Nov 22, 2016

Cricket: The unstoppable force that is Virat Kohli - stats summary (as of 22 November 2016)

Note: this blog post was written and published prior to the 3rd India-England Test at Mohali, and excludes his performances in the IPL and other similar T20 tournaments

This year may have been terrible in many ways for a lot of us, but I'm sure Virat Kohli isn't complaining. He has indeed had a fantastic 2016, and the numbers speak for themselves! The reason why I'm writing this post is because I was just very curious about what the numbers have to say about Kohli's nearly perfect 2016 and his career in general. So I went on looking online for the various statistics, and they were SO phenomenal. Moreover, from looking up his 2016 success online, I ended up getting stats about his career itself, and my jaw kept dropping even lower and lower every single time. So I thought to myself "Why not just share these thoughts I have on Kohli's career thus far in a post on my good ol' blog?" I have not published many cricket-related posts on the blog off late, so this comes at a good time for the page. It's my first time dealing with stats and numbers, so feel free to let me know your feedback on this post. Here we go!

The Unstoppable Force

What truly makes Virat Kohli the incredible batsman he is, is undoubtedly his consistency. This is still a very early stage in his career, but the amount of milestones he has achieved at this young age makes him an inspiration for one and all. The comparisons with Sachin Tendulkar are inevitable, and he may just be the very best thing we are witnessing currently in modern-day cricket.

Here is the summary of all his stats just to give you an idea of how incredible he truly is.

Test career:

  • Kohli has scored 14 Test centuries. The first 7 centuries range between scores of 103 and 115. Out of his last 7 centuries, all but 1 of them have been above 140, including two 200+ scores.
  • 6 of those have come against Australia on their home soil.
  • 9 of those have been scored overseas.
  • In 2016, he holds a Test average of 69.00, from 9 matches, scoring 897 runs. 2016 being his best year in terms of runs and average, as well as top score (211) - his previous best year being 2013 in terms of average (56.00), and 2014 in terms of runs scored and best score (847 runs, best score of 169).
  • He has captained the Test side in 18 matches, winning 10, drawing 6, and only losing 2 of them.
  • He averages 59.76 as captain of the Test side.
  • He is the first player in Test history to score 3 centuries in his first 3 innings as Test captain.
  • He is also the first Indian captain to make a double ton overseas, and to have scored two 200+ scores.
  • As of now, Kohli has scored 3891 Test runs, at an average of 48.03 from 86 innings in 50 matches.
ODI career:
  • He has scored 26 ODI centuries, the highest for an active player, and 4th highest overall, behind Sachin Tendulkar (49), Ricky Ponting (30), and Sanath Jayasuriya (29). Was the fastest in the world to reach 25 centuries.
  • In 2016, he holds an ODI average of 92.37, from 10 matches, scoring 739 runs,
  • Only 4 of those centuries have come in a losing cause - 22 of them have won India the game.
  • 14 of them have come in successful chases (i.e. India fielding first and winning)
  • In successful chases, he averages 90.10, with 14 tons and 15 fifties.
  • If one takes all the times he has played the 4th match of a series, he averages 80.30 in those 18 innings he has played.
  • Kohli currently holds the record for the fastest ODI century by an Indian, for his 100* from 52 balls against Australia in Jaipur in October 2013.
  • As of now, Kohli has scored 7570 ODI runs, at an average of 52.93 from 168 innings in 176 matches.

T20I career:
  • Kohli is the fastest in the world to reach 1000 runs in T20Is.
  • He is yet to score a century in T20Is, but he has made his best of 90* against Australia in 2016.
  • As of now, Kohli has scored 1657 runs, at an average of 57.13 from 41 innings.
Phew! Now that these numbers are out of my way - incredible, right? Close to perfection, and I really do not want to jinx him at this point.

Kohli and fitness - a success story

Firstly, he has never had any real struggle in terms of fitness during his career - and for someone who has played so many matches, it is indeed incredible that he has managed to stay fit for the most part of it. Even more interesting is his athleticism: known to be one of the best runners in cricket currently, what allows him to get those big scores is the way he converts singles into doubles, and constantly getting the scoreboard ticking. Not to mention his excellent fielding skills, occasionally getting some terrific catches, and some crucial quick run-outs against the opposition, as he usually executes his best fielding from inside the circle.

The Test captaincy - drifting away from Dhoni's style

As mentioned in the stats above, not only has he been a great captain for the Test side, but the captaincy hasn't really affected his batting skills. On the contrary, it seems to have made him more mature, and one can see a growth in the way he expresses himself, when he reaches his hundreds for instance.

To be frank, when it was announced that he was going to replace Dhoni as the Test skipper, I was more than just critical of that decision. At that point, he was a great batsman, no doubt, but he seemed to lack the temperament to become a good leader. But then again, what makes his captaincy interesting to follow is his aggression; the mistakes Dhoni made as captain towards the latter part of his Test career were not really repeated by Kohli. He pushes the opposition really hard, makes very proactive field placements, and smart bowling changes.

And it was only apt, that after Dhoni, he was the second captain to take India to the number 1 position in the Test rankings. The Test side seems to be in good hands, as Kohli marches on with the team.

So what next for the Run Machine?

The on-going India-England series will end in February 2017 (5 Tests, 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is), and then Australia will tour India, which will be followed by the Champions Trophy taking place in England. He will have a crucial role to play in all these tournaments, and it will be interesting to see him lead the side for the 4 Test against Australia, who have been in a pretty dismal form. The Champions Trophy being yet another major international tournament, it is a great opportunity for Virat to take his game further and take the world by storm with his batting brilliance.

Batting brilliance, impeccable technique, great consistency, and much-needed aggressive and effective Test captaincy skills - words fall short to describe the sheer perfection Virat Kohli is. His MRF bat says Genius - and if after Sachin, we can find a man as good as this to carry this legacy forward, then the Indian followers may have just found a new "God" of the game for themselves.

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