Virat Kohli Biography

Virat Kohli

Kohli in 2017
Personal information
Born 5 November 1988 (age 34)
Delhi, India in 2023
Nickname Cheeku,[1] King Kohli[2]
Height 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)[3]
Batting Right-handed
Bowling Right-arm medium
Role Top-order batter
Relations Anushka Sharma (wife)
International information
National side
  • India (2008–present)
Test debut (cap 269) 20 June 2011 v West Indies
Last Test 20 July 2023 v West Indies
ODI debut (cap 175) 18 August 2008 v Sri Lanka
Last ODI 27 July 2023 v West Indies
ODI shirt no. 18
T20I debut (cap 31) 12 June 2010 v Zimbabwe
Last T20I 10 November 2022 v England
T20I shirt no. 18
Domestic team information
Years Team
2006–present Delhi
2008–present Royal Challengers Bangalore

Vitat Kohli Career statistics

Competition Test ODI T20I IPL
Matches 111 275 115 237
Runs scored 8,676 12,898 4,008 7,263
Batting average 49.29 57.32 52.73 37.25
100s/50s 29/29 46/65 1/37 7/50
Top score 254* 183 122* 113
Balls bowled 175 641 152 251
Wickets 0 4 4 4
Bowling average 166.25 51.00 92.0
5 wickets in innings 0 0 0
10 wickets in match 0 0 0
Best bowling 1/15 1/13 2/25
Catches/stumpings 110/– 142/– 50/– 106/-
Source: ESPN Cricinfo20 July 2023

Virat Kohli (Hindi pronunciation: [ʋɪˈɾɑːʈ ˈkoːɦli] (listen); born 5 November 1988) is an Indian international cricketer and the former captain of the Indian national cricket team. Widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of the sport,[4] he plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL and Delhi in domestic cricket. Kohli holds numerous records in his career which includes scoring most runs in T20 internationals and IPL, fastest to reach 10,000 ODI runs. In 2020, the International Cricket Council named him the male cricketer of the decade. Kohli has also contributed to India’s successes, including winning the 2011 World Cup and the 2013 Champions trophy. He is among the only four Indian cricketers who has played 500 matches for India.[5]

Born and raised in New Delhi, Kohli trained at the West Delhi Cricket Academy and started his youth career with the Delhi Under-15 team. He made his international debut in 2008 and quickly became a key player in the ODI team and later made his Test debut in 2011. In 2013, Kohli reached the number one spot in the ICC rankings for ODI batsmen for the first time. During 2014 T20 World Cup, he set a record for the most runs scored in the tournament. In 2018, he achieved yet another milestone, becoming the world’s top-ranked Test batsman, making him the only Indian cricketer to hold the number one spot in all three formats of the game. His form continued in 2019, when he became the first player to score 20,000 international runs in a single decade. In 2021, Kohli made the decision to step down as the captain of the Indian national team for T20Is, following the T20 World Cup and in early 2022 he stepped down as the captain of the Test team as well.

He has received many accolades for his performances on the cricket field. He was recognized as the ICC ODI Player of the Year in 2012 and has won the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, given to the ICC Cricketer of the Year, on two occasions, in 2017 and 2018 respectively. Subsequently, Kohli also won ICC Test Player of the Year and ICC ODI Player of the Year awards in 2018, becoming the first player to win both awards in the same year. Additionally, he was named the Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World for three consecutive years, from 2016 to 2018. At the national level, Kohli was honoured with the Arjuna Award in 2013, the Padma Shri under the sports category in 2017 and the Khel Ratna award, India’s highest sporting honour, in 2018.

In 2016, he was ranked as one of the world’s most famous athletes by ESPN, and one of the most valuable athlete brands by Forbes. In 2018, Time magazine included him on its list of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2020, he was ranked 66th in Forbes list of the top 100 highest-paid athletes in the world for the year 2020 with estimated earnings of over $26 million. Kohli has been deemed one of the most commercially viable cricketers, with estimated earnings of ₹165 crore (US$21 million) in the year 2022.

Early life

Virat Kohli was born on 5 November 1988 in Delhi into a Punjabi Hindu family. His father, Prem Kohli, worked as a criminal lawyer and his mother, Saroj Kohli, served as a housewife. He has an older brother, Vikas, and an older sister, Bhawna.[6] Kohli’s formative years were spent in the Uttam Nagar and commenced his early education at Vishal Bharti Public School.[7] According to his family, Kohli exhibited an early affinity for cricket as a mere three-year-old. He would pick up a cricket bat, display natural skill, and request his father to bowl to him.[8]

In 1998, the West Delhi Cricket Academy (WCDA) was created and on 30 May of that year, Prem Kohli, espoused his younger son’s fervour for cricket, assisted nine-year-old Kohli’s aspirations and arranged for him to meet Rajkumar Sharma, who initially perceived him to be just another enthusiastic and determined young boy. However, two weeks later, Sharma was impressed by Kohli’s accuracy and power in throwing.[9] Upon the suggestion of their neighbours, Kohli’s father considered enrolling his son in a professional cricket academy, as they believed that his cricketing abilities merited more than just playing in the gully cricket.[10] Despite his abilities, he faced the setback of being unable to secure a place in the under-14 Delhi team, not due to a lack of merit but due to extraneous factors. Prem Kohli received offers to relocate his son to influential clubs, which would have ensured his selection, but he declined the proposals, as he was determined that Kohli should earn his recognition based on his own merit and overcome the system of nepotism and deceit prevalent in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). Kohli persisted and eventually found his way into the under-15 Delhi team.[11] He received training at the academy while simultaneously participating in matches at the Sumeet Dogra Academy located at Vasundhara Enclave.[12] As per Sharma’s recollection of Kohli’s initial days at his academy, he exuded remarkable talent, making it arduous for the coach to curb his enthusiasm. Kohli remained prepared to bat at any position, and often, Sharma had to physically coerce him to leave the training sessions, as he was reluctant to depart.[13] In pursuit of furthering his cricketing career, he transitioned to Saviour Convent School during his ninth-grade education.[10] Kohli’s ardent passion for cricket compelled him to travel long distances with his father to ensure that he never missed a match. With time, he diligently honed his skills and diversified his range of shots, commanding respect from the local bowlers.[14]

On the 18th of December 2006, Kohli experienced the loss of his father due to a cerebral attack.[10][15] During his childhood, his father played a crucial role in supporting his cricket training. Kohli has credited his father as the one who drove him to practice every day. He has expressed his feelings of missing his father’s presence at times.[7][16] Following the demise of Kohli’s father, his mother observed a significant change in his personality. Kohli appeared to become more mature overnight, and he began taking every cricket match seriously. He harboured an aversion to exclusion from games and appeared to channel his entire existence into the pursuit of cricket following his father’s untimely demise.[10] Kohli’s family resided in Meera BaghPaschim Vihar until the year 2015, after which they relocated to Gurgaon.[17]

Youth and domestic career


Kohli’s junior cricket career kicked off in October 2002 at the Luhnu cricket ground in a Polly Umrigar match against the host state of Himachal Pradesh. In his debut match, Kohli managed to score a total of fifteen runs. His first half-century in national cricket came at Ferozeshah Kotla, where he scored 70 runs against Harayana.[18] By the end of the season, Kohli had amassed a total of 172 runs, emerging as the highest run-scorer for his side with an average of 34.40.[19] During the 2003–04 season, Kohli was appointed as the captain of the under-15 team. In his first match of the season, he scored 54 runs in Delhi‘s victory over Himachal Pradesh. In the next fixture against Jammu and Kashmir, Kohli scored his maiden century with a score of 119 in a BCCI-conducted game. By the end of the season, he had amassed a total of 390 runs at an average of 78, which included two centuries.[20][21][a] Towards the end of 2004, Kohli earned selection for the 2004–05 Vijay Merchant Trophy with the Delhi under-17 team. In the four matches that he played, Kohli accumulated a total of 470 runs, with his highest score being 251* runs. The team’s coach, Ajit Chaudhary, lauded his performance and was particularly impressed with his temperament on the field.[22][23] In the 2005–06 season, Kohli commenced his innings with a score of 227 against Punjab. Following their victory over Uttar Pradesh in the quarter-finals, Delhi was scheduled to play against Baroda in the semi-finals. The team had high expectations from Kohli, who had promised his coach to finish the job. True to his word, Kohli went on to score 228 runs, leading Delhi to victory. The team later secured the tournament with a five-wicket win over Mumbai, where he contributed with a half-century in the first innings.[24] He ended as the highest run-scorer with a total of 757 runs from 7 matches, averaging 84.11.[25]

On the 18th of February, 2006, Kohli made his debut in List A cricket, playing against Services in the Ranji One-Day Trophy, but he did not have the opportunity to bat during the match.[26] In 2006, Kohli had garnered enough attention to earn a spot in the state senior team. Subsequently, he made his first-class debut on the 23rd of November, 2006, during the opening match of the Ranji Trophy season against Tamil Nadu. However, his debut innings was a brief one, as he was dismissed after scoring ten runs.[27] In a sequence of three matches, Kohli failed to score a fifty, leading his coaches to provide him with counselling. In the subsequent match against former champions, Karnataka, Delhi found themselves trailing with a score of 130/5, with Kohli remaining unbeaten on 40 at the end of the day’s play. That very night, Kohli’s father passed away at 3:54 a.m. Despite the heart-wrenching news, Kohli returned to the match and continued to bat and scored 90 runs before he was dismissed.[28] The team’s coach, Chetan Chauhan was impressed by Kohli’s resolute determination and unwavering attitude in the face of adversity. Venkatesh Prasad also lauded his crucial knock, which was executed in the midst of an emotional upheaval.[29] Following his dismissal, Kohli immediately attended his father’s funeral. His innings, however, proved to be crucial for Delhi as they were able to avoid the follow-on. The team’s captain, Mithun Manhas, praised Kohli for his performance, acknowledging its pivotal role in the team’s success.[29]

Kohli’s foray into T20 cricket took place in April 2007, during the Inter-State T20 Championship, where he emerged as the top run-getter for his team with a tally of 179 runs at an average of 35.80.[30] In September 2008, Kohli played in Nissar Trophy against SNGPL (reigning champions of the of Quaid-i-Azam Trophy from Pakistan). He emerged as the leading scorer for Delhi in both innings, registering 52 runs in the first innings and a towering 197 in the second. The match ultimately ended in a draw, SNGPL being declared the victors due to their lead in first innings.[31] In the 2009–10 Ranji Trophy season, Kohli returned to domestic cricket. During a match against Maharastra, he opened the batting and scored 67 runs, helping Delhi to secure the bonus point required for victory.[32] Kohli’s performance reinvigorated the competitive spirit of the domestic cricket circuit. Ashish Nehra observed his growth over time and shared his thoughts:[33]

I did not see him waste his time. If not on the field, he would be busy in the gym. I saw him first as a chubby-cheeked bubbly young kid who grew into a perfect athlete. His junior cricket lessons have obviously helped him. I did not now him well, but had heard a lot about his exploits in junior cricket.

India Under-19

In July 2006, Kohli was selected in the India Under-19 squad on its tour of England. He averaged 105 in the three-match ODI series against England Under-19s,[34] while also averaging 49 in the three-match Test series.[35] Following India Under-19’s success in both the ODI and Test series, the team’s coach Lalchand Rajput noted Kohli’s adeptness in facing both pace and spin bowling and expressed his admiration for profound technical prowess.[36] In September, the India Under-19 team toured Pakistan. In the first Test match, Kohli scored 63 and 28 as India won by 271 runs against Pakistan Under-19s. In the second match, he contributed 83 runs to India’s victory by 240 runs and an innings. He concluded the tour with 80 runs in the final ODI game at Lahore.[37] In early 2007, Kohli was a part of the India Under-19 team that toured New Zealand, where he scored 113 in the first Test match. The series ended in a draw with a 1–1 score line. In the following month, the team travelled to Malaysia for a tri-series against England Under-19s and Sri Lanka Under-19s, where Kohli did not get many opportunities to bat. In July–August, India Under-19 embarked on a tour for a tri-series against Sri Lanka Under-19s and Bangladesh Under-19s, where he did not score a half-century in any of the matches. However, he made a comeback with scores of 144 and an unbeaten 94 in the following Test series.[38]

In February–March 2008, Kohli assumed the captaincy of the Indian squad that went on to triumph at the 2008 Under-19 Cricket World Cup held in Malaysia. He demonstrated his competence as a batsman, amassing 235 runs in 6 games at an average of 47, ranking as the tournament’s third-highest scorer and one of three cricketers to compile a century.[39] His century, a knock of 100 runs off 74 balls, versus the West Indies Under-19s in a group stage encounter, was lauded by ESPNcricinfo, as “the innings of the tournament.” This innings paved the way for India’s 50-run triumph and fetched Kohli the man of the match award.[40] Additionally, Kohli’s all-round performance in the semi-final against New Zealand Under-19s, where he captured 2 wickets and contributed 43 runs in the run-chase, was significant to India’s 3-wicket victory.[41] In the championship match, Kohli managed a modest score of 19 against South Africa Under-19s, his contribution lead to India’s eventual 12-run win (via D/L method).[42]

In June of the year 2008, Kohli and his Under-19 teammates Pradeep Sangwan and Tanmay Srivastava were awarded the Border-Gavaskar scholarship. This scholarship, aimed at honing the skills of the chosen cricketers, provided an opportunity to train for six weeks at Cricket Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Brisbane.[43] In a bid to identify potential talent for the senior team, Kohli was selected to represent India Emerging Players in the Emerging Players Tournament of 2008. Notably, his finest performance in the tournament was against New Zealand Emerging Players, where he played a knock of 120 runs, leading India to a seven-wicket victory. With an aggregate of 204 runs, Kohli’s performances did not go unnoticed by the national selectors who were observing his progress. With twenty-eight under-19 ODIs and twelve under-19 Tests, he embarked on his journey to international cricket by joining the senior team on their flight to Colombo.[44]

International career

2008–2009: Debut and maiden stint

In August 2008, Kohli was selected for inclusion in the ODl squad for the tour of Sri Lanka and the Champions Trophy in Pakistan. Prior to the Sri Lankan tour, Kohli had limited experience, with only eight List A matches under his belt.[45] So, his selection was considered a “surprise call-up”.[46] During the Sri Lankan tour, as both first-choice openers Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, were unable to play due to injury, Kohli was required to fill the role of makeshift opener throughout the series.[47] On 18 August 2008, Kohli made his international debut at the age of 19 in the first ODI of the tour, where he was dismissed for 12 runs, caught dead in front by an incutter from Nuwan Kulasekara.[48] However, in the fourth match of the series, Kohli achieved his inaugural half century in the ODl format, with a total of fifty-four runs scored.[49]

Following the postponement of the Champions Trophy to 2009, Kohli was picked as a replacement for the injured Shikhar Dhawan in the India A squad for the unofficial Tests against Australia A in September 2008.[50] Despite limited opportunities, he managed to make an impact in the single innings that he participated in, scoring 49 runs.[51] In October 2008, Kohli participated in a four-day tour match against Australia as part of the Indian Board President’s XI team. The match featured a formidable Australian bowling line-up that consisted of Brett LeeStuart ClarkMitchell JohnsonPeter Siddle and Jason Krejza. Despite this, Kohli displayed his batting prowess by scoring 105 runs in the first innings and an unbeaten 16 runs in the second innings, demonstrating his ability to perform against high-level international competition.[52]

In November 2008, Kohli was selected for inclusion in the squad for the home ODI series against England, due to the presence of established and experienced players such as Tendulkar and Sehwag, he was not given an opportunity to play in any of the matches.[53] In December 2008, Kohli was awarded a Grade D contract by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as part of the annual contract list for the Indian national team which entitled him to receive ₹1.5 million (equivalent to ₹4.2 million or US$52,000 in 2023), A certain level of remuneration for representing the national team in various matches and events.[54] Despite being awarded a contract, in January, Kohli was dropped for the five-match ODl series against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka.[55]

In July–August 2009, Kohli was selected in the four-team Emerging Players Tournament, held in Australia. He was selected to open the innings for the Indian Emerging Players team in the tournament, and he went on to have a standout performance. Kohli finished as the tournament’s leading run-scorer, with a total of 398 runs from seven matches, at an average of 66.33. He was particularly impressive in the final match, where he scored 104 runs off 102 balls against the South Africa Emerging Players team in Brisbane. His strong performance helped lead his team to a 17-run victory and the tournament title.[56][57] At the conclusion of the tournament, Kris Srikkanth, the Chairman of the Indian national selection committee, expressed his admiration for Kohli’s performance during the tournament. Srikkanth stated, “I must say, opener Virat Kohli was outstanding. Some of the shots he played spoke about his ability.”[58] Kohli himself has stated that this tournament was a “turning point” in his career.[59]

In August 2009, Kohli returned to the national team after recovering from a minor shoulder injury, replacing the injured Gautam Gambhir in the Indian squad for the tri-series in Sri Lanka.[60] He was also utilized as a middle order batsman in the 2009 ICC Champions Trophy due to an injury sustained by Yuvraj Singh.[61] In December of that same year, he was included in the team for home ODI series against Sri Lanka and scored 27[62] and 54 in the first two ODIs before making way for Yuvraj, who regained fitness for the third ODI. However, due to the reoccurrence of a finger injury, Yuvraj was ruled out indefinitely,[63] which led to Kohli’s return to the team in the fourth ODI at Kolkata. In that match, Kohli scored his maiden ODI century–107 off 114 balls–while sharing a 224-run partnership for the third wicket with Gambhir. As a result of this performance, India won by seven wickets and sealed the series 3–1.[64][b]

2010–2011: Rise through the ranks

In January 2010, Kohli was given the opportunity in tri-nation ODI tournament in Bangladesh, as Tendulkar was rested for the event.[65] During the series, Kohli became just the third Indian player to score two ODI centuries before the age of 22.[66] He was widely hailed for his performances, and ultimately emerged as the leading run-scorer of the series, with 275 runs from five innings at an impressive average of 91.66.[67] Kohli’s success on the field belies the stereotype of him as a brash and arrogant player. In fact, Indian captain MS Dhoni has noted that “he has grabbed his chances” and that “he has matured now.” Dhoni went on to say that “To us, he comes as a ‘humble guy’. He might come across different to the world.”[68]

Kohli batting in an ODI against New Zealand in December 2010

Kohli’s initial foray into leadership on an international level occurred in May–June 2010, when he was appointed as vice-captain for the tri-series against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe. This appointment came as many more established players were rested for the tour. However, in the first match, Kohli was dismissed on a diamond duck, a rare and unusual mode of dismissal.[69] Despite this early setback, Kohli managed to become the fastest Indian batsman at the time to reach 1,000 runs in ODI cricket, achieving this milestone in 26 innings.[70] Kohli also made his International T20 debut against Zimbabwe at Harare, where he scored an unbeaten 26.[71] Later that month, during the 2010 Asia Cup, Kohli was included in the Indian team and was given the role of batting at number 3. However, his struggles with form started as he scored a total of 67 runs at an average of 16.75.[72] This poor form was also reflected in the tri-series against Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Sri Lanka where his average was a mere 15.[73]

Despite his recent struggles with form, Kohli was retained in the Indian ODI squad for a three-match series against Australia in October. In the only completed match of the series, held at Visakhapatnam, Kohli scored a century, earning him the man of the match award. He candidly acknowledged that he was under significant pressure to maintain his place in the team, given his previous failures in the preceding series.[74] During the home ODI series against New Zealand, Kohli scored another match-winning century in the first match, marking his fourth ODI hundred and second in succession.[75] The Indian team emerged victorious with a 5–0 whitewash over New Zealand, and Kohli’s exceptional performances in the series solidified his position in the ODI team and made him a strong candidate for a spot in India’s World Cup squad.[76][77] He was India’s leading run-scorer in ODIs in 2010, accumulating 995 runs from 25 matches at an average of 47.38, including three centuries and seven half-centuries.[78]

“He is a very physical type of player. He likes to impose himself on the game, backs it up with his skill.”

 – Team India’s coach Dav Whatmore at the 2008 Under-19 World Cup on Kohli, [79]

Kohli was India’s leading run scorer in the five-match ODI series of the South African tour in January 2011, with 193 runs including two fifties, both in Indian defeats.[80] During the series, he jumped to number two spot on the ICC Rankings for Men’s ODI batters,[81] and was named in India’s 15-man squad for the World Cup.[82]

Kohli played in every match of India’s successful World Cup campaign. He scored an unbeaten 100 in the first match against Bangladesh and became the first Indian batsman to score a century on World Cup debut.[83] In the final against Sri Lanka at Mumbai, he scored 35, sharing an 83 runs partnership with Gambhir for the third wicket after India had lost both openers within seven overs while chasing 275.[84][85]

Kohli fielding during a match in December 2010

Breakthrough in Test cricket

When India toured the West Indies in June–July 2011, they selected a largely inexperienced squad, resting Tendulkar while others such as Gambhir and Sehwag missed out due to injuries. Kohli was one of three uncapped players in the Test squad.[86] Kohli made his Test debut at Kingston in the first match of the Test series that followed. He batted at 5th position and was dismissed on scores of 4 and 15, caught behind off the bowling of Fidel Edwards in both innings.[87] India went on to win the Test series 1–0 but Kohli amassed just 76 runs from five innings,[88] struggling against the short ball.[89]

Initially got dropped from the Test squad for India’s four-match series in England in July and August due to poor performance in his debut series. However Kohli was recalled as a replacement for the injured Yuvraj,[90] though he did not get to play in any match of that series. He found moderate success in the subsequent ODI series in which he averaged 38.80.[91] His score of 55 in the first ODI at Chester-le-Street was followed by a string of low scores in the next three matches.[49] In the last game of the series at Cardiff, Kohli scored his sixth ODI hundred–107 runs off 93 balls–and shared 170 runs partnership with Rahul Dravid for the third wicket,[92] who was playing his last ODI match.[93] Kohli was dismissed hit wicket in that innings .It was the only century in the series by any player of either team and earned him praise for his “hard work” and “maturity”.[94]

In October 2011, Kohli was the leading run scorer of the five-match home ODI series against England which India won 5–0. He scored a total of 270 runs across five matches at an average of 90. This included unbeaten knock of 112 from 98 balls at Delhi, where he put on an unbroken 209 run partnership with Gambhir;[95] followed by innings of 86 at Mumbai, both the knocks came in successful run chases.[96] Owing to his ODI success, Kohli was included in the Test squad to face the West Indies in November. He was selected in the final match of the series at Mumbai in which he scored a pair of fifties.[97] India won the subsequent ODI series 4–1 in which Kohli managed to accumulate 243 runs at 60.75.[98] During the series, Kohli scored his eighth ODI century and his second at Visakhapatnam, where he made 117 off 123 balls in India’s run chase of 270.[99] A knock which raised his reputation as “an expert of the chase”.[100] Kohli ended up as the leading run-getter in ODIs for the year 2011, with 1381 runs from 34 matches at 47.62 including four centuries and eight fifties.[101]

During tour of Australia in December 2011, Kohli failed to go past 25 in the first two Tests, as his defensive technique was exposed.[102] While fielding on the boundary during the second day of the second match at Sydney, he gestured to the crowd with his middle finger for which he was fined 50% of his match fee by the match referee.[103] He top scored in each of India’s innings in the third Test at Perth with scores of 44 and 75, even as India got their second consecutive innings defeat.[104][105] In the fourth and final match at Adelaide, Kohli scored his maiden Test century, 116 runs in the first innings.[106] India suffered a 0–4 whitewash and Kohli, India’s top run-scorer in the series was described as “the lone bright spot in an otherwise nightmare visit for the tourists”.[107]

2012–2013: ODI ascendancy and ascension to vice-captaincy

In the first seven matches of the Commonwealth Bank triangular series that India played against hosts Australia and Sri Lanka, Kohli made two fifties–77 at Perth and 66 at Brisbane, both against Sri Lanka.[49] Being set a target of 321 by Sri Lanka, Kohli came to the crease with India’s score at 86/2 and went on to score 133 not out from 86 balls to take India to a comfortable win with 13 overs to spare.[108] India earned a bonus point with the win and Kohli was named Man of the Match for his knock.[109] Former Australian cricketer and commentator Dean Jones rated Kohli’s innings as “one of the greatest ODI knocks of all time”.[110] However, Sri Lanka beat Australia three days later in their last group fixture and knocked India out of the series.[111] With 373 runs at 53.28, Kohli finished as India’s highest run-scorer and lone centurion of the series.[112]

Kohli fielding during a CB Series match against Australia in February 2012

Kohli was appointed the vice-captain for the 2012 Asia Cup in Bangladesh on the back of his fine performances in Australia. Kohli was in fine form during the tournament, finishing as the leading run-scorer with 357 runs at an average of 119.[113] In the final group stage match against Pakistan, he scored his personal best of 183 from 148 balls, his 11th ODI century. He helped India to chase down 330, their highest successful ODI run chase at the time.[114] His knock was the highest individual score in Asia Cup history surpassing previous record of 144 by Younis Khan in 2004 and the joint second highest score along with Dhoni in an ODI run-chase; also became the highest individual score against Pakistan in ODIs.[115] Kohli was awarded the man of the match in both the matches that India won,[116][117] nonetheless India could not progress to the final of the tournament.[118]

In July–August 2012, Kohli struck two centuries in the five-match ODI tour of Sri Lanka ,106 off 113 balls at Hambantota and 128* off 119 balls at Colombo, winning man of the match in both games.[119][120] India won the series 4–1 and Kohli was named player of the series.[121] In the one-off T20I that followed, he scored a 48 ball 68, his first T20I fifty, and yet again won the player of the series award.[122] He continued to be in good form during the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, with 185 runs he was highest run-getter among Indian batsmen;[123] hitting two fifties during the tournament, against Afghanistan and Pakistan, winning man of the match for both his innings.[124][125] For his performances he was named in the ICC ‘Team of the Tournament’.[126]

Kohli’s Test form dipped during the first three matches of England’s tour of India, between October 2012 and January 2013, with a top score of 20 and England leading the series 2–1.[87] Overcoming his poor run of form, he scored a patient 103 from 295 balls in the last match.[127] However, the match ended in a draw and England won their first Test series in India in 28 years.[128] Against Pakistan in December 2012, Kohli averaged 18 in the T20Is[129] and 4.33 in the ODIs.[130] Troubled by the fast bowlers, particularly Junaid Khan who dismissed him on all three occasions in the ODI series.[131] Kohli had a quiet ODI series against England, apart from a match-winning 77* in the third ODI[132] with a total of 155 runs at an average of 38.75.[133] Kohli scored his fourth Test century (107) at Chennai in the first match of the home Test series against Australia in February 2013.[87] India completed a 4–0 series sweep, becoming the first team to whitewash Australia in more than four decades.[134] Kohli averaged 56.80 in the series .[135]

“I love watching Virat Kohli bat. He looks to me like an individual of my own heart. I love his aggression, and he has serious passion that I used to have. He reminds me of myself.”

 – Former West Indies captain Viv Richards on Kohli., [136]

In June 2013, Kohli featured in the ICC Champions Trophy in England which India won. He scored a 144 against Sri Lanka in warm-up match.[137] He scored moderately in India’s group matches against South Africa, West Indies and Pakistan respectively.[49] In sync India qualified for the semi-finals with an undefeated record.[138] In the semi-final against Sri Lanka at Cardiff, he struck 58* in an eight-wicket win for India.[49] The final between India and England at Birmingham was reduced to 20 overs after a rain delay. India batted first and Kohli top-scored with 43 from 34 ball, helping India reach 129/7 in 20 overs. India went on to secure a five run win and their second consecutive ICC ODI tournament victory.[139] Kohli was also named as part of the ‘Team of the Tournament’ by the ICC.[140]

Setting records and post-Tendulkar era

Kohli batting against South Africa in Cardiff during the Champions Trophy in June 2013

Kohli stood in as the captain for the first ODI of the triangular series in the West Indies after Dhoni injured himself during the match; Kohli being named the captain for the remaining matches.[141] In his second match as captain, Kohli scored his first century as captain, making 102 off 83 balls against the West Indies at Port of Spain in a bonus point win for India.[142][143] Many senior players including Dhoni were rested for the five-match ODI tour of Zimbabwe in July 2013. Kohli was therefore appointed as captain for an entire series .[144] In the first game of the series at Harare, he struck 115 runs from 108 balls, helping India chase down the target of 229 and winning the man of the match award.[145] India completed a 5–0 sweep of the series; their first in an away ODI series.[146]

Kohli had a successful time with the bat in the seven-match ODI series against Australia. After top-scoring with 61 in the opening loss at Pune,[147] he struck the fastest century by an Indian in ODIs in the second match at Jaipur. Reaching the milestone in just 52 balls and putting up an unbroken 186 run partnership for second wicket with Rohit Sharma , that came in 17.2 overs.[148] Kohli’s innings of 100* helped India chase down the target of 360 with more than six overs to spare. This chase was the second-highest successful run-chase in ODI cricket at the time while Kohli’s knock became the fastest century against Australia and third fastest in a run chase.[149] In the sixth ODI at Nagpur, he struck 115 off only 66 balls to help India successfully chase the target of 351 and level the series 2–2 .[150] He reached the triple-digit figure in 61 balls, making it the third fastest ODI century by an Indian batsman subsequently became the fastest batsman in the world to score 17 hundreds in ODI cricket.[151] India clinched the series after winning the last match in which he was run out for a duck.[152] At the conclusion of the series, Kohli moved to the top position in the ICC ODI batsmen rankings for the first time in his career.[153]

“I always had a different kind of feeling when I started working with Virat Kohli. From the beginning, I was very sure that he was a rare talent and would become a great player. He grew massively in these past few years and has matured a lot. I was fortunate to be part of that process of seeing him grow and that give me immense pleasure.”

 – Gary Kirsten, who was India’s coach from 2008 to 2011, on Kohli, [154]

Kohli batted twice in the two-match Test series against the West Indies, and had scores of 3 and 57 .[155][156] This was also the last Test series for Tendulkar and Kohli was expected to take Tendulkar’s number 4 batting position after the series.[157] In the first game of the three-match ODI series that followed at Kochi, Kohli made 86 to seal a six wicket win and won the man of the match.[158] He missed out on his third century at Visakhapatnam in the next match, after being dismissed for 99 while playing a hook shot off Ravi Rampaul.[159] India lost the match by two wickets,[160] but took the series 2–1 after winning the series-decider at Kanpur.[161] With 204 runs at 68.00, Kohli finished the series as the leading run-getter and was awarded the man of the series.[162] India toured South Africa in December 2013 for three ODIs and two Tests. Kohli averaged 15.50 in the ODIs including a duck.[163] In the first Test at Johannesburg, playing his first Test in South Africa and batting at 4 for the first time,[87] Kohli scored 119 and 96. His hundred was the first by a subcontinent batsman at the venue since 1998.[164] The match ended in a draw and Kohli was awarded man of the match.[165] India failed to win a single match on the tour, losing the second Test by 10 wickets in which he made 46 and 11.[87]

2014: T20 World Cup and assuming Test-captaincy

During New Zealand tour, he averaged 58.21 in the five-match ODI series[166] in which his all efforts went in vain as India were defeated 4–0. He made 214 runs at 71.33 in the two-match Test series that followed[167] including an unbeaten 105 on the last day of the second Test at Wellington that helped India save the match.[168] India then traveled to Bangladesh for the Asia Cup and World Twenty20. Dhoni was ruled out of the Asia Cup after suffering a side strain during the New Zealand tour, which led to Kohli being named the captain for the tournament.[169] Kohli scored 136 off 122 balls in India’s opening match against Bangladesh, sharing a 213 run third wicket stand with Ajinkya Rahane, which helped India successfully chase 280.[170] It was his 19th ODI century and his fifth in Bangladesh, making him the batsman with most ODI centuries in Bangladesh.[171] India were knocked out of the tournament after narrow losses against Sri Lanka and Pakistan in which Kohli scored 48 and 5 respectively.[49] Dhoni returned from injury to captain the team for 2014 ICC World Twenty20 while Kohli was named vice-captain. He scored 54 off 41 balls in the game against West Indies and an unbeaten 57 from 50 balls against Bangladesh, both in successful run chases.[172] In the semi-final, he made an unbeaten 72 in 44 deliveries to help India achieve the target of 173.[173] He won the man of the match for this knock. In the final against Sri Lanka India posted the target of 130/4 in which Kohli top scored 77 from 58 balls. Notwithstanding his innings, India lost the match by six wickets.[174] Kohli made a total of 319 runs in the tournament at an average of 106.33, a record for most runs by an individual batsman in a single World Twenty20 tournament.[175] For his achievement he won the Man of the Tournament award.[176]

“Kohli is the next chosen one. He exudes the intensity of Dravid, the audacity of Sehwag, and the extraordinary range of Tendulkar. That doesn’t make him better, simply sui generis, his own unique kind.”

 – Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe on Kohli, [177]

India conceded a 3–1 defeat in the five-match Test series against England. Kohli experienced a dip in form during a Test series in England. Despite the broader trend of batting collapses within the national team, Kohli’s lack of production has been a particularly notable storyline. The disappointment of this series, which has produced a tally of 134 runs in 10 innings with a top score of 39.[178] Kohli’s tour of England was a challenging one, marked by a series of underwhelming performances. He found himself dismissed for single-digit scores on six occasions, and appeared to struggle particularly with the swinging deliveries aimed at his off stump. This resulted in several dismissals by means of edges caught by the wicket-keeper or slip fieldersJames Anderson, who was named Man of the Series, was particularly successful in dismissing Kohli, accounting for four of his wickets.[179] Kohli’s technique and ability as a batsman have been subject to analysis and critique from cricket experts and former players after the series.[180] Despite India’s victory in the following 3–1 ODI series, Kohli’s batting performance did not see significant improvement, with an average of 18 runs in four innings.[181] However, in the single T20I match, he exhibited a resurgence with a 41-ball 66, marking his first score of over 50 during the tour. Despite India’s defeat in the match by a margin of three runs, Kohli’s performance earned him the top position in the ICC T20I batsmen rankings.[182]

Kohli had a successful time during India’s home ODI series win over the West Indies in October 2014. His 62 in the second ODI at Delhi was his first fifty across Tests and ODIs in 16 innings since February[183] and he stated that he got his “confidence back” with the innings.[184] Dhoni was rested for the five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka in November enabling Kohli to lead the team for another full series. Kohli batted at 4 throughout the series and showed moderate batting display in the first four ODIs with India leading the series 4–0. In the fifth ODI at Ranchi, he made an unbeaten 139 off 126 balls to give his team a three-wicket win and a whitewash of Sri Lanka.[185] Kohli was awarded player of the series and it was the second whitewash under his captaincy.[186] During the series he became the fastest batsman in the world to go past the 6000-run mark in ODIs, at the time.[187] With 1054 ODI runs at 58.55 in 2014, he became the second player in the world after Sourav Ganguly to make more than 1,000 runs in ODIs for four consecutive calendar years.[188]

Virat in discussion with coach Duncan Fletcher ahead of Border-Gavaskar series

For the first Test of the Australian tour in December 2014, Dhoni was not part of the Indian team at Adelaide due to an injury and Kohli took the reins as Test captain for the first time.[189] Kohli scored 115 in India’s first innings, becoming the fourth Indian to score a hundred on Test captaincy debut.[190] In their second innings, India were set a target of 364 to be scored on the fifth day. Kohli put on 185 runs for the third wicket with Murali Vijay before Vijay’s dismissal, which triggered a batting collapse. From 242/2, India was bowled out for 315 with Kohli’s 141 off 175 balls being the top-score.[191]

Dhoni returned to the team as captain for the second match at Brisbane where Kohli scored 19 and 1 in a four-wicket defeat for India.[87] In the Melbourne Boxing Day Test, he made his personal best Test score(of that time) of 169 in the first innings while sharing a 262 runs partnership with Rahane, India’s biggest partnership outside Asia in ten years.[192] Kohli followed it with a score of 54 in India’s second innings on the fifth day helping his team draw the Test match.[87] Dhoni announced his retirement from Test cricket at the conclusion of this match and Kohli was appointed as the full-time Test captain ahead of the fourth Test at Sydney.[193] Captaining the Test team for the second time, Kohli hits 147 runs in the first innings of the match and became the first batsman in Test cricket history to score three hundreds in his first three innings as Test captain.[194] He was dismissed for 46 in the second innings and the match ended in a draw.[195] Kohli’s total of 692 runs in four Tests is the most by any Indian batsman in a Test series in Australia.[194]

2015–2016: World Cups and limited-over success

Virat Kohli batting against UAE during 2015 Cricket World Cup

Kohli’s form in the lead-up to the World Cup was not at its peak, as evidenced by his scores of 18 and 5 in the warm-up matches against Australia and Afghanistan. Despite his less-than-stellar form in the warm-up matches, Kohli was able to rise to the occasion and deliver a commanding performance in the first match of the World Cup against Pakistan at Adelaide by scoring 107 runs from 126 deliveries.[196] This feat earned him the man of the match award and established him as the first Indian batsman to score a century against Pakistan in a World Cup match.[197] In India’s second match of the tournament, against South Africa, Kohli was dismissed for a score of 46. Despite this setback, India went on to secure a commanding 130-run victory in the match. In the subsequent four group matches, India batted second, and Kohli maintained his form, contributing to the team’s success with a series of steady performances. He scored 33* against UAE, 33 against West Indies, 44* against Ireland, and 38 against Zimbabwe, respectively.[49] India secured wins in all four fixtures and topped Pool B with an undefeated record.[198] During a highly anticipated semi-final match against Australia at Melbourne, the Indian team suffered elimination from the tournament. Despite the high expectations for their performance, India’s efforts were ultimately thwarted by their opponent. In this contest, Kohli, was dismissed for a score of 1 from 13 deliveries.[199][200]

Kohli had a slump in form when India toured Bangladesh in June 2015. He contributed only 14 in the one-off Test which ended in a draw and averaged 16.33 in the ODI series which Bangladesh won 2–1.[201] Kohli ended his streak of low scores by scoring his 11th Test hundred in the first Test of the Sri Lankan tour which India lost. India won the next two matches to seal the series 2–1, Kohli’s first series win as Test captain and India’s first away Test series win in four years.[202] During South Africa’s tour of India, Kohli became the fastest batsman in the world at that time to make 1,000 runs in T20I cricket, reaching the milestone in his 27th innings.[203] In the ODI series, he made a century in the fourth ODI at Chennai that helped India win and level the series.[204] India lost the series after a defeat in the final ODI and Kohli finished the series with an average of 49.[205] India came back to beat the top ranked South African team 3–0 in the four-match Test series under Kohli’s captaincy, and climbed to number two position on the ICC Test rankings.[206] Virat scored a total of 200 runs in the series at 33.33.[87]

Kohli started 2016 with scores of 91 and 59 in the first two ODIs of the limited-overs tour of Australia. He followed it up with a pair of hundreds, a run-a-ball 117 at Melbourne and 106 from 92 balls at Canberra. During the course of the series he became the fastest batsman in the world to cross the 7000-run mark in ODIs at the time, getting to the milestone in his 161st innings and the fastest to get to 25 centuries. After the ODI series ended in a 1–4 loss, the Indian team came back to whitewash the Australians 3–0 in the T20I series. Kohli made fifties in all three T20Is with scores of 90*,[207] 59*[208] and 50, winning two man of the matches as well as the man of the series award.[209] He was also instrumental in India winning the Asia Cup in Bangladesh the following month, he scored 49 in a run-chase of 84 against Pakistan[210] followed by an unbeaten 56 against Sri Lanka and 41 not out in the Final against Bangladesh.[211] Kohli maintained his good form in the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 in India, scoring 55* in another successful run-chase against Pakistan.[212] He struck an unbeaten 82 from 51 balls in India’s must-win group match against Australia in “an innings of sheer class” with “clean cricket shots”.[213] It helped India win by six wickets and register a spot in the semi-final. In the semi-final, Kohli top-scored with an unbeaten 89 from 47 deliveries, but West Indies overhauled India’s total of 192 and ended India’s campaign.[214] His total of 273 runs in five matches at an average of 136.50 earned him his second consecutive Man of the Tournament award at the World Twenty20.[215] He was named as captain of the ‘Team of the Tournament’ for the 2016 World Twenty20 by the ICC.[216]

Playing his first Test in the West Indies since his debut series, Kohli scored 200 in the first Test at Antigua to ensure an innings-and-92-run win for India, their biggest win ever outside of Asia. It was his first double hundred in first-class cricket and the first made away from home by an Indian captain in Tests.[217] India went on to wrap the series 2–0 and briefly top the ICC Test Rankings before being displaced by Pakistan at the position. He scored another double hundred, 211 at Indore in the third Test against New Zealand as India’s 3–0 whitewash victory saw them regain the top position in the ICC Test Rankings.[218]

2017–2018: Dominant batting and leadership

Kohli got double centuries in the next two Test series against England and Bangladesh, making him the first batsman ever to score double centuries in four consecutive series. He broke the record of Australian great Donald Bradman and Rahul Dravid, both of whom had managed to get three. Against England, he scored his then-highest Test score of 235.[219]

Kohli got the chance to captain in an ICC tournament for the first time in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy. In the semi-final against Bangladesh, Kohli scored 96* and became the fastest batsman in terms of innings to reach 8,000 runs in ODIs in 175 innings.[220] India reached the final, but lost to Pakistan by 180 runs. In the third over of Indian innings, Kohli was dropped in the slips for just five runs but caught the next ball by Shadab Khan at point on the bowling of Mohammad Amir.[221] He was also named as part of the ‘Team of the Tournament’ at the 2017 Champions Trophy by the ICC.[222]

Virat Kohli after scoring a hundred against England in 2018 Test series

Kohli carried on his form with ODI centuries against the West Indies and Sri Lanka in consecutive series, equalling Ricky Ponting‘s tally of 30 ODI centuries.[223][224] In October 2017, he was adjudged the ODI player of the series against New Zealand for scoring two ODI centuries, during the course of which he made a new record for the most runs (8,888), best average (55.55) and highest number of centuries (31) for any batsman when completing 200 ODIs.[225][226] Kohli made several more records during the 3 match Test series against Sri Lanka at home in November. After scoring a century and a double century in the first two Tests, he ended up scoring yet another double century in the third Test during which he became the eleventh Indian batsman to surpass 5000 runs in Test cricket while scoring his 20th Test century and 6th double century.[227] During this match he also became the first batsman to score six double hundreds as a captain.[228] With 610 runs in the series, Kohli also became the highest run-scorer by an Indian in a three-match Test series and the fourth-highest overall.[229] India comfortably won the three-match series 1–0 and Kohli was adjudged man of the match for the second and third Test matches and player of the series. With this win, India equaled Australia for the record streak of nine consecutive series wins in Test cricket.[230] He ended the year with 2818 international runs, which is recorded as the third-highest tally ever in a calendar year and the highest tally ever by an Indian player.[229] The ICC named Kohli as captain of both their World Test XI and ODI XI for 2017.[231] Kohli farely average in the Test matches as India lost 1–2 during the South Africa tour in 2018 but came back strongly to score 558 runs in the 6 ODIs making a record for the highest runs scored in a bilateral ODI series.[232] This included three centuries, remaining unbeaten in two with a best of 160*.[233] India won the ODI series 5–1 and Kohli became the first Indian captain to win an ODI series in South Africa.[234]

In March 2018, Kohli showed interest to county cricket in England in June in order to improve his batting before the start of India’s tour to England the following month.[235] He signed to play for Surrey but a neck injury ruled him out of his stint in England before it even began.[236] On 2 August, Kohli scored his first Test century on English soil in the first test match of the series against England.[237] On 5 August, Kohli displaced Steve Smith to become the No. 1 ranked Test batsman in the ICC Test rankings. He also became the seventh Indian batsman and first since Sachin Tendulkar in June 2011 to achieve this feat.[238] In the third test at Trent BridgeNottingham, Kohli scored 97 and 103 and helped India win by 203 runs.[239] At the end of 5-match test series, Kohli scored 593 runs which was third highest runs by an Indian batsman in a losing test series. Kohli’s consistent performance in the series against the moving ball when other batsman failed to perform was hailed by British Media as one of his finest. The Guardian describes Kohli’s batting display as One of the Greatest batting display in a losing cause.[240]

Kohli at Greenfield Stadium during match with West Indies

During ODI series against West Indies in 2018, Kohli accomplished a noteworthy achievement. He became the twelfth batsman to amass 10,000 ODI runs in ODIs and achieved this feat at an unprecedented pace,[241] he surpassed this landmark in 54 fewer innings than Sachin Tendulkar, the player who holds the record for being the second-fastest to the landmark.[242] In the course he scored his 37th ODI century. On 27 October, after scoring his 38th ODI century Kohli became the first batsman for India, first captain and tenth overall to score three successive centuries in ODIs.[243] He ended up scoring 453 runs in 5 innings at an average of 151.00 in the 5-match series and was the Player of the Series.[244]

On 16 December 2018 in the 2018–2019 Border Gavaskar Trophy, Kohli scored his 25th test hundred in Perth. His knock of 123 was his 6th hundred in three tours to Australia making him the only Indian to score 6 test hundreds in Australia after Sachin Tendulkar.[245] He also became the fastest Indian and second fastest overall (125 innings) to score 25 test hundreds,[246] second only to Donald Bradman (68 innings); which was bettered by Steven Smith during 2019 Ashes (119 innings).[247] Kohli’s knock was rated by several analysts and former cricketers as one of his finest against a quality Australian attack.[248] Although he broke several records in the game his innings proved to be insufficient as India went down by 146 runs as Australia leveled the series with two tests remaining.[249][250] Overall, he finished the series with 282 runs at an average of 40.[251] By winning the test series in Australia he had become the first Indian and also the first Asian skipper to win a test series in Australia.[252] He was again named as captain of both the World Test XI and ODI XI for 2018 by the ICC.[253]

2019–2020: Record breaking captaincy and batting woes

In April 2019, he was named the captain of India’s squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup.[254] On 16 June 2019, in India’s 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.[255] Eleven days later in the match against the West Indies, Kohli became the fastest cricketer in terms of innings to score 20,000 runs in international cricket, doing so in his 417th innings.[256] Kohli scored five consecutive fifty plus scores in the tournament . Nonetheless, India lost the semi-final against New Zealand in which Kohli was out for just a run.[257] After the World Cup, India toured West Indies for 3 T20Is and 3 ODIs followed by two test matches .[258] Kohli was instrumental in ODI series win as he struck back to back hundreds in second and third ODI. He was awarded player of the series for his match performances.[259] In the following test series which India won 2–0, Kohli became most successful test captain for India, going past MS Dhoni who had 27 wins.[260]

In October 2019, Kohli captained India for the 50th time in Test cricket in the second Test against South Africa. In the first innings of the match, Kohli scored an unbeaten 254 runs which is his personnel best at same time passing 7,000 runs in Tests in the process subsequently became the first batsman for India to score seven double centuries in Test cricket.[261] In November 2019, during the day/night Test match against Bangladesh, Kohli became the fastest captain to score 5,000 runs in Test cricket, doing so in his 86th innings. In the same match, he also scored his 70th century in international cricket.[262]

Slump in form

India toured to New Zealand from January to March 2020 to play 5-match T20I series along with a 3 and 2-match ODI and test series respectively. During the tour, Kolhi only managed to score 218 runs across formats in 12 innings at an average of 19.81 with only one fifty plus score during the first ODI. This was his lowest aggregate of runs in a tour where he played in all formats. India managed to win the T20I series 5–0 but during the ODI and Test leg of the tour they lost by 3–0 and 2–0 respectively.[263][264] The Indian team travelled to Australia in November 2020, touring until January 2021. During the ODI Series, Kohli managed to score two half-centuries in three innings with an aggregate of 173 runs at an average of 57.67. The second match against Australia was Kohli’s 250th appearance in an ODI match and became 8th Indian to play this many matches.[265] During the first test of the tour played as day/night match at Adelaide, Kohli scored 74 before getting run out[266] followed by 4 runs in the next innings. This happened in the match in which India were skittled out for 36 .[267] After the first Test, Kohli left the tour on paternity leave as he was expecting the birth of his first child.[268] In November 2020, Kohli was nominated for the Sir Garfield Sobers Award for ICC Male Cricketer of the Decade as well as Test, ODI and T20I player of the decade.[269] He won the awards for Male cricketer of the decade and ODI cricketer of the decade.[270]

2021–2022: Captaincy exit and resurgence

The English cricket team’s tour of India in 2020–2021 began with a long 4-match Test series. Kohli made 172 runs across 4 Test matches, at an average of 28.66 with 2 half-centuries and 2 ducks. During the second test at Chepauk, he scored 62 on a pitch which English batting great Geoffrey Boycott described as a template to bat and score runs on a turning pitch.[271] In 2020, Kohli scored a combined (Test, ODI and T20I) total of 842 runs from 24 innings with highest score of 89 and an average of 36.60.[272]

Kohli was dismissed for a duck again in the 1st T20I of a 5-match series. However, he found his form in the latter part of the series and ended the series as the highest run-scorer from both sides with 231 runs to his name and 3 half-centuries at an average of 115.50. India clinched the series 3–2; Kohli was adjudged as the Man of the Series for his performances.[273] During the second T20I, Kohli became the first ever batsman to complete 3,000 runs in the format.[274] In the 3-match ODI series, Kohli scored 129 runs in 3 innings with 2 half-centuries as India won the series 2–1. During the 2nd ODI, Kohli became the second batsman after Ricky Ponting to score 10,000 runs batting at number 3.[275]

The 2021 ICC World Test Championship Final was played in June 2021, which India lost to New Zealand.[276] This was Kohli’s third defeat as captain in a knockout game of an ICC tournament.[277] He scored 44 and 13 in two innings before getting dismissed by Kyle Jamieson on both occasions .[278]

Retirement from captaincy across formats

In September 2021, Kohli was named as the captain of India’s squad for the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. However, Kohli also publicly announced his decision to step down from the role of T20I captain following the tournament’s conclusion.[279] India was unable to advance to the semi-final round, marking the first time in a period of 9 years that India had been excluded from the tournament’s latter stages.[280]

In December 2021, Kohli was replaced by Rohit Sharma as India’s ODI captain. The BCCI President, Sourav Ganguly, disclosed that Kohli’s removal from the ODI captaincy was attributed to the selectors decision to avoid having two leaders for the white ball format. However, he also conveyed that Kohli was asked to remain the captain of the T20I.[281] During a press conference, Kohli disputed the BCCI President’s statement, affirming that his decision to step down from the captaincy was well-received and viewed as a positive move by the BCCI officials. Kohli also claimed that he was informed about his dismissal from the ODI captaincy by the chief selector, Chetan Sharma, 90 minutes before the announcement of the Test squad for India’s tour of South Africa.[282] More than a week later, during the announcement of the squad for the ODI series against South Africa, Sharma refuted Kohli’s claim and stated that the officials had urged him to reconsider his decision to relinquish his role as T20I captain.[283]

Later in 2021 and early 2022, the Indian cricket team toured South Africa for a 3-match test series and a 3-match ODI series. Kohli managed to score 161 runs in the 4 innings of test series he played, averaging at 40.25. He could not play 2nd test of the series due to an injury.[284] On 15 January 2022, Kohli also stepped down as India’s Test captain, following the 2–1 test series defeat against South Africa.[285][286] In the ODI series, Kohli scored 116 runs in 3 innings, including two fifties, with an average of 38.66.[287] However South Africa swept the ODI series against India with a whitewash of 3–0.[288]

The West Indian cricket team toured India in February 2022, for a 3-match ODI series and a 3-match T20I series. During the ODI series, Kohli scored 5,000 run in India in ODIs.[289] He scored a total of 26 runs from 3 innings at an average of 8.66.[290] In the following T20I series Kohli scored a total of 69 runs at an average of 34.50 with the help of a half-century.[291] In February–March 2022, Sri Lankan cricket team toured India for a 3-match T20I series and 2-match test series. Kohli amassed a total of 81 runs from the 3 innings, in the 2-match test series, at an average of 27.0.[292] When playing first-match of series, Kohli also completed hundred Test matches, becoming only the 12th Indian cricketer to play this many matches.[293]

Following the fifth test, the Indian cricket team toured England for 3 T20Is and 3 ODIs in 2022. Kohli was not selected to play for the first T20I but was selected to play for the second . He finished the series with 12 runs in 2 innings at an average of 6, a high score of 11, anyhow India won the series 2–1[294] Kohli was selected to play during the first ODI but was ruled out due an injury in the groin.[295] Kohli failed to impress many and finished the ODI series with 33 runs from 2 innings with a high score of 17 and an average of 16.50, regardless India still won the ODI series 2–1.[296]

Return to form

Kohli made a resurgence of his form during the Asia Cup 2022, Over the course of the tournament, he amassed a total of 276 runs with an average of 92, The highlight of his performance was his maiden T20I century against Afghanistan, a knock that saw him score 122 runs from 61 deliveries, it was his first century in 1020 days.[297] He later said in post match presentation that:

“Last two and a half years have taught me a lot. I am going to turn 34 in a month. So those angry celebrations are a thing of the past . I have had many suggestions, lot of advice has come my way; people were telling me I was doing this wrong, that wrong, I picked out all the videos from the best time I had; same initial movement, same approach towards the ball and it was just what was happening inside my head I wasn’t able to explain it to anyone ”

— Kohli after scoring 71st century, [298]

He carried his good form into the 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. In the first game against Pakistan, Kohli scored 82* and won the match for his team by a close margin. He rated this as his best innings in the format due to the magnitude which the game had.[299][300] Wisden, the prestigious almanack of cricket, has deemed this particular innings as the acme of the tournament.[301] Kohli finished as the highest run-scorer in the tournament, with 296 runs to his name at an average of 98.66. For his performances, he was included in Team of the tournament.[302]

Kohli was named in India’s Test and ODI squad for India Tour of Bangladesh in 2022–23. In third-match, he scored his 44th ODI and overall 72nd century surpassing Ricky Ponting‘s record of the second-most centuries scored across formats in international cricket.[303]


In the early part of the year, Kohli began his campaign with a century against the touring Sri Lankan side in ODI.[304] In the third match of the series, Kohli delivered a prodigious performance, amassing an unbeaten 166 runs from 110 balls. This century, his 21st in India, marked a milestone as he surpassed all other players for the most ODI centuries scored in the country. Additionally, his performance in this match elevated him to become the fifth highest run-scorer in ODI cricket, going ahead of Mahela Jayawardene.[305] Following Kohli’s performance, India went on to win the third ODI match by a record margin of 317 runs.[306] In February–March 2023, Kohli played in the Border-Gavaskar series of 2023. He faced a string of low scores in the initial three tests, before playing an innings of discipline and technical correctness, in the final test at Ahmedabad. He amassed a total of 186 runs in the match with his century being his first in the format in three years.[307] Ahead of his 500th International Game Rahul Dravid describes Virat kohli “Longevity comes with a lot of hard work, discipline, adaptability and he’s shown all of that,”.[308]

source wikipedia 16 august 2023 last update

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