2023: Virat Kohli Makes History
NEW DELHI (ANI) – Following a slump in form from 2021-22 that had many questioning his place in the Indian team across all formats, star batter Virat Kohli silenced critics with a monstrous 2023 batting-wise, which saw him shatter some massive batting records previously considered untouchable.
This year will be known as the one that brought before our eyes the much-awaited redemption of Virat. Every match, every series, and every tournament saw this star grabbing headlines across all forms of media, even during some occasional off days with the bat.
Though Virat’s redemption story remains incomplete without the presence of the highly elusive Indian Premier League title, ICC World Test Championship mace, and the most heartbreaking of them all, an ICC Cricket World Cup trophy at home, Virat’s batting still gave millions of his fans immeasurable joy, ecstasy, pride, and many more reasons to consider him their ‘GOAT’ (Greatest of All Time).
Let us look at some major batting records established by Virat this year:
*Most centuries in ODI cricket
Just a decade back, Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 ODI centuries looked impossible to break. Then stepped up a youngster from Delhi, piling up runs and centuries at a rate never seen before every year. On that eventful November 15 this year during the ICC Cricket World Cup semi-final at Wankhede Stadium, Virat became the first player to make 50 ODI centuries, achieving this feat in front of the legend himself, who was clapping for him in the audience.
From lifting Sachin on his shoulders following India’s World Cup triumph back in 2011 at the same venue, Virat had come a long way, standing shoulder to shoulder with his idol in debates of “Who is the greatest ODI batter of all time?”.
After overtaking this mammoth record, Virat was humble even after toppling his idol, saying after the innings, “It is all too much for me to take in now; to equal my hero’s record is something special for me. He is perfect when it comes to batting. But I am never going to be as good as him.”
The respect was mutual, as Sachin wasted no time in wishing Virat.
*Most runs in a single ICC Cricket World Cup event
Despite being an incredible batter with many memorable knocks and moments, the absence of an all-time World Cup campaign was glaring in Virat’s resume. Though he scored 443 runs in nine World Cup matches back in 2019 with five fifties, it was still not up to his gigantic standards. Even in the 2011 and 2015 CWC, he scored 282 runs in nine matches and 305 runs in eight matches, respectively.
All of this changed during this year’s World Cup at home, where Virat’s familiarity with home conditions and supreme form combined to give him a total of 765 runs in 11 matches at an average of 95.62, with three centuries and six fifties. He surpassed Sachin’s previous all-time great tally of 673 runs in the 2003 Cricket World Cup and walked out with the ‘Player of the Tournament’ award.
*First-ever cricketer to smash 3,000 runs across all ICC white-ball tournaments
During the World Cup at home, Virat became the first-ever cricketer to have 3,000 runs across all white-ball ICC tournaments, adding more weight to the argument of him being perhaps the best limited-overs player ever.
In his Cricket World Cup career, Virat is the second-highest run-getter with 1,795 runs in 37 matches at an average of 59.83, with five centuries, 12 fifties, and a best score of 117.
Coming to the ICC Champions Trophy, he has scored 529 runs in 13 matches at an average of 88.16, with five fifties in 12 innings. His best score is 96*. He is the 11th highest scorer in tournament history and India’s fourth.
In 27 ICC T20 World Cup matches, he has scored 1,141 runs at an average of 81.50, with 14 fifties in 25 innings and a best score of 89*. He is the highest run-scorer in the tournament’s history.
In a total of 77 ICC white-ball event matches, Virat has scored 3,465 runs at an average of 69.30 across 74 innings, with five centuries and 31 fifties. His best score is 117.
*Most fifty-plus scores in a single Cricket World Cup
During the ICC Cricket World Cup this year, Virat left behind Sachin Tendulkar (one century and six fifties in 2003 WC) and Bangladesh great Shakib al Hasan (two centuries and five fifties in 2019 WC) to have the most fifty-plus scores in a single World Cup edition, with a total of nine. This included three centuries.
*Most Indian Premier League centuries
Following his incredible 101 in 61 balls against Gujarat Titans, Virat registered his seventh IPL century and surpassed West Indies legend Chris Gayle (six centuries) to become the batter with most IPL tons.
*First-ever player to smash 7,000 IPL runs
Despite no IPL trophy to his name during his stint with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Virat has given fans something to cheer about with his batting as an RCB talent is the top run-getter in IPL history. In 237 matches and 229 innings, he has scored 7,263 runs at an average of 37.24 and a strike rate of over 130. He has seven centuries and 50 fifties to his name, with the best score of 113. During a match against Delhi Capitals, in which Virat played a knock of 55 runs in 46 balls, the star batter touched the 7,000-run mark in IPL.
*First-ever player to smash a century in 500th international match
In the second Test against West Indies back in July, Virat became only the ninth player to play his 500th international game. Virat celebrated this feat of longevity in style, scoring a majestic 121 in 206 balls to become the first player to hit a century in his 500th outing as an international player.
*Fastest to 13,000 ODI runs
Virat became the fastest player to reach 13,000 ODI runs, doing so in just 267 innings during his 122-run knock against Pakistan in the Asia Cup this year. Now in 292 ODIs, Virat has scored 13,848 runs at an average of 58.97 with 50 centuries and 72 half-centuries and the highest score of 183. He is the third-highest run-scorer in ODI cricket, and his hunt for Sachin’s figures of 18,426 ODI runs still goes strong.
*Fastest to 25,000 and 26,000 international runs
On February 19 this year in front of his home crowd at Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium, Virat completed 25,000 international runs in just 549 innings, 28 innings faster than Sachin. Then during the World Cup match against Bangladesh at Pune, Virat became the fastest to reach 26,000 international runs in just 567 innings, 33 innings faster than Sachin again. With each passing inning, the star batter continues to hunt Sachin’s all-time figures of 34,357 runs across all formats.
*Most ODI centuries against a team
In the third ODI against Sri Lanka back in January this year, Virat became the batter with the most hundreds in ODIs against a team, a total of 10 centuries against Sri Lanka. Virat smashed 166 in 110 balls in that ODI, with 13 fours and eight sixes.
*Most times 1,000 runs in ODIs during a calendar year
During the Cricket World Cup match against Sri Lanka, Virat surpassed Sachin Tendulkar to become a player with 1,000-plus ODI runs for the most time in a calendar year. Virat has crossed 1,000 ODI runs in eight different calendar years, as compared to seven by Sachin.
Overall, in seven Tests this year, Virat scored 557 runs at an average of 55.70, with two centuries and a fifty in 10 innings. His best score was 186.
In 27 ODIs this year, Virat scored 1,377 runs at an average of 72.47 and a strike rate of 99.13, with six centuries and eight fifties in just 24 innings. His best score is 166.
Finally, in all 34 international matches this year till yet, Virat scored 1,934 runs at an average of 66.68, with eight centuries and nine fifties in 34 innings. With the batter supposed to play the Test series against South Africa, he can breach the 2,000-run mark this year itself during the Boxing Day Test at Centurion from December 26.