Virat Kohli, the one name bringing multiple thoughts to the mind of an audience, is turning 35 on the 5th of November. We wish this legendary cricketer a very happy, healthy and prosperous birthday!
Redefining Indian Cricket: the Run-Machine
The Unmatched Chasing Master
“Virat Kohli is the best chaser in cricket history. The standout qualities of Virat Kohli are his unwavering hunger and unmatched competitiveness to constantly strive for excellence in the game. I have never witnessed anyone with a stronger mindset than him. He is always on, always striving for greatness, and that is incredibly inspiring for everyone.”
- Faf du Plessis, Interview with Star Sports
It is very easy for any cricket fan to remember how classy and entertaining Virat Kohli was when he scored 183 runs against Pakistan in 2012 as his team was chasing down a brilliant victory in the Asia Cup tournament. It won’t be an overstatement to say that he is, indeed, the ‘Kind of Chasing’, even his recent performance pays testament to that.
Virat Kohli has been in an incredibly great form in world cup 2023. He has scored 103* runs vs Bangladesh and 95 runs vs New Zealand when his team needed to chase it to win the match and that is how he sealed his dominance as a batsman in this tournament till now. He has scored 442 runs in this world cup, till the match between Afghanistan vs New Zealand held on November 3rd, only second to the South African Quinton de Kock.
Breaking the Century Drought in World Cup
Virat Kohli has experienced a drought period of scoring a century in a world cup match since he scored 107 runs against Pakistan in Adelaide in February 2015- a period of 8.5 years spanning across 19 world cup innings. Naturally, both the fans and the man himself were getting on the nerves!
Finally, he broke out of the block on October 19 this year in the match against Bangladesh. But chasing about any total was not new to him. He has been doing this naturally at his very peak as a batsman. It was particularly noticeable in the 5-years period between 2015 and 2019. During this time, he created a zone of his own where no total was unchase-able when he ran after it. Kohli, with his unmatched batting prowess, defied all the run rates and bowling strategies.
International Career: Performances in Test, ODI, & T20I
Virat is one of those very few legendary batsmen who has seen it all from being at the peak of his career like he was invincible to losing himself into being out of form, scoring lower & lower with every match, even consecutive ducks. However, he always had it in him to come back even more fiercely to redefine himself. As a result, we have this unmatched batting genius who is not only entertaining as a player but also a very reliable team member, reassuring his captain to count on him whenever required.
Like almost all the batsmen of India, Virat also grew up being inspired by Sachin Tendulkar. And now, he is stepping on the last step to have an equal number of centuries as does Tendulkar (49 centuries) in ODI matches. With 48 centuries in 276 innings, Virat’s highest score in an ODI match is 183 runs. He scored a total of 14,444 runs till India’s latest match against England in the 2023 World Cup.
On the other hand, he has scored a total of 8,676 runs in 187 test innings with 29 centuries. His highest score in test matches is 254*. Although he has not been successful enough to win championships as a captain, he has built-up a very competitive and reliable team of Indian cricket to play in the international test matches.
In Twenty20 International matches, Virat has scored 4,008 runs from 107 innings with the highest score of 122*. He has taken 150, 110 and 50 catches in ODI, test and T20I matches respectively, however, he hasn’t hit a single stumping in his entire international cricket career till date. As for bowling, he has taken 4 wickets in ODI and T20I matches each, but none in the test matches.
Performance in Indian Premier League (IPL)
Virat Kohli started his IPL career with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2008 and became the captain of the team in 2013. He was the highest paid player in IPL until 2022. As a captain, he has led the team in 140 matches winning 66 of them and losing 70 matches. Although the team never managed to win the championship under his leadership, it lacked only enough to reach there as it has been the runners-up in three editions of the tournament in 2009, 2011 and 2016.
As a batsman, Virat has scored 7,263 runs of 237 matches in his entire IPL career. His highest score is 113 and he has scored 7 centuries and 50 half-centuries. He has taken 107 catches and as in his international career, till date he has taken only 4 wickets in IPL too. Similarly, there is no record of him hitting a single stump in IPL as well. Although he announced to step down as the captain of RCB, he also mentioned that he will keep playing for this very team.
Awards for Contribution in Cricket
Virat Kohli has been awarded and appreciated for his outstanding contribution in cricket by various entities. The highest honor he has been awarded with is the prestigious ‘Padma Shri’- India’s 4th highest civilian award in 2017. He received ‘Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award’- India’s highest sporting honor in 2018. ‘In 2013, he was honored with the ‘Arjuna Award’- India’s 2nd highest award in sports.
He received ‘Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy’ as ‘ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Decade’ for the period of 2011-2020. He received the same trophy as ‘ICC Cricketer of the Year’ in 2017 and 2018. Apart from these, he has received a lot of awards from ICC, ESPN, CEAT, Wisden and the likes.
Philanthropic & Entrepreneurial Involvements
The ‘Virat Kohli Foundation’ was established in 2013 with the ambition to make India a sporting superpower by supporting potential athletes and to build a better tomorrow for the underprivileged youth of India. Along with wife, entrepreneur and actor Anushka Sharma, he has personally contributed to help the cause of thousands of stray animals in Mumbai and contributed to many wildlife relief efforts. Apart from these, he has been involved in many other philanthropic activities.
On the other hand, the genius batsman has also tried his hand in various businesses & brands, sometimes along with his wife. He made his first investment at the age of 25 in the football league with ‘Goa FC’. His second venture was the London-based tech start-up ‘Sports Convo’. Along with Anushka, he owns 0.25% shares of ‘Digit’- Pune-based insurance start-up.
But his boldest investment has been venturing into the hospitality industry by opening a South-American restaurant in Delhi named ‘Nueva’. Some of the start-ups founded by Virat Kohli include Wrogn (clothing & accessories brand), Rage Coffee (Delhi-based coffee brand), Blue-Tribe (plant based meat products), One8 (multiple ventures), Chisel Fitness (Bengaluru-based gym & fitness center chain).
Virat will be playing next in the world cup match against South Africa in the Eden Gardens at Kolkata on 5th November. The entire stadium is waiting to celebrate his birthday along with witnessing him play. Will there be another century? Will he be able to score enough runs to become the highest scorer passing de Kock? Only time can tell.