A 19-year-old arrived to International scene on this day in 2008 and went onto become the world number one batsman of the modern era, the name is- Virat Kohli. He could just score 12 runs in his debut game where he got to open the innings but who could imagine that this chubby youngster will be sighting the record of the great Sachin Tendulkar in 2019. Here’s a look at his journey so far in 11 years.
11- The debut- 2008
Kohli had just played 8 list A games and his inclusion for the Sri lanka tour in 2008 was a surprise call up. With the injury of Sachin and Sehwag, skipper MS Dhoni asked Virat if he would like to open the batting for India and the younster agreed to play which marked the start of his ODI career. He just made 12 runs but gave a good idea about his great technique and solid temperament.
10- Dropped and resurgence- 2009
With the inclusion of Sachin and Sehwag, Kohli was dropped from the five match ODI series against Sri Lanka which was held in January 2009. He was later selected in four-team Emerging Players Tournament in July–August 2009 held in Australia and managed to impress one and all after which chief selector Kris Srikkanth brought him back to the national scene.
In the home ODI series against Sri Lanka, Kohli announced his arrival to International cricket after he scored a hundred in the fourth ODI under difficult circumstances. Gautam Gambhir was adjudged the man of the match but he was impressed with the way Kohli played and shared his man of the match title with him.
9- First record- 2010
In 2010, Kohli scored his second ODI century and became the third player after Sachin Tendulkar and Suresh Raina to score two hundreds in International cricketer before 22nd birthday. He finished as the leading run-getter of the Sri Lanka series with 275 runs in 5 games to cement his place in the Indian team.
8- World cup call-up- 2011
Though, India had a terrific middle order but the form of Kohli forced the selectors to include him in the world cup bound squad. He went onto play a crucial innings in the finals that set it up nicely for Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni to take it forward and emerge victorious. He scored a century in India’s campaign opener against Bangladesh, to mark his arrival on world cup stage. Kohli later found a spot in test squad in the series against Australia.
7- Limited overs vice captaincy- 2012
An arrogant Kohli would show his middle finger to the crowd and abuse the bowlers but his consistent run made him the vice captain of ODI squad. India needed a bonus points and a win against Sri Lanka in their last group stage match to qualify for the finals of 2012 Commonwealth Bank series and Sri Lanka made it difficult by scoring 320 runs. India had to achieve the target in 40 overs and the form of Sachin and Sehwag, didn’t helped the cause.
In came Virat Kohli and he changed the complexion of the game by scoring 133* off just 86 balls to take India home with 13 overs to spare. Dean Jones termed it as one of the best ODI innings of all time.
6- Rising through the ranks- 2013
Kohli was allready considered great at such a young age and all credit went to his match winning performances and the ability to chase down the scores with ease. He was part of the 2013 Champions trophy and top scored in the finals against England with 47 runs off 33 balls. The Delhi lad later got conferred with Arjuna Award by government of India in 2013.
5- Test captaincy- 2014
Kohli did wonders for India in 2014 World T20 but the team didn’t do enough to reach the knockout stage. Later in the year, Dhoni announced his retirement from test cricket in between the test series against Australia and the charge was given to Virat Kohli.
4- Dip in form- 2015
India failed to win a single match in tri nation ODI series against Australia and England in 2015 and Kohli could not replicate the performance he was known for. His form did not improve in the build to the world cup but a century against Pakistan in world cup opener shut the critics.
His impressive run meant that India reached the semi-finals of the tournament but he could just score 1 runs in the last four clash against Australia after which the fans trolled the presence of his girlfriend– Anushka Sharma for his failure.
3- Impressive test form and guiding India to number one position in tests- 2016
2016 was the year when Virat Kohli made a habit of scoring double hundreds in test cricket. The journey started from Antigua where he scored 200 runs against West Indies and till date he has six double hundreds to his name. In the same year, he guided Indian team to numero uno position in test cricket.
Kohli played an influential role in India’s 2016 World T20 campaign and scored on a consistent basis. However, his dream run was halted by a determined West Indies in the semi-finals at the iconic Wankhede stadium in Mumbai.
2- India captain- 2017
Virat Kohli was named the skipper across all three formats after MS Dhoni stepped down from limited overs captaincy. He got to captain the Indian team in the 2017 Champions trophy where they lost to Pakistan in the finals. In the semi-final against Bangladesh, Kohli scored 96*, thus becoming the fastest batsman, in terms of innings, to reach 8,000 runs in ODIs in 175 innings. He also surpassed the record of centuries by Ricky Ponting(30) and was second in the list after Sachin Tendulkar(49).
He was conferred with Padma Shri in the same year and was named the ICC Cricketer of the year and ICC Odi cricketers of the year for second time after 2012.
Kohli married his girlfriend- Anushka Sharma in the same year and broke the hearts of many.
1- Resurgence in test series against England- 2018
After a horrific test series in England in 2014, where his technique of playing the deliveries on off was exposed, he turned towards county cricket to get the idea of conditions before India tour England for a full fledged series. However, he could not ply his trade as a neck injury ruled him out of the county stint.
He emerged as the highest run scorer of the series with 593 runs in 10 innings with two blisterring hundreds. During ODI series against West Indies in 2018, Kohli became the 12th batsman and fastest player to score 10,000 ODI runs. He surpassed the milestone with 205 innings which is 54 innings less than the next quickest to the landmark, Sachin Tendulkar.
He bagged ICC cricketer of the year for second consecutive time, ICC test player of the year and ICC Odi player of the year. Indian government conferred him with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in the same year.
On 16 June 2019, in India’s world cup match against Pakistan, Kohli became the fastest batsman, in terms of innings, to score 11,000 runs in ODI cricket. He reached the landmark in his 222nd innings. India failed to win the world cup after losing to New Zealand in a crunch semi-final and could not manage a single century in the show-piece event. He recently scored his 43rd ODI century against West Indies and is just 6 short of the landmark set by Sachin Tendulkar.