“To become a good player, you need talent. To become a great player, you need an attitude like Virat Kohli ’s,” – Sunil Gavaskar, former Indian cricket legend.
There are some whose consistent success is admired by everyone. And then, there are others, who are so successful and consistent that if they fail even once, it takes everyone by surprise. Virat Kohli belongs to the second breed.
Seeing Sachin Tendulkar hang his boots in 2013 was painful. But the swift rise of King Kohli has alleviated the pain in no time. Both may be poles apart in their attitudes (one an epitome of gentleness. Other, ) or playing style, perhaps. But one thing (and the one that matters the most) similar between them is Consistency. Rarely one has the cricketing world seen such a consistent player like Virat Kohli.
And what a match-winner is he for India! Be it the 133* inning against Sri Lanka, famously dubbed as the Hobart Storm or the 182 in the classic chase against Pakistan in the 2012 Asia Cup, Kohli never failed to mesmerize us.
Life seems beautiful when Virat punches the ball through the covers. God knows how he manages to pierce the gap every time. Here’s one, just a treat to the eyes.
Already excited to know about Mr Consistent? Well then, here’s all you there is to know about Virat Kohli…
Date of Birth
November 5, 1988
Prem and Saroj Kohli
18 August 2008
20 June 2011 vs. West Indies
No. 1 in Test & ODI
Teams Played for
India. Royal Challengers Bangalore
Virat Kohli Biography
Virat’s cricketing journey began in the summer of 1998. Virat and his brother Vikas were ferried by their father Prem Kohli to a cricket camp in west Delhi.
It was a typical hot summer day and little did Rajkumar Sharma, coach of the West Delhi Cricket Academy, know that over 250 kids would brave this extreme weather.
And amongst these 250 kids was a young Virat who didn’t take much time to turn the eyeballs of Rajkumar. But in not the way you would think!
“I remember noticing this pretty chubby, pretty naughty sort of youngster, who was not even ten, registering enthusiastically” – reads an excerpt from the book ‘Virat- The making of a champion’ in which coach Rajkumar describes his fond memory of Virat.
Virat was the youngest among the lot there. This meant that he had to work very hard to stay in line with the rest. And he did. The gritty youngster grilled and worked ever so hard under the watchful eyes of coach Sharma. Perhaps, these ‘extra’ efforts were the foundation stones of the modern-day Virat Kohli.
Virat played a tournament under Rajkumar held at the Delhi Development Authority’s Sports Complex ground in Hari Nagar. The tournament consisted of six games. Three league fixtures, a quarter-final, semi-final and final.
Rajkumar Sharma remembers that Kohli got out only once in the tournament. He was indeed the leading run-scorer in the tournament and was flamboyant with his shots.
But more than the tournament, the most memorable moment in young Virat’s career happened during the presentation ceremony when fast-bowler Ashish Nehra presented him with the ‘Player of the Tournament’. Nehra was a superstar back then, having just come back from an excellent 2003 World Cup campaign.
That was just the start of his career. And how far has Virat come from that incident? Well, the world saw the answer on 1st November 2017 when Ashish Nehra announced his retirement from international cricket in a T20I against New Zealand- under the captaincy of Virat Kohli. Phew! That will take some time to sink!
Virat Kohli Career
Virat’s List A debut came on February 18, 2006, when he played for Delhi against Services. Though he didn’t get to bat in that inning, Delhi won the match comfortably by 233 runs. Virat went on to feature in over 273 List A matches.
Kohli’s Ranji Trophy debut came on November 23, 2006, against Tamil Nadu. The world got to see the youngster’s grit and commitment towards cricket in December when he decided to play for Delhi against Karnataka despite his father’s death the previous day. And despite the tragic incident, he went on to score a crucial 90 runs.
This incident was a turning point in Kohli’s life. “Overnight he became a much more matured person. He took every match seriously. He hated being on the bench. It’s as if his life hinged totally on cricket after that day,” his mother revealed later.
He went on to debut for the India Under-19 squad on the English tour that year. It was followed by a tour to Pakistan, where he returned home with an average of 58 in Test and 41.66 in ODIs.
The following season, he was a part of the Gautam Gambhir-led Delhi squad that won the Ranji Trophy in 2007-08 season.
2008 U-19 World Cup
Having performed well in the U-19 as well as the title-winning Delhi side, Virat was given the captain’s armband to lead India U-19 side at the 2008 U-19 World Cup in Malaysia.
And that turned out to be an instrumental decision. Kohli would go on to lead the young squad to the title with a 12-run victory over England in the finals.
On a personal front, he scored a total of 165 runs in the group stage, including a century against West Indies.
In the semi-finals against New Zealand, with the team struggling at 40/2, he weaved a crucial partnership with Shreevats Goswami and hit a crucial knock of 43. India would go on to win the game by 3 wickets. Kohli was rightfully adjudged the ‘Player of the Match’.
While Virat Kohli got the better of Kane Williamson, the U-19 Kiwi captain, their paths would cross again a decade later at the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. And this time, it was Williamson who had the last laugh…
Virat Kohli Debut
As Virat Kohli played his teen life’s finest cricket in Malaysia, a group of men sitting in BCCI’s HQ in Mumbai were keenly watching his moves. This was the Indian Cricket selection committee, headed by K Srikkanth.
Srikkanth and his men were looking for a revival of the famed but ageing Indian batting lineup. With the coronation of MS Dhoni as the captain of the team in 2008, the process only accelerated. In Kohli, selectors envisioned a reliable batsman that would hold together the team’s rather fragile middle-order.
And with two main men – Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag – out injured, they wasted little time in getting him on board. Virat made his debut on August 18 2008, on the tour to Sri Lanka. He scored 12-runs then.
After a relatively dry spell of three games, Kohli seized the opportunity in the fourth game by hitting a match-winning, or perhaps series win ning knock of 54 runs. India ultimately won the series 3-2.
Also Read | 5 Things that make Virat Kohli a champion
Despite coming in and out of the senior team, Kohli was making his mark. This was rewarded by his selection in the 4-team Emerging Players Tournament held between July and August 2009 in Australia.
In the seven games that he played, the 19-year-old scored a massive 398 runs at an average of 66.33, thus ending up as the leading run-scorer in the tournament. Kohli also proved that he was arguably the best batting prodigy in the world at that moment.
Kohli singled out the tournament as the “turning point” of his career. “That boosted my confidence tremendously. I just became so much more mentally stronger. I have now learned to bat in pressure conditions.
From that time, I have just been concentrating on my game and not thinking about other things,” he said at a press conference in 2010.
An injury to Gautam Gambhir provided another lucky recall for Kohli, again for a series against Sri Lanka. In the following tournaments including 2009 Champions Trophy and series against Australia.
It was in the 4th ODI of the Sri Lankan series that Kohli hit his first century. His 224-run stand with Gautam Gambhir prompted the latter to hand his ‘Man of the Match’ award to Kohli.
As he grew in performance over the next few years, Kohli started to regularly feature for India. 2010 was a path-breaking year for him. Virat finished the year with 995 runs at an average of 47.38, making him the highest run-scoring batsman.
And this was a phenomenal achievement for a 22-year-old who was still finding his place amongst established biggies. The year 2010 was really crucial in cementing Virat’s place in India’s starting XI.
The title ‘Chase Master Kohli’ which has been conferred to Virat Kohli is more than enough to describe his ODI career. There have been very few in the history of cricket with such god-level of consistency.
In a career of 11 years so far, Kohli has surpassed legends like Ricky Ponting, Kumar Sangakarra and Jacques Kallis in the list of most centuries by a batsman.
He is threateningly close to the record of 49 ODI centuries. Kohli currently has 43 ODI centuries.
Just to refresh the memories, Kohli made his debut in ODIs against Sri Lanka on August 18, 2008. It has been 11 glorious years since that day and still, Kohli remains the undisputed king.
While there has been a prolonged debate about “Smith vs Kohli: Who’s the best test batsman of this generation”, there is one thing which can never go unnoticed. Be it any format, Kohli is always the centre of comparison. It’s either Kane Williamson vs Kohli or Joe Root vs Kohli if not Smith.
Such has been the impact of this champion player “Virat Kohli”. Virat stands fourth on the list of players with most double centuries in test cricket, only behind Bradman, Sangakarra and Brian Lara.
Kohli achieved the highest ever test rating for any Indian batsman – 937 against England on 22nd August 2018. The second Indian on the list is Sunil Gavaskar with a rating of 917.
Kohli masquerades a strong test record with 26 centuries and 22 half-centuries 82 matches.
The first T20 match between Zimbabwe and India in India tour of Zimbabwe, saw Kohli make his T20 international debut. To be specific about the date, it was the 12th of June, 2010.
And Kohli had a brilliant debut! He scored crucial 26 not out from 21 balls apart from stitching an unbeaten 64 run partnership with Yusuf Pathan in the chase to see India home.
If you look at that day and compare with Kohli of today, things have changed exponentially. He is the captain of the Indian national team across all formats. He averages 50 in the T20I format itself!
On 6th December 2019, Kohli again gave evidence of his supremacy in the chase game against West Indies by scoring an unbeaten 94, his highest score in T20Is, and helping India chase down a massive total of 207 runs. This was the Men in Blue’s highest run-chase in T20I.
Virat represents the breed of players who have been a part of only one franchise since the inception of IPL. Mind you! It’s a rare breed. Inducted into the Royal Challengers Bangalore side in the year 2008 itself, Kohli has been the face of the franchise.
Kohli was given the responsibility of leading the side in 2013 and has been leading since. There cannot be a tournament in which Kohli doesn’t leave his mark.
In the IPL season of 2016, Kohli sent down the records shattering. He scored a whopping 973 runs in that season with 4 hundred and 7 fifties! That’s a pretty serious record.
David warner stands second in the list of most runs in an IPL season with 848 runs. Kohli, at the moment, is the leading run-scorer in the Indian Premier League with 5,412 runs.
Virat was born in a Punjabi family based in Delhi. His father, Prem Kohli, was a criminal lawyer and his mother Saroj, is a homemaker. Virat has two older siblings, a brother – Vikash and a sister – Bhavna.
When he was hardly three years old, Virat started showing signs of a cricketing career. His father was the one to notice and encourage this talent. He took Kohli to West Delhi Cricket Academy when he was just nine. Rajkumar Sharma was his first coach there and knew right from the beginning that this lad was meant for greatness.
Along with cricket, Virat Kohli was an excellent student in academics as well. His father gave him unconditional support to chase his dreams. Unfortunately, his father couldn’t witness his legendary achievements.
When Kohli was just 19, his father passed away due to a stroke. Even then, Kohli showed up in the field the very next day and played a crucial knock for his team in the ongoing Ranji tournament.
“I still remember the night my father passed away as it was the hardest time in my life. But the call to play the morning after my father’s death came instinctively to me. I called my (Delhi) coach in the morning. I said I wanted to play because for me not completing a cricket game is a sin. That was a moment that changed me as a person. The importance this sport holds in my life is very, very high,” Kohli told NDTV.
Virat Kohli Wife
Cricket and Bollywood have been a match made in heaven. And it is, thus, not surprising to know that one of the country’s most successful, Virat Kohli, is married also married to a popular actress Anushka Sharma.
The two had first on the sets of a commercial advertisement shoot back in 2013 and it was here that the sparks were fired.
It was followed by both the parties visiting each others’ workplaces. Kohli would visit the sets where Anushka was shooting, while Anushka was spotted cheering for Virat from the stands in IPL games.
The reports of their affair were confirmed by Kohli himself, who blew a kiss with his bat during one of the matches with Anushka in the stands.
The two never publicly talked about it. After dating for over four years, the duo finally got married on 11 December 2017 in picturesque Florence, Italy.
It was a private ceremony with just close family members and friends. The celebrity couple is widely known by the nickname “Virushka”.
The Indian captain has credited his wife for the emotional strength and maturity in his behaviour that he has learnt from her. Virat and Anushka are one of the most recognisable and followed couples of the country.
In fact, big brands like Manyawar, Google Duo, etc have even built marketing campaigns with the 2 stars with many popular TV advertisements.
The legend himself, Sir Vivian Richards said that Kohli reminds of himself. Virat Kohli has always considered Sachin Tendulkar his inspiration. He says on his website www.viratkohli.club, “He’s (Tendulkar) been my inspiration. After seeing his knocks in Sharjah, I really got inspired to do something like that for India, win games single-handedly. I used to dream of doing something like that for the country, the way he used to win us games,” he said.
“I wouldn’t sit and think that I’ve done something similar because at that time I don’t think anyone else in the team scored apart from him in those two games. Now, there are others like Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma.”
Also Read | Inspiring Workout Routine of Virat Kohli
- Virat Kohli’s favourite adventure sport is rafting.
- Virat follows tennis and football diligently. He is a big fan of Roger Federer.
- His favourite actor is Aamir Khan.
- Virat is known as the most stylish batsman in the team. This factor has catapulted his fame, especially among youngsters.
- Virat’s tattoos have become quite popular as well. He has a Scorpio zodiac tattoo on his upper right arm. He also has a Japanese Samurai warrior with a raised sword.
- Virat Kohli is a little superstitious. He has been wearing a kadah (bracelet) since 2012 for good luck.
- Through his charity, Virat Kohli Foundation, he supports education and healthcare of underprivileged children.
Virat Kohli’s image as a stylish young icon has landed him several endorsements. Bunty Sachdev of Cornerstone Sport and Entertainment manages Kohli’s deals. Kohli’s brand endorsements crossed the ₹100 crore mark in 2013 itself. Some of these prominent brands are MRF, Puma, Audi, Manyavar, etc.
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) December 24, 2018
Kohli was placed on number 7 in Forbes Most Valuable Brand list for athletes in 2017. His value was around $14.5 million. He also featured in the Top 100 highest-paid athletes in the world list in 2018.
Virat Kohli is a co-owner of the club FC Goa in the Indian Super League. He has also invested in ventures like International Premier Tennis League franchise UAE Royals and Bengaluru Yodhas franchise in Pro Wrestling. In 2014, Kohli co-launched a fashion clothing brand WROGN with Anjana Reddy’s Universal Sportsbiz. He has also invested in and started numerous fitness ventures.
- Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy (ICC Cricketer of the Year): 2017
- ICC ODI Player of the Year: 2012, 2017
- ICC Test Team of the Year: 2017 (captain)
- Padma Shri: 2017
- ICC ODI Team of the Year: 2012, 2014, 2016 (captain), 2017 (captain)
- Arjuna Award: 2013
- Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna: 2018
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) September 26, 2018
- Fastest century by an Indian cricketer in ODIs (52 balls)
- Fastest Indian to reach 1000, 5000, 6000, 7000, 8000, 9000, and 10,000 runs in ODIs
- Fastest Indian and second fastest in the world to reach 10, 15, 20, and 25 centuries in ODIs
- The only batsman in history to average more than 50 in Tests, ODIs, and T20Is simultaneously
- Fastest in the world to reach 30 and 35 centuries in ODIs
- Second fastest in the world to reach 1,000 runs in T20Is
- First Indian cricketer to score three successive centuries in ODIs
- Fastest in the world to reach 15,000 international runs
- Fastest batsman to score 17,000 runs in international cricket (363 innings)
Also Read | 31 Insane Records that belong to Virat Kohli
Most runs in a calendar year/series
- Most ODI runs in a calendar year by an Indian cricketer – 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
- Highest combined international runs scored in a year by an Indian cricketer – 2818 international runs in 2017
- Second Highest centuries by an Indian
- Most Test runs in 2018 by any cricketer
- Most ODI run s in 2018 by any cricketer
Virat Kohli Stats
5 Unknown Facts about #KingKohli
Kohli is known for his cheeky playing. It may be because of this that the former Delhi coach Ajit Chaudhary bestowed the name ‘Cheeku‘ upon him after he joined the Delhi Ranji team.
#2. ‘Most Well-Dressed‘
In 2012, Virat Kohli was included in the Top 10 Best Dressed International Men. The prestigious list also included big names like former US President Barack Obama.
#3. ‘Richest Cricketer’
The Forbes Magazine, in late 2018, named Kohli as the richest cricketer alive. Moreover, he was also named as the second-richest celebrity of India.
Virat Kohli is an avid cook when he is not frying bowlers on pitch. Moreover, the batsman’s favourite recipe is Mutton biryani matched up with a delicious kheer. He also likes to have Japanese cuisine.
#5. The ‘Dog-Lover‘
While the entire country is Virat Kohli’s, the captain is a die-hard fan of man’s most loyal friend- Dog. Kohli owns a beagle named Bruno that rules the Instagram with some beautiful clicks.
He also supports an animal shelter called Charlie’s Animal Rescue Centre (CARE) in Bengaluru. Kohli is believed to own as many as 15 dogs there.
With focus and hard work, anything is possible. Keep working, keep believing. Have a super day everyone. ??♂️?♂️ pic.twitter.com/x3a0ODbpeW
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) October 15, 2018
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) August 26, 2018
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) July 8, 2018
Great night with the boys at mahi bhais place last night. Good food, fun chats all around and great energy. Perfect team evening ????. @msdhoni @imkuldeep18 @RishabPant777 @yuzi_chahal pic.twitter.com/6Xfc4rK7Xl
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) March 7, 2019
Real Hero. I bow down to you. Jai Hind ?????? pic.twitter.com/kDgocwpclA
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) March 1, 2019
There are many more records or to be broken and many more to be set! Virat Kohli has been on a roll for years now and there is no stopping him. Let us hope that he continues leading the team to greater glories. One thing is for sure, his name will be featured in the books of cricketing history as one of the best batsmen of our times.
For more interesting content on Indian Sports, stay tuned with KreedOn.