He has the technique, the flamboyance, the attitude, the looks, the aggression as well as the muscle; Virat Kohli, in less than 5 years, has become the most reliable and most important batsman of the Indian batting line-up. On his 26th birthday, here are some incredible facts about Kohli that prove why he is already a legend.
#1. In 2006, during his debut Ranji season, Kohli decided to play the match against Karnataka despite his father’s death the same day. Kohli went on to score a crucial 90 for his team.
#2. Only 8 cricketers ever have scored 20 ODI centuries and Virat Kohli is one of them. From the other seven, the only player who hasn’t retired is Chris Gayle with 21 centuries. Which means Kohli has more centuries than Sehwag, Gilchrist, Dravid, Hayden, Kallis, Jayawardene, and Sangakkara. And he is just 26!
#3. Kohli is also the fastest cricketer to hit 20 ODI centuries. He took only 133 innings to do so. The previous record was held by Sachin Tendulkar who, in contrast, took a whopping 197 innings to get 20 ODI tons. Kohli is also the fastest cricketer to get 15 ODI centuries.
#4. His pet name in the dressing room is “Chiku”.
#5. After Sachin, Sourav and MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli is only the fourth cricketer to score a 1000 runs or more for three consecutive calendar years in ODI cricket.
#6. Kohli is also the fastest Indian cricketer to reach 1000, 3000, 4000, and 5000 ODI runs. He is also the fastest international cricketer to reach 5000 ODI runs, sharing the record with Sir Vivian Richards. With Kohli needing only 99 more runs before reaching 6000 ODI runs and having six innings to break Viv Richards’ record, it is likely that Kohli will have that record to his name as well!
#7. In 2012, Virat Kohli was included in the list of top 10 “well dressed international men”.
#8. Like a true-born leader, Kohli led India to victory at the Under-19 World Cup 2008, held in Malaysia. He has been the deputy to MS Dhoni since a while now, and is leading India in the latest home series against Sri Lanka in Dhoni’s absence. Kohli is also the captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore.
#9. Virat Kohli is one of the few Indian cricketers to have a tattoo. Virat dons a Golden Dragon on his forearm, apparently for good luck.
#10. Kohli is the first Indian to score a century on World Cup debut.
#11. In 2012, Kohli scored the most number of ODI & test runs. Rightly so, he was awarded the 2012 Cricketer of the Year award by the ICC.
#12. Virat Kohli has the record of the fastest ODI century for India to his name. He scored a blistering 100 from just 52 balls helping India ruthlessly chase a mammoth 360 – the second highest chase in ODI history – against Australia in 2013.
#13. Virat Kohli averages above 62 with a strike rate of over 92 when India is chasing. For batsmen having played at least 20 ODIs, this batting average batting-second is the highest in ODI cricket.
#14. Earlier this year, Kohli was rated as the 2nd most marketable athlete in the world, second only to F1 racer Lewis Hamilton.
#15. West Indies’ great Sir Vivian Richards, regarded as the most destructive batsmen in the history of cricket, once stated that Kohli reminded him of himself!