Virat Kohli – Sublime, extraordinary, brilliant

Virat Kohli started the day on 9919 runs, needing another 81 runs to get to the milestone, 10,000 ODI runs.

He has been in absolutely sublime form this year that with every passing game, the world watched on to see if that was the game he’d do it.

On 24th October 2018, Kohli reached that milestone, and became the fastest player to 10,000 ODI runs in only 205 innings, beating the great Sachin Tendulkar by 54 innings.

In 2018 alone, Kohli’s stats have been remarkable, his scores have been:

112, 46*, 160*, 75, 36, 129*, 75, 45, 71, 140, 157*

He scored 1000 ODI runs in 2018, at an average of 149 per innings – extraordinary.

The fastest player to score 1000 ODI runs in 2018, was England’s opener, Jonny Bairstow, who got to the feat having played 20 ODI innings.

Kohli, got there in just 11.

What is even more impressive about his form in 2018 is where Kohli has scored these runs. This has been India’s big year of touring the world. They have gone to South Africa and England, and whilst they lost the Test series in both, and the ODI series in England, Kohli has been in phenomenal form throughout.

It can never be said that Kohli is a flat track bully, and whilst I have sometimes been unhappy with his character on the field, his batting ability is out of this world. He is blessed with an incredible amount of skill and talent, and he uses it incredibly well. He works hard, he doesn’t take anything for granted, he knows he has a job to do and he does it with great determination and pride.

What makes Kohli special is that his skill is not bound to one format, he is equally destructive and brilliant in all formats. This was evident in South Africa earlier this year, when he was the only batsman in either team, to score a century in the Test series. He bats with such ease that he makes even a difficult pitch look playable.

Is Kohli the best ODI batsman of the modern era? I would say in this regard, he is joint best with AB de Villiers. Both of these batsman are just absolute freaks when it comes to batting, they are just so spectacularly talented that it simply defies logic.

It is an absolute shame that AB retired in what can be considered the best form of his life, and that he himself didn’t get the opportunity to get to the 10,000 run milestone (finishing his ODI career on 9577 runs).

Is Kohli the best batsman (both Tests & ODIs) today? In my mind, the answer is a resounding yes.

He is clearly the best batsman around today by a country mile. There is no one else that comes even close to him.

My only concern for Kohli is that he is peaking too early? The World Cup is still 7 months away. Is this sublime form of his going to last into the World Cup?

India still have a grueling tour of Australia to contend with at the end of this year, and then a limited overs tour of New Zealand immediately after. Only time will tell what form he is in for the World Cup.

For now though, let us marvel and rejoice in the brilliance that is Virat Kohli.






Posted in The Popping Crease.