4 records held by Virat Kohli and the most likely contenders to break them

Kohli celebrates after hitting a century.
Kohli celebrates after hitting a century.

One of the batting greats of the current era, Kohli has been hailed as Australia's primary hindrance. The Indian captain was lauded by Australian greats like Steve Waugh, Justin Langer and Ricky Ponting in the documentary called 'The Test: A New Era For Australia's team' that endorsed the dramatic rise of the Aussies from the ruins of debilitating defeats and other lows.

Kohli, however, has been a nightmare not just for Australia, but for the entire world The right-hander's arsenal features a wide array of shots, and sheer technical brilliance coupled with ruthless aggression.

At 31 years of age, Kohli has been reigning over world cricket with unparalleled supremacy. If he continues in the same vein, it will not be surprising if the Delhi player goes on to break several other records held by greats of the game.

However, there are a few contenders likely to match and even surpass a few of Kohli's impressive feats. This piece will solely focus on the baseline set by the Indian run-machine and look at the most likely candidates from the modern era who have the potential to emulate or break four of the Delhi player's milestones.

1. Most runs scored in an IPL season: 973

Virat Kohli during a record-breaking IPL 2016 season
Virat Kohli during a record-breaking IPL 2016 season

Kohli had a phenomenal 2016 season for Bangalore in the IPL. The captain's stellar performances, coupled with meaty contributions from AB de Villiers, fired the franchise to the IPL final that year where they up second best to Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The right-hander compiled a staggering 973 runs from 16 games in 2016, scored at an astonishing average of 81.08 and a destructive strike rate of 152.03. The Indian skipper undoubtedly set a high benchmark for every other batsman in this respect.

In that remarkable season for the Royal Challengers, Kohli smashed four blistering tons and seven half-centuries to usher his contingent to the title match.

On a sincere note, it is not a cinch to garner 973 runs in a matter of 14-17 innings and that too in the shortest format of the game where strike rates play a more critical role than the number of runs scored.

However, records are always meant to be broken. The most likely player doing the rounds for downing Kohli's record of most runs in an IPL season is David Warner.

David Warner
David Warner

With three Orange Caps, awarded for most runs in an IPL season, under his belt, Warner is fourth in the list of all time-leading run-scorers in the competition. The left-hander has tallied 4706 runs from 126 games at a stellar average of 43.17, which is impressive in T20 cricket.

Opening the innings for Sunrisers Hyderabad, Warner has the best opportunity to catch up or even surpass Kohli for most runs in an IPL season. If the Australian opener gets ample batting time, his destructive power-hitting game can enable him to break Kohli's record. Warner may perhaps even become the first player to score 1000 runs in an IPL season.

With his propensity to score briskly, it could only be a matter of time before Warner becomes the player with the most runs in an IPL season.

2. Fastest to reach 10000 international runs

Virat Kohli celebrates after reaching 10000 international runs.
Virat Kohli celebrates after reaching 10000 international runs.

Virat Kohli became the fastest batsman to score 10000 international runs after he bettered Rahul Dravid's erstwhile record of 10 years and 317 days. Kohli took only ten years and 68 days to achieve the landmark after making his international debut in 2008.

Even if the same achievement is viewed at in terms of innings, it is still Virat Kohli who wins it with an ace. Taking only 205 innings to reach the five digit run mark, he broke the record of Indian great, Sachin Tendulkar, who took 259 innings to achieve the same.

However, this remarkable feat of Kohli could be in jeopardy given the belligerent form and consistentcy of Pakistani batsman, Babar Azam.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam

Five years after making his international debut for Pakistan, Babar Azam has accumulated 6680 runs. The right-hander has scored 3359 runs in ODIs while he has tallied over 1400 runs in both Tests and T20Is.

Azam's career strike rate of 87 across formats makes him a likely player to break Kohli's record of being the fastest to 10000 international runs.

However, it is premature for the Indian fans to fret about just yet. Azam still trails Virat Kohli by over 3400 odd runs and it would take some a few years for the Pakistan player to reach 10000 runs even if he maintains his current scoring pace.

3. Fastest to reach 1000 runs in a calendar year

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli slaying off opponents
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli slaying off opponents

In 2018, Kohli became the quickest batsman to reach the milestone of 1000 runs in a calendar year. In the process, the Indian captain shattered the previous record of 15 innings that he jointly held with South Africa's Hashim Amla.

Kohli only took 11 international innings to score 1000 runs that year, reaching the milestone during his unbeaten innings of 157 in an ODI against the West Indies.

2018 was a landmark year for the Indian captain in many other aspects. Kohli tallied 2735 international runs in the year, scoring eleven centuries, as the right-hander became the first Indian captain to retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy.

The most likely cricketer who can break Virat Kohli's record of being the quickest player to score 1000 international runs in a year is his compatriot Rohit Sharma.

Sharma's prodigious hitting ability and consistency at the top of the Indian innings makes him a contender to down one of his captain's records.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma

Sharma has already notched up a thousand runs in a calendar year four times in his career, doing so in 2013, 2017, 2018 and 2019. He has a career strike rate of almost 89%.

Given his recently improved form in Test cricket after opening the innings, chances are high that the Hitman could strike off this fabulous record held by Virat Kohli.

In a fascinating trivia, Kohli also shares the most number of double-century partnership stands (5) in ODIs with Rohit Sharma. No other pair in the format has more than three.

4. Most ODI centuries in a calendar year as a captain

Kohli and Quinton De Kock (Picture courtesy BCCI)
Kohli and Quinton De Kock (Picture courtesy BCCI)

Leading one of the most excellent teams in world cricket at the moment, Virat Kohli has led from the front, bringing in laurels aplenty for himself and for the team.

The Delhi player has scored the most number of international centuries in a calendar year as a captain, scoring six tons apiece in both 2017 and 2018.

The closest to this feat was Saurav Ganguly, another decorated Indian captain who managed to rake up five centuries in 2000.

It is not easy to score an international century for India given the pressures and expectations from a billion fans. However, Virat Kohli has conquered several seemingly impossible feats before as his living legacy continues.

The most likely contender who can challenge Kohli in terms of most centuries by a captain in a year is South African skipper Quinton De Kock.

Quinton de Kock
Quinton de Kock

De Kock is the fastest South African player to score 1000 runs in ODIs and is only the second wicketkeeper captain to score an ODI ton. The left-hander is a threat to any opposition when he gets going.

The 27-year-old has age on his side. Leading an aggressive South African team, De Kock can go for the kill early in an innings as the Proteas possess a lot of depth down their ranks.

With the number of games that South Africa generally play in a calendar year, it will not be surprising to see De Kock as a captain scomore centuries in a year than Kohli (6) did so in two consecutive years.

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Edited by Bhargav
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