Hindustan Times : Nov 05, 2019, 10:41 AM
It is safe to say that Virat Kohli has etched his name amongst the pantheon of legendary batsmen, not just in India but worldwide. Today, the player with superhuman abilities crosses the 31-year mark in his life and Indian fans will pray for another century from the man who has included crossing the three-figure mark into his staple diet.Athletes like Kohli always maintain that they don’t play for personal milestones and lifting trophies with the team is something that keeps them going. But such is the nature of sports that if you shoulder the responsibility of taking the team over the line, records are an added incentive that land in your kitty.Since sealing his place in the Indian team, Kohli has broken multiple records and set new milestones as well. Legendary Australian bowler Jeff Thomson said that from the looks of it, bowling to Kohli looks tougher than Sachin Tendulkar. Yes, you heard that right! The apprentice has finally come of age and challenging the Master for his throne.Rewind few years to the time when Sachin became the first to cross the 10,000 mark in just 259 innings and people said that no one would ever come even close, let alone break the record. Few other big names did cross the line but Sachin remained the fastest. Then came along Kohli and destroyed the record to smithereens.Kohli is in a hurry to attain greatness and he is leaving everyone in his wake as not just in terms of innings, but he became the fastest in terms of years taken to reach the mark as well.Years ago, Sachin prophesied that it will be either Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli who would break his surreal record of 100 international tons and spurred on by such high praise from the God himself, Kohli has made it his primary objective. So far, Kohli has slammed 43 tons in ODIs and 26 in Tests and with few fruitful years still ahead of him, Sachin might just end up adding fortune-telling into his illustrious CV.At the rate with which Kohli has been hitting centuries is truly unprecedented and in the recently-concluded Test series against South Africa, Kohli became the only Indian to smash 40 hundreds in international cricket as captain and is now just one behind Ponting’s record tally of 41 tons.. Yes, there were others around the world previously, but none from India.2018 was a phenomenal year for Kohli as he managed to score runs in South Africa, England and in his own backyard. In ODIs, it took him just 11 innings to go past the 1000-run mark this calendar year, which is by far the fastest ever. The second-fastest is again Kohli, but he shares his second spot on the podium with South Africa great Hashim Amla.11 innings: Virat Kohli (2018)15 innings: Hashim Amla (2010), Virat Kohli (2012)17 innings: David Gower (1983), Shane Watson (2011), Kumar Sangakkara (2013), AB de Villiers (2015)2019 was average year for Kohli, going by his lofty standards. He did not manage a lot of centuries in Tests in 2019 with just one against South Africa. Then there was the failure to win the 2019 Cricket World Cup that must have been a big setback for him. He still averaged 68 in the six matches he played in the year while managing his highest score of 254*. However in ODIs this year, Kohli has hit 5 hundreds and has an impressive average of 64.40.The list would be incomplete without mentioning the heroics of ‘chase-master’ Kohli. His trait of bringing the team back from the dead and win matches single-handedly when even the best would put their weapons down sets him apart. In chases, he evolves into a beast that sends shivers down the spines of bowling attacks world over and he has 19 tons to show for it.19 - Virat Kohli (India)17 - Sachin Tendulkar (India)11 - Tilakratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka) & Chris Gayle (Windies)10 - Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka)Kohli is also the fastest skipper to score 4000 runs in the longest format as he got there in just 65 innings. Brian Lara is once again pushed to the second spot by Kohli who did so in 71 innings.With his record seventh double hundred, Kohli became the Indian batsman with the most number of double tons in Tests surpassing Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag.Kohli also holds the record of smashing most number of centuries as captain of the Indian team in ODIs. With 16 tons to his name already, the Indian skipper has left behind the legendary leaders in his wake.18 - Virat Kohli11 - Sourav Ganguly6 - MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar4 - Mohammad AzharuddinLast but certainly not the least, Kohli left in mark in the best domestic T20 tournament in the world as well - Indian Premier League. Although he hasn’t been able to lift the coveted trophy yet, in the ninth edition of the league his forever famished willow almost ended his drought. In 16 innings, Kohli scored an outrageous 973 runs, inclusive of four centuries and seven fifties.973 - Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Banglalore, 2016)848 - David Warner (Sunrisers Hyderabad, 2016)735 - Kane Williamson (Sunrisers Hyderabad, 2018)733 - Chris Gayle (Royal Challengers Bangalore, 2012)Undoubtedly, Virat Kohli will go down in the history as one of the greatest ever but anyone who knows him will say that being one of the best just won’t make the cut for him!