling.

Jamieson then struck a huge blow by removing Kohli, Ross Taylor – playing his 100th Test – taking a catch at first slip to leave India at 40-3.

Mayank Agarwal and Rahane managed to steady India heading into lunch, but they were slowed by the Black Caps after the break.

Trent Boult (1-44) dropped a return chance off Agarwal before getting his first wicket two balls later, Jamieson taking a catch at long leg.

Jamieson's incredible day continued as Hanuma Vihari (7) edged behind to Watling to leave India at 101-5.

Rahane and Pant got to tea before the rain arrived, ending a strong day for New Zealand.

Virat Kohli is expecting to play all three forms of international cricket for the next three years, at which point he will re-evaluate his workload.

The 31-year-old India captain, who is preparing to lead his side in the first of two Test matches against New Zealand on Friday, feels the topic of player workloads at the highest level of cricket is not going to go away.

For Kohli, occasional breaks from India duty, such as when he was rested for the T20I matches against Bangladesh in November, are his best way of coping with what he feels are intense demands.

"I think it's been eight or nine years that I have been playing almost 300 days a year with the travelling and practice sessions," Kohli told reporters before the opening Test in Wellington.

"The intensity is right up there all the time, so it does take a toll on you. 

"We do choose to take a lot more breaks individually even though the schedule might not allow you to. 

"You are going to see a lot of that in the future from many players. Not just myself, especially from the guys who are playing all three formats. It's not that easy.

"Periodic breaks for me seems to work pretty okay. At a time when the body doesn't respond as well, maybe when I am 34 or 35, you might have a different conversation at that stage. 

"But, for the next two to three years, I have no issues at all. So the mindset is on the larger picture, and from that point, I am preparing myself for a rigorous three years from now."

The responsibilities of being captain are an added pressure for Kohli, who is the world's highest ranked batsman in Test and ODI cricket.

The 31-year-old added: "Being captain, having intensity in practice sessions and discussing the game, it does take a toll on you.

"I can keep going on with the same intensity and I also understand that the team wants a lot of my contribution so that we can ease into another transition phase that we faced some five or six years ago."

India have won the last five Test series they have played, though they come into the New Zealand games on the back of a mixed limited-overs slate.

New Zealand triumphed 3-0 in the ODI series after India had stormed to a 5-0 victory in the T20Is between the two nations.

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