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Virat Kohli: A Modern Cricket Legend

Daring, tough and incredibly talented, Virat Kohli is arguably one of the finest batsmen that India has ever produced. He fascinates sports fans with his masterful knocks and shows his brilliance every time he steps onto the field. He is nicknamed “King Kohli” and “The Chase King.”

He made the headlines after guiding the Indian U-19 team to World Cup victory in 2008 in Kuala Lumpur. This earned him a spot on the senior team in the same year and thus began a new era of cricket.

  • Personal Details
  • Current Rankings
  • Career Beginning
  • Career Summary
  • Captaincy Record
  • Bio
    • Early Years
    • Youth and Domestic Career
    • Entry into the Indian T20 League and International Cricket
    • Rising Through the Ranks
    • Setting Records, Test Struggles and Bounceback
    • Recent Times
  • Records and Achievements
    • International Cricket
    • League Cricket
  • FAQs

Personal Details

Name Virat Kohli
Date of Birth 5th November 1988
Birthplace Delhi
Height 5′9″
Playing Role Top-order batsman
Batting Style Right-handed batsman
Teams Played For India, Asia XI, India A, India Blue, Indian Board President's XI, India Red, North Zone, Rest of India, Delhi, India Under-19, Team Bangalore

Current Rankings

Game Format Test ODI T20
ICC Ranking in Batting 5 4 1

Career Beginning

Test Debut vs. West Indies at Kingston, 20 June 2011
ODI Debut vs. Sri Lanka at Dambulla, 18 Aug. 2008
T20I Debut vs. Zimbabwe at Harare, 12 June 2010
Indian T20 League Debut vs. Kolkata at Bangalore, 18 April 2008

Career Summary

Format M Inn Runs HS Avg SR 100 200 50 4s 6s CT
Test 91 153 7490 254* vs. SA 52.38 57.12 27 7 25 839 22 88
ODI 252 243 12096 183 vs. Pak 59.29 93.25 43 0 61 1136 125 130
T20I 89 84 3159 94* vs. WI 52.65 139 0 0 28 285 90 42
IT20L 192 184 5878 113 vs. Punjab 38.17 130.7 5 0 39 503 201 76

Captaincy Record

Format Matches Won Lost Tie NR
Test 60 36 14 0 10
ODI 93 64 26 1 2
T20I 45 27 14 2 2
IT20L 125 55 63 3 4

Virat Kohli’s Bio

Early Years

Virat Kohli was born on 5th November 1988 in Delhi into a Punjabi-Hindu family. His father, Prem Kohli, worked as a criminal lawyer and his mother, Saroj Kohli, is a housewife. He has an older brother, Vikas, and an older sister, Bhavna. Kohli used to pick up a cricket bat and start swinging it when he was just three years old.

Kohli started his schooling at Vishal Bharti Public School in Delhi, and in 1998 he was part of the first intake of the West Delhi Cricket Academy as a 9-year-old. Kohli trained at the academy under Rajkumar Sharma and also played matches at other academies. According to his coach, Kohli was a natural at whatever he did. Apart from sports, Kohli was also good at studies. Kohli lost his father on 18th December 2006 to a stroke. In an interview, he said, "My father was my biggest support. He was the one who drove me to practice every day. I miss his presence sometimes.”

Youth and Domestic Career

Kohli first played for the Delhi U-15 team in October 2002 in the 2002–03 Polly Umrigar Trophy. He was the leading run scorer for his team in that tournament, with 172 runs at an average of 34.40. He became the captain of the team for the 2003–04 Polly Umrigar Trophy. In late 2004, he was selected in the Delhi Under-17 team for the 2003–04 Vijay Merchant Trophy. Delhi U-17s won the 2004–05 Vijay Merchant Trophy, in which Kohli finished as the highest run scorer with 757 runs in seven matches at an average of 84.11 with 2 centuries. In February 2006, he made his List A debut for Delhi.

In July 2006, Kohli was selected for the India Under-19 squad on its tour of England. He averaged 105 in the 3-match ODI series against England U-19s and 49 in the 3-match Test series. India Under-19 went on to win both the series. In September, the India U-19 team toured Pakistan. Kohli averaged 58 in the Test series and 41.66 in the ODI series against Pakistan U-19s. Kohli made his first-class debut for Delhi against Tamil Nadu in November 2006, at the age of 18, and scored 10 in his debut innings. He came into the spotlight in December when he decided to play for his team against Karnataka a day after his father's death and went on to play a crucial innings of 90. According to his mother, "Virat changed a bit after that day. Overnight he became a much more matured person. He took every match seriously. It's as if his life hinged totally on cricket after that day.” In the triangular series against Sri Lanka Under-19s and Bangladesh Under-19s in July–Aug 2007, he was the second-highest run scorer with 146 runs in five matches. Kohli rose to fame when he captained India's victorious World Cup U-19 side in Malaysia in 2008. Batting at number 3, he scored 235 runs in six matches at an average of 47 and finished as the tournament's third-highest run scorer and one of the three batsmen to score a hundred in the tournament. ESPNcricinfo commended him for making several tactical changes during the whole tournament.

Entry into the Indian T20 League and International Cricket

Entry into the Indian T20 League and International Cricket (H3) Following the Under-19 World Cup, he was immediately selected for the lucrative Indian T20 League in 2008 and has since been a part of the Bangalore franchise. He went on to become the captain of the team in 2013.

Despite a modest record in the first edition of the league, he was picked in the India squad for the Emerging Players Tournament in Australia, where he scored 206 runs in six matches at an average of 41.20 in the tournament. This, combined with his domestic form, won him a "surprise call-up” to the India ODI squad on the tour to Sri Lanka in the same year. Kohli made his international debut at the age of 19 and batted as a makeshift opener throughout the series as both first-choice openers Tendulkar and Sehwag were injured. He made his first ODI half century, a score of 54, in the fourth match, which helped India win the series. After being in and out of the team for the next one year, he found a place in the home ODI series against Sri Lanka in December 2009 and scored his first ODI century: 107 off 111 balls in the fourth ODI at Kolkata. Kohli grew in maturity gradually and his lean patches made way for mind-boggling consistency.

Rising Through the Ranks

He was India's leading run scorer in ODIs in 2010, with 995 runs in 25 matches at an average of 47.38 including 3 centuries. During the tri-series in Zimbabwe, Kohli became the fastest Indian batsman to reach 1,000 runs in ODI cricket. He also made his T20I debut against Zimbabwe at Harare.

He did not let his guard down in the next seven months and kept scoring consistently even in pressure situations. His performance in the home series against Australia and New Zealand helped him become a regular on the ODI team. He was named in India's 15-man squad for the 2011 World Cup. He started by scoring a century in his maiden World Cup match against Bangladesh and contributed decently throughout the tournament. The wait for a Test cap ended when he was selected for the tour of the West Indies in 2011. The strongest evidence of his mettle came early in 2012 during his maiden Test century in Adelaide on India's tour to Australia. Kohli was soon handed over the vice captaincy of the Indian team ahead of the Asia Cup in 2012. He ended the tournament as the highest run scorer, which included a superlative 183 off 148 balls against Pakistan.

Setting Records, Test Struggles and Bounceback

Kohli captained the Indian ODI team for the first time against Sri Lanka in a triangular ODI series in the Caribbean after an injury ruled MS Dhoni out for three ODIs. He added another feather to his cap when he registered the fastest ODI century by an Indian, off just 52 balls, against Australia in October 2013 at Jaipur, helping India chase down a daunting target of 360. At the conclusion of the series, Kohli moved to the top position in the ICC ODI batsmen rankings for the first time in his career.

In the year 2014, Kohli single-handedly took India to the finals of the ICC WT20 in Bangladesh but the team lost against Sri Lanka in the final. The next few months would prove to be a massive learning curve for Kohli, who was found wanting in the swinging conditions of England. James Anderson was his tormentor as he exposed a distinct weakness outside Kohli’s off stump. He performed terribly in the Test series, averaging just 13.40 in 10 innings with a top score of 39. In the 5-match ODI series against Sri Lanka in November 2014, Kohli led India to a 5-0 series victory over Sri Lanka, making him the first Indian captain to have effected a 5-0 whitewash both at home and away in ODI cricket. In December 2014, Kohli was made captain for India’s first Test against Australia in Adelaide. He scored centuries in both the innings but the team ended up losing the match. On 30th December 2014, Kohli was made permanent Test captain after MS Dhoni announced his retirement from Tests. Kohli ended his disappointment of the England tour by scoring fantastically in the Australian tour, thereby removing all doubts about his class and technique in the longest version of the game. In the first match of the 2015 World Cup against Pakistan at Adelaide, Kohli hit 107 runs in 126 balls to help India set a total of 300 and win the match by 76 runs. For his knock, he was adjudged the Man of the Match, his 20th in ODIs and second in a World Cup match. India was eliminated in the semi-final by Australia at Melbourne, where Kohli was dismissed for only 1 run off 13 balls.

The Golden Years

The year 2016 turned out to be Kohli’s best phase as he plundered runs across formats with his consistency reaching insane levels. He scored over 2,500 international runs at a mind-boggling average of 86.50, with 7 centuries and 13 half centuries, in 40 innings. This included a Man of the Tournament award in the 2016 World T20, where India got eliminated in the semi-finals after losing to the West Indies. In addition to this, he also scored a phenomenal 973 runs in the 2016 Indian T20 League, with a record 4 centuries to his name. During the 2016-17 season, Kohli also became the first batsman to register a double century in four successive Test series, going past the legendary Sir Donald Bradman and Rahul Dravid, both of whom had done that in three consecutive series. His exploits showed that he could dominate in all formats of the game simultaneously. India also regained the top position in the ICC Test Rankings after whitewashing New Zealand 3-0 at home.

After a dreamy 2016-17 season, Virat Kohli got an opportunity to captain in an ICC tournament for the first time in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy. In the semi-final against Bangladesh, Kohli became the fastest batsman, in terms of innings, to reach 8,000 runs in ODIs, a feat he achieved in 175 innings. India reached the final of the tournament but lost to Pakistan. He ended the year with 2,818 international runs, which is the third-highest ever in a calendar year and the highest ever by an Indian player. The ICC named Kohli captain for both its World Test XI and ODI XI for 2017.

Recent Times

Virat carried his form to the tour of South Africa in the early part of 2018. Though India lost the series 2-1, his 153 in the second Test at Centurion proved his potential once again in alien conditions. He even took his side to series wins in the limited-overs format, which was a first for India in South Africa. He became the fastest to reach 10,000 runs in ODI cricket when he reached the feat in his 205th innings, beating the previous record holder, Sachin Tendulkar, who achieved it in 259 innings.

On the tour of Australia in 2018-19, the Indian team created history under Kohli’s captaincy by becoming the first-ever Indian side to register a Test series win over Australia in Australia. With this series win, Kohli also became the first Asian captain to lead his team to a series victory over Australia in their home conditions. He was again named captain for both the World Test XI and ODI XI for 2018 by the ICC. Virat had a good 2019 World Cup as a batsman, scoring 5 consecutive half centuries. On 16 June 2019, in India's match against Pakistan, Kohli became the fastest batsman, in terms of innings, to score 11,000 runs in ODI cricket. He reached this landmark in his 222nd innings. Eleven days later in a match against the West Indies, Kohli became the fastest cricketer, in terms of innings, to score 20,000 runs in international cricket, doing so in his 417th innings. Though the team finished at the top of the points table in the group stages of the tournament under his leadership, India's campaign ultimately ended after a close defeat against New Zealand in the semi-final. In October 2019, Kohli captained India for the 50th time in Test cricket, in the second Test against South Africa. Kohli scored an unbeaten 254 runs and became the first batsman for India to score 7 double centuries in Test cricket. In November 2019, during a Test match against Bangladesh, he scored his 70th century in international cricket. In November 2020, Kohli was nominated for the Sir Garfield Sobers Award for ICC Male Cricketer of the Decade, as well as Test, ODI and T20I Player of the Decade and won two (Male Cricketer of the Decade and ODI Cricketer of the Decade). In March 2021, During the second T20I in England’s tour of India, Kohli became the first-ever batsman to complete 3,000 runs in the format. Keeping in mind his excellent fitness and his ability to easily adapt to all formats of the game, it should not come as a surprise if he ends up owning most batting records by the time he brings the curtains down on his illustrious career.

Records and Achievements

Virat Kohli’s cricket career has always been full of challenges. From breaking into a strong Indian team to taking the reins of the team over from MS Dhoni, the most successful captain of the Indian cricket team, he has done it all.

International Cricket

Here are some of Virat Kohli’s biggest achievements in international cricket:

  • The tally of Virat Kohli’s 70 international centuries, combined in ODI and Test cricket, is third-highest on the list of most career centuries behind Sachin Tendulkar’s (100) and Ricky Ponting’s (71).
  • Kohli has made over 12,000 runs in ODIs and holds the world record for being the fastest batsman to reach 8K, 9K, 10K, 11K and 12K runs in ODI cricket.
  • He has been the recipient of ICC awards a number of times. He won the Cricketer of the Year award in 2017 and 2018, Test Player of the Year in 2018 and ODI Player of the Year in 2012, 2017 and 2018. He was also named ICC Men's Cricketer of the Decade (2011-2020).
  • Kohli is the fastest Indian cricketer to reach the milestones of 10, 15, 20 and 25 centuries. Moreover, he is the fastest player in the world to reach 35 and 40 ODI centuries.
  • Kohli has scored 7 double centuries in his career, which is fifth-highest on the list of most double centuries by a player.
  • Kohli also found success in the T20 format, being adjudged the Man of the Tournament twice at the ICC World Twenty20 (2014 and 2016).

League Cricket

An integral part of Team Bangalore, Kohli has proven himself to be a powerhouse performer in the Indian T20 League. Here are some of his biggest achievements:

  • Virat Kohli’s league record is as impressive as his international cricket career. He is the highest run scorer in the league, with a personal best score of 113 runs.
  • Kohli has scored 5 centuries in the league, including a record 4 centuries in one season (2016). He was also the Orange Cap holder (973 runs) in the 2016 season.
  • Kohli has played for only one team, i.e. Bangalore, in the league. He has been the captain of Team Bangalore since 2013 and under his leadership, the team has reached the play-offs three times and was the runner-up in 2016.

Frequently Asked Questions

Has Virat Kohli passed his 12th grade?

Yes, Virat Kohli passed his 12th grade from Vishal Bharti Public School, Delhi. He concentrated solely on cricket after passing his 12th grade.

How much is Virat Kohli's salary?

Virat Kohli earns ₹7 crore from his Grade A+ contract with the BCCI. He also earns a salary of ₹17 crore per season from his contract with Team Bangalore.

Is Virat Kohli vegan?

Yes, Virat Kohli is a vegan who only eats a plant-based diet.

Who trained Virat Kohli?

Rajkumar Sharma was Kohli’s childhood coach at the West Delhi Cricket Academy.

When did Virat Kohli lead the Under-19 Indian cricket team to a World Cup title?

Under Virat Kohli’s captaincy, the Indian Under-19 cricket team won the World Cup in 2009 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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