Breaking and creating records is not something new for Virat Kohli, but the Indian captain is on the verge of breaking three records in a very short period of time.
Kohli has had a wonderful run as a skipper since he took over the captaincy from MS Dhoni. The 31-year-old is already India’s most successful captain in Test match cricket and is the first Indian skipper ever to win a Test series in Australia.
While Kohli has accomplished a lot collectively with the Indian team, his personal performances have not taken a dip because of the extra responsibility of captaincy. He continues to pile runs for India in all formats of the game. India are set to play two away Tests against New Zealand and three ODIs against South Africa at home before the IPL.
Here are the three records Kohli can break before IPL 2020:
#3 Most Man of the Match awards as captain
Ricky Ponting won Man of the Match awards 28 times as a captain, while Kohli has won it 27 times so far. It’s not easy to win Man of the Match awards twice in a row in a Test series, particularly in New Zealand, where the conditions are tough from a batsman’s point of view.
However, given Kohli’s ability as a batsman in red-ball cricket, there is no reason why he can’t do it. The last time India played a Test series in New Zealand, Kohli scored 214 runs in two Test matches at an average of over 70.
In case, Kohli doesn’t manage to replicate his previous success in New Zealand, he will be in with a chance to break Ponting's record in the home ODI series against South Africa.
#2 Most hundreds as captain
Kohli has, so far, scored 41 hundreds captaining the Indian team in all formats combined. Ponting also crossed the three-figure mark 41 times during his reign as the Australian captain.
When Kohli takes the field against New Zealand in the first Test match in Wellington tomorrow, he will have the opportunity to go past Ponting.
Kohli is only 31 years of age, and the way he is captaining the Indian team, it seems he might stay at the helm for a few more years, meaning he might finish way ahead of Ponting with his tally of hundreds as a captain.
Kohli has scored at least a hundred in every Test series he has played outside the subcontinent in the last two years and there is a strong possibility he will do that in the Test upcoming series against New Zealand as well.
Kohli couldn’t score big in the T20Is and ODIs played earlier on this New Zealand tour, but he didn’t look out of form. He was hitting the ball well but just couldn’t bat for long periods. He will be keen to do that in the Test matches coming up.
#1 First Asian captain to score hundreds in all SENA countries
Kohli has already scored hundreds in SENA (South Africa, England, New Zealand, Australia) countries, but his hundred in New Zealand in 2014 came while playing under the captaincy of Dhoni.
However, on this tour, Kohli is in charge of the Indian team himself and if he scores a hundred in the upcoming Test series, he will be the first Asian captain ever to score hundreds in all SENA countries.
The conditions in South Africa, England, New Zealand, and Australia are always tricky for Asian batsmen as they grow up playing in completely different kinds of conditions back home. The pitches in Asia are low and slow, while those in SENA countries have pace and bounce, and the ball swings and seams as well.
There have been some great Asian batsmen who captained their sides on the tour of SENA countries, but none of them went on to score hundreds in all SENA countries. It will be an incredible feat for Kohli if he achieves it in the upcoming two-match Test series against the Kiwis.