Virat Kohli’s reputation as the best cricketer in the world at the moment has soared by leaps and bounds in recent years.
Kohli did not make the most spectacular of arrivals in international cricket. But he did not take long to enhance his reputation as one of the finest cricketers of this generation. His international record is astonishing. The 29-year old’s batting averages in all three formats are currently in excess of 50, the only person ever to achieve the feat.
His number in ODI cricket is even more astonishing. In just 208 games, he has scored a staggering 35 centuries. Only the legendary Sachin Tendulkar (49 hundreds) has more ODI hundreds than the India captain. In Tests, he has scored 21 centuries including a record 6 double tons.
Earlier this year, he clinched the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy after being adjudged the ICC Cricketer of the Year. It made him the fourth Indian and thirteenth overall to win the award.
In the qualification period from September 21, 2016, to the end of 2017, Kohli scored 2,203 Test runs at an average of 77.80 including six double-centuries, 1,818 ODI runs at 82.63 including seven hundreds, and 299 T20I runs at a strike-rate of 153.
Kohli was also named the ODI cricketer of the year. Kohli’s second-last ODI century in 2017 which came against New Zealand took him past former Australian captain Ricky Ponting to the second place in the all-time ODI centurion list. He went on to score another century against the Black Caps, taking his tally to an impressive 32 and also became the fastest batsman to 9,000 ODI runs.
His unprecedented feat has left the world gasping for breath and it seems the cricketers are also in awe of him. In a recent interview with Eros Now, Kohli’s IPL teammates opened up on him.
AB de Villiers hailed Kohli for his passion and said that his character off the field is totally different that what the world thinks.
“What a badass man,” de Villiers started on a light note before adding:“Lot of passion in him, the way he plays the game. There is a good heart in him. You realise it when you get to know him.”
Yuzvendra Chahal also spoke about the soft side of Kohli’s personality.
“I have played under-15 with Virat bhaiya in 2001-02. At that time, I did not know much about him. But when I joined the team in 2014, I used to think he was hot-headed. I used to be scared while talking to him. But when I started playing with him, then I realised it was nothing like that,” he said.
“Now he is like an elder brother to me. I have learnt a lot from him on the field as well as off it. From outside, he looks very aggressive and all but it is limited to the field,” he added.
On the other hand, Brendon McCullum said he was lucky to share the dressing room with Kohli and de Villiers.
“Virat and AB are the two guys I admired all through my career. To be able to share the dressing room with them, I feel very very lucky,” he said.