|Full name||Virat Kohli|
5 November 1988 |
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Bowling style||Right-arm medium|
|Role||Batsman, India Test captain|
|Test debut (cap 269)||20 June 2011 v West Indies|
|Last Test||10 June 2015 v Bangladesh|
|ODI debut (cap 175)||18 August 2008 v Sri Lanka|
|Last ODI||24 June 2015 2015 v Bangladesh|
|ODI shirt no.||18|
|T20I debut (cap 31)||12 June 2010 v Zimbabwe|
|Last T20I||7 September 2014 v England|
|Domestic team information|
|2008–present||Royal Challengers Bangalore|
|Source: ESPNcricinfo, 25 June 2015|
Virat Kohli ( pronunciation (help·info); born 5 November 1988) is an Indian international cricketer. He is a right-handed batsman and occasional right-arm medium pace bowler. He is the current captain of the Indian team in Test cricket and vice-captain in limited overs formats. In the Indian Premier League (IPL), he plays for and captains the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
After representing Delhi at various age-group levels and domestic cricket, Kohli captained India Under-19s to victory at the 2008 Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia. A few months later, he made his ODI debut for India against Sri Lanka. Initially having played as a reserve batsman in the Indian team, he soon established himself as a regular in the middle-order in ODIs. He was part of the Indian squad that won the 2011 World Cup. Kohli then played his first Test in 2011 against the West Indies at Kingston. By 2013, he shrugged off the tag of "ODI specialist" with Test hundreds in Australia and South Africa. The same year, he also reached the number one spot in the ICC rankings for ODI batsmen for the first time. He has also found success in the Twenty20 format, winning the Man of the Tournament at the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh. Later that year, he became the top-ranked T20I batsman in the ICC rankings.
Kohli was appointed the vice-captain of the ODI team in 2012 and has since also captained the team on several occasions in the absence of regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. After Dhoni's Test retirement in 2014, Kohli was handed over the Test captaincy. Kohli holds numerous batting records including the fastest century by an Indian batsman, the fastest batsman in the world to 6,000 ODI runs and the fastest to 17 hundreds in the history of ODI cricket. He is only the second batsman to have scored 1,000 or more ODI runs for four consecutive calendar years.
Kohli has been the recipient of many awards such as the ICC ODI Player of the Year in 2012 and the BCCI's international cricketer of the year for the 2011–12 season. In 2013, he was given the Arjuna Award in recognition of his achievements in international cricket. SportsPro, a UK magazine, rated Kohli as the second most marketable athlete in the world in 2014. He became a co-owner of the Indian Super League team FC Goa in 2014.
Virat Kohli was born on 5 November 1988 in Delhi. His father, Prem Kohli, worked as a criminal lawyer and his mother, Saroj Kohli, is a housewife. He has an elder brother, Vikash, and an elder sister, Bhavna. Kohli was raised in Uttam Nagar and started his schooling at Vishal Bharti Public School and, in ninth grade, shifted to Savier Convent in Paschim Vihar to help his cricket practice. Apart from sports, Kohli was good at academics as well, and his teachers remember him as "a bright and alert child". His father died on 18 December 2006 due to brain stroke after being bed-ridden for a month. Regarding his early life, Kohli has said in an interview, "I've seen a lot in life. Losing my father at a young age, the family business not doing too well, staying in a rented place. There were tough times for the family... It's all embedded in my memory."
According to his family, when he was three-years old, Kohli would pick up a cricket bat, start swinging it and ask his father to bowl at him. In 1998, the West Delhi Cricket Academy was created, and Kohli, a nine-year-old, was part of its first intake. Kohli's father took him to the academy after their neighbors suggested that "Virat shouldn't waste his time in gully cricket and instead join a professional club". Kohli trained at the academy under Rajkumar Sharma and also played matches at the Sumit Dogra Academy near Noida at the same time. According to Kohli, his father supported his cricket training, "My father was my biggest support. He was the one who drove me to practice everyday. I miss his presence sometimes."
Kohli first played for Delhi Under-15 team in October 2002 in the 2002–03 Polly Umrigar Trophy. He was the leading run-getter for his team in that tournament with 172 runs at an average of 34.40. He became the captain of the team for the 2003–04 Polly Umrigar Trophy and scored 390 runs in 5 innings at an average of 78 including two centuries and two fifties. In late-2004, he was selected in the Delhi Under-17 team for the 2003–04 Vijay Merchant Trophy. He scored 470 runs in four matches at an average of 117.50 with two hundreds and top-score of 251*. Delhi Under-17s won the 2004–05 Vijay Merchant Trophy in which Kohli finished as the highest run-scorer with 757 runs from 7 matches at an average of 84.11 with two centuries. In February 2006, he made his List A debut for Delhi against Services but did not get to bat.
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 and 49 in the three-match Test series. India Under-19 went on to win both the series. At the conclusion of the tour, the India Under-19 coach Lalchand Rajput was impressed with Kohli and said, "Kohli showed strong technical skills against both pace and spin". In September, the India Under-19 team toured Pakistan. Kohli averaged 58 in the Test series and 41.66 in the ODI series against Pakistan Under-19s. In October, playing for Delhi Under-19s, he averaged 15 in the Vinoo Mankad Trophy and 72.66 in the Cooch Behar Trophy. He was then picked in the North Zone Under-19 squad for the Vijay Hazare Trophy in which he averaged 28 in two matches.
Kohli made his first-class debut for Delhi against Tamil Nadu in November 2006, at the age of 18, and scored 10 in his debut innings. He came into the spotlight in December when he decided to play for his team against Karnataka on the day after his father's death and went on to score 90. He went directly to the funeral after he was dismissed. Delhi captain Mithun Manhas said, "That is an act of great commitment to the team and his innings turned out to be crucial. Hats off to his attitude and determination." His mother noted that "Virat changed a bit after that day. 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. Now, he looked like he was chasing his father's dream which was his own too." He scored a total of 257 runs from 6 matches at an average of 36.71 in that season.
In April 2007, he made his Twenty20 debut and finished as the highest run-getter for his team in the Inter-State T20 Championship with 179 runs at an average of 35.80. In July–August 2007, the India Under-19 team toured Sri Lanka. In the triangular series against Sri Lanka Under-19s and Bangladesh Under-19s, Kohli was the second highest run-getter with 146 runs from 5 matches. In the two-match Test series that followed, he scored 244 runs at an average of 122 including a hundred and a fifty.
In February–March 2008, Kohli captained the victorious Indian team at the 2008 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup held in Malaysia. Batting at number 4, he scored 235 runs in 6 matches at an average of 47, and finished as the tournament's third highest run-getter and one of the three batsmen to score a hundred in the tournament. His century (100 runs from 74 balls) against the West Indies Under-19s in the group stage, which was called "the innings of the tournament" by ESPNcricinfo, gave India a 50-run victory and earned Kohli the man of the match. Kohli picked up a leg injury during the match, but recovered in time to play the quarterfinal match against England Under-19s. He was instrumental in India's three-wicket semifinal win over New Zealand Under-19s in which he took 2/27 and scored 43 in the tense run-chase and was awarded the man of the match. He scored 19 against South Africa Under-19s in the final which India won by 12 runs (D/L method). He was also commended for making several tactical bowling changes during the tournament.
Following the Under-19 World Cup, Kohli was bought by the Indian Premier League franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore for $30,000 on a youth contract. In June 2008, Kohli and his Under-19 teammates Pradeep Sangwan and Tanmay Srivastava were awarded the Border-Gavaskar scholarship. The scholarship allowed the three players to train for six weeks at Cricket Australia's Centre of Excellence in Brisbane. In July 2008, he was included in India's 30-man probable squad for the ICC Champions Trophy which was to be held in Pakistan in September 2008. He was also picked in the India Emerging Players squad for the four-team Emerging Players Tournament in Australia. He was in fine form in that tournament and scored 206 runs in six matches at an average of 41.20.
In August 2008, Kohli was included in the Indian ODI squad for tour of Sri Lanka and the Champions Trophy in Pakistan. Prior to the Sri Lankan tour, Kohli had played only eight List A matches, and his selection was called a "surprise call-up". However, the Champions Trophy was later postponed to 2009 and moved to South Africa. Kohli made his international debut in the first ODI of the Sri Lankan tour, when both first-choice openers Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag were injured. Kohli opened the batting in that match with Gautam Gambhir, and was dismissed for 12. In a low-scoring second match of the series, Kohli made a crucial 37 which helped India win and level the series. He scored 35 in the third game, and his first ODI half century, a score of 54, in the fourth match which helped India win the series. He top-scored for India in the last match of the series with 31, but India were bowled out for 103 chasing 228. India won the series 3-2 which was India's first ODI series win against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka.
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. He batted only once in the two-match series, and scored 49 in that innings. Later that month, he played for Delhi in the Nissar Trophy against SNGPL and top-scored for Delhi in both innings, with 52 and 197. The match was drawn but SNGPL won the trophy on first-innings lead. In October 2008, Kohli played for Indian Board President's XI in a four-day tour match against Australia. He made 105 and 16* in that match against a bowling lineup consisting of Brett Lee, Stuart Clark, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle and Jason Krejza.
He was included in the squad for the home ODI series against England in November 2008 but was not given a chance to play, due to the inclusion of Tendulkar and Sehwag in team. In December 2008, Kohli was given a Grade D contract in the annual BCCI contracts list which entitled him to receive Rs 15 lakh. Kohli was then dropped from the squad for the five-match ODI series in Sri Lanka against Sri Lanka in January 2009.
Kohli was picked in the four-team Emerging Players Tournament in July–August 2009 held in Australia. He opened the innings for India Emerging Players in that tournament and finished as the leading run-getter with 398 runs from seven matches at an average of 66.33. He scored 104 off 102 balls in the final against South Africa Emerging Players at Brisbane to help his team win the match by 17 runs and clinch the title. At the conclusion of the tournament, Kris Srikkanth, the chairman of the national selection committee, was impressed with Kohli and remarked "I must say, opener Virat Kohli was outstanding. Some of the shots he played spoke about his ability." Kohli has called this tournament as the "turning point" of his career.
Kohli was then chosen as a replacement for the injured Gautam Gambhir in the Indian squad for the tri-series in Sri Lanka. Kohli was not selected in the playing eleven in the group stage, but was picked for the final against Sri Lanka ahead of Dinesh Karthik. However, he came in to bat at 7 and scored 2* as India registered a 46-run victory and took the series. Kohli batted at number 4 for India in the 2009 ICC Champions Trophy because of the injury to Yuvraj Singh. He scored 16 in India's first match against Pakistan and did not bat in the second match which was called off. In the third game against the West Indies, he scored an unbeaten 79 in India's successful chase of 130 and won his first man of the match award. Kohli played in the first ODI of the seven-match home ODI series against Australia, and scored 30 as India lost by four runs. Yuvraj regained fitness before the second match and took Kohli's place in the playing eleven. Kohli returned to the team for the fourth ODI, this time replacing the injured Gambhir at 3. He scored 10 as India were bowled out for 226 in pursuit of 251. Gambhir recovered from his injury and took back his place for the rest of the series.
In the absence of the injured Yuvraj, Kohli got a place in the home ODI series against Sri Lanka in December 2009. He batted at 7 in the first ODI at Rajkot and scored 27 off 19 balls which helped India post 414/7 in 50 overs and win by three runs. He batted at 4 in second match and made 54, putting up fifty-run partnerships with both Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, in a three-wicket defeat. Kohli made way for Yuvraj who regained fitness in the third ODI. However, Yuvraj's finger injury recurred leading to him being ruled out indefinitely. Kohli returned to the team in the fourth ODI at Kolkata and scored his first ODI century–107 off 111 balls–sharing a 224-run partnership for the third wicket with Gambhir who made his personal best score of 150. India won by seven wickets to seal the series 3–1. The man of the match was awarded to Gambhir who gave the award to Kohli.
Senior batsman Sachin Tendulkar was rested for the tri-nation ODI tournament in Bangladesh in January 2010 which enabled Kohli to play in each of India's five matches. After making nine in the opening loss to Sri Lanka, he scored 91 to help secure a win after India collapsed to 51/3 early in their run-chase of 297 against Bangladesh on 7 January 2010. In the next match against Sri Lanka, Kohli ended unbeaten on 71 to help India win the match with a bonus point after they chased down their target of 214 in the 33rd over. The next day, he scored his second ODI century, against Bangladesh, bringing up the mark with the winning runs. He became only the third Indian batsman to score two ODI centuries before their 22nd birthday, after Tendulkar and Suresh Raina. Kohli was much praised for his performances during the series especially by the Indian captain Dhoni. However, in the final against Sri Lanka, Kohli made only two runs as India collapsed to 60/5 and an eventual four-wicket defeat. Kohli finished as the leading run-getter of the series with 275 runs from five innings at an average of 91.66. In the three-match ODI series at home against South Africa in February, Kohli batted in two games and had scores of 31 and 57.
Raina was named captain and Kohli vice-captain for the tri-series against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe in May–June 2010, as many first-choice players skipped the tour. India lost thrice in four matches, including two defeats at the hands of Zimbabwe, and crashed out of the series. Kohli made 168 runs at 42.00 including two fifties in the series. During the series, he became the fastest Indian batsman to reach 1,000 runs in ODI cricket. Kohli was also part of the Indian squad for the T20I series against Zimbabwe that followed the tri-series which India won 2–0. He made his T20I debut in the first match at Harare where India were reduced to 48/4 in the eighth over, chasing 112. Kohli scored an unbeaten 26 and put on an unbroken 64-run fifth-wicket partnership with Yusuf Pathan to guide India to their first win over Zimbabwe in the tour. Later that same month, the rested seniors players returned to the squad for the 2010 Asia Cup with Dhoni as captain and Sehwag vice-captain. Kohli batted at 3 throughout the tournament and scored a total of 67 runs at an average of 16.75. His struggles with form continued in the tri-series against Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Sri Lanka in August 2010 with scores of 0, 8 and 37.
Despite a poor run of form, Kohli was retained in the ODI squad for the three-match series against Australia in October. The first and third matches of the series were washed out and in the second match at Visakhapatnam, Kohli scored his third ODI century–118 off 121 balls–which helped India chase down the target of 290 after losing the openers early. He won the man of the match and admitted that he was under pressure to keep his place in the team after failures in the two previous series. In November–December that year, New Zealand toured India for three Tests and five ODIs and the selectors decided to rest some of the regular players for the ODI series. Gambhir was named captain of the team and Kohli maintained his place. In the first ODI at Guwahati, Kohli scored a 104-ball 105, his fourth ODI hundred and second in succession, in a 40-run victory and was awarded man of the match. In the second and third ODIs, he made 64 and 63* respectively, sharing 100-plus partnerships with Gambhir in both matches chasing. However, he had scores of 0 and 2 in the last two matches, while India completed a 5–0 whitewash of New Zealand. His performance in the series helped him become a regular in the ODI team as well as make him a strong contender for a spot in India's World Cup squad. He was India's leading run-scorer in ODIs in 2010, with 995 runs from 25 matches at an average of 47.38 with three centuries.
Kohli played in the one-match T20I series and all five ODIs of the South African tour in January 2011. India won the T20I in which he scored 28, but lost the ODI series 2–3. In the ODI series he finished as India's leading run-getter with 193 runs at an average of 48.25 including two fifties, both in Indian defeats. During the ODI series, India announced their 15-man squad for the World Cup in which Kohli was also named. Kohli also reached the number two spot on the ICC Rankings for ODI batsmen during the series.
The inclusion of both Kohli and Raina in the World Cup squad resulted in speculations about which of the two batsmen will make it to the playing eleven. Days before India's first match of the tournament, Indian captain Dhoni indicated that Kohli is likely to be preferred, saying "Right now it is a matter of deciding slots; it's the No. 4 slot where Virat Kohli needs to bat with Gautam [Gambhir] at No. 3, because to perform to his potential Virat needs to bat up the order. Raina has done well for us batting at No. 5 and No. 6, still there's a bit of a chance that Virat may get an edge over Raina seeing the current form that he [Kohli] is in."
Kohli played in every match of India's successful World Cup campaign. He scored an unbeaten 100, his fifth ODI century, in the first match against Bangladesh and became the first Indian batsman to score a century on World Cup debut. He struggled in the next four group matches with scores of 8, 34, 12 and 1 against England, Ireland, Netherlands and South Africa respectively. He returned to form against West Indies scoring 59 and sharing a 122-run third-wicket partnership with Yuvraj Singh. Against Australia in the quarterfinals, he scored 24, and was dismissed for 9 in the semifinal against Pakistan. India won both matches and progressed to the finals against Sri Lanka at Mumbai. In the final, he scored 35 and shared an 83-run partnership with Gambhir for the third wicket after India had lost both openers within the seventh over chasing 275. The partnership is regarded as "one of the turning points in the match". India went on to win the match by six wickets and lift the World Cup for the first time since 1983.
When India toured the West Indies in June–July 2011, they chose a largely inexperienced squad, resting Tendulkar and others such as Gambhir and Sehwag missing out due to injuries. Kohli was one of three uncapped players in the Test squad. India won the one-off T20I and the five-match ODI series 3–2. Kohli found success in the ODI series with a total of 199 runs at an average of 39.80. His best efforts came in the second ODI at Port of Spain where he won the man of the match for his score of 81 which gave India a seven-wicket victory, and the fifth ODI at Kingston where his innings of 94 came in a seven-wicket defeat. Kohli made his Test debut at Kingston in the first match of the Test series that followed. He batted at five and was dismissed for 4 and 15 caught behind by Fidel Edwards in both innings. India went on to win the Test series 1–0 but Kohli struggled throughout the series amassing just 76 runs from five innings. He struggled against the short ball and was particularly troubled by the fast bowling of Edwards, who dismissed him three times in the series.
Initially dropped from the Test squad for India's four-match series in England in July and August, Kohli was recalled as replacement for the injured Yuvraj Singh, though did not play in any match of the series. He found moderate success in the subsequent ODI series in which he averaged 38.80. 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. In the last game of the series, Kohli scored his sixth ODI hundred–107 runs off 93 balls– and shared a 170-run third-wicket partnership with Rahul Dravid, who was playing his last ODI, to help India post their first 300-plus total of the tour. Kohli was dismissed hit wicket in that innings off the bowling of Graeme Swann. His knock was the only century in the series by any player on both teams and earned him praise for his "hard work" and "maturity". However, England won the match by D/L method and the series 3–0.
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 including a hundred and a half-century. In the second match of the series at Delhi, he scored 112 not out from 98 balls and put on an unbroken 209-run partnership with Gambhir which helped India secure a comfortable eight-wicket victory. In the fourth ODI at Mumbai, Kohli struck an unbeaten 86 in another successful run-chase. In November–December 2011, the West Indies toured India for three Tests and five ODIs. Following his ODI success against England the previous month, Kohli was included, ahead of Raina, in the Test squad to face the West Indies. In competition with Yuvraj Singh for the number six position, it was not until the final match of the series that Kohli was selected in the team. He scored a pair of fifties in the match, passing his previous highest Test score of 30, and his knock of 52 in the first innings ensured India avoided follow-on. The match ended in a draw, and having won the first two Tests, India took the series 2–0. India won the subsequent ODI series 4–1 and Kohli managed to accumulate 243 runs at 60.75. 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 271, a knock which raised his reputation as "an expert of the chase". Kohli ended up as the leading run-getter in ODIs for the year 2011, with 1381 runs from 34 matches at 47.62 and four centuries.
Kohli was selected in India's Test squad for the tour of Australia in December 2011. The exclusion of Yuvraj from the Test squad meant that the number six position was a competition between Kohli and Rohit Sharma, who was yet to make his Test debut. Kohli top-scored with 132 in a tour match against Cricket Australia Chairman's XI and strengthened his case for a spot in the Boxing Day Test. Kohli was picked for the first Test at Melbourne, but his defensive technique was exposed in the match as he was dismissed for 11 in the first innings and a first-ball duck in the second, by Ben Hilfenhaus on both occasions. He struggled in the second Test at Sydney as well with scores of 24 and 9. While fielding on the boundary during the second day of the match, he gestured to the crowd with his middle finger for which he was fined 50% of his match fees by the match referee. Kohli responded to the incident on Twitter by posting: "i agree cricketers dont have to retaliate. what when the crowd says the worst things about your mother and sister. the worst ive heard" (sic). Kohli top-scored in each of India's innings in the third Test at Perth, with 44 and 75, even as India surrendered to their second consecutive innings defeat. In an interview after first day of the same match, he said that he felt his place in the team was in jeopardy after the failure in the first Test and added, "Scoring eight hundreds in one-day internationals can't be a fluke. It's international cricket as well. I don't know why people have been questioning my technique or temperament so much. [...] All of this is a learning curve for me. I am playing on difficult wickets, in Australia." In the fourth and final match at Adelaide, Kohli scored his maiden Test century of 116 runs in the first innings; it was the only century scored by an Indian in the series. India lost the series 4–0 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".
Following the Test series, India remained in Australia for a two match T20I series and the Commonwealth Bank triangular series featuring Australia and Sri Lanka apart from India. Kohli scored 22 and 31 in the T20I series that ended in a 1–1 draw. In the tri-series, Kohli top-scored with 31 in India's opening loss to Australia, before scoring 77 at Perth in the next match against Sri Lanka in a four-wicket win. In the next three matches, he had scores of 18, 15 and 12. He scored 66 against Sri Lanka at Brisbane where India lost by 51 runs. India suffered their fourth defeat of the series at the hands of Australia at Sydney in which he made 21. This loss meant that India needed a bonus point win their last group match against Sri Lanka at Hobart to stay in contention for qualifying for the finals series. Chasing 321 to win, 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. India earned a bonus point with the win and Kohli was named Man of the Match for his effort, which included scoring 24 runs in an over by Lasith Malinga. Former Australian cricketer and commentator, Dean Jones said that Kohli's innings "is up there with one of the greatest ODI knocks of all time". However, Sri Lanka beat Australia three days later in their last group fixture and knocked India out of the series. With 373 runs at 53.28, Kohli once again scored the only hundred by an Indian batsman and finished as India's highest run-scorer of the series.
Kohli was appointed the vice-captain for the 2012 Asia Cup in Bangladesh on the back of his fine performance in Australia. Kris Srikkanth, the chairman of selectors, told reporters, "Hats off to Virat Kohli for the way he played. We have to start looking towards the future. The selection committee and the Board felt Kohli is future captaincy material." Kohli was in fine form during the tournament, finishing as the leading run-scorer with 357 runs at an average of 119. He scored 108 in the opening match against Sri Lanka in a 50-run Indian victory, while India lost their next match to Bangladesh in which he made 66. In the final group stage match against Pakistan, he scored a personal best 183 off 148 balls, his 11th ODI century. Coming in at 0/1, he struck 22 fours and a six in his innings to take India to a record chase of 330. His knock was the highest individual score in Asia Cup history, the joint-second highest score in an ODI run-chase and the highest individual score against Pakistan in ODIs surpassing previous record of 156 by Brian Lara. Kohli was awarded the man of the match in both matches that India won, but India could not progress to the final of the tournament.
In July–August 2012, Sri Lanka hosted India for five ODIs and one T20I. Kohli struck two centuries during the ODI series–106 off 113 balls at Hambantota and 128* off 119 balls at Colombo–winning man of the match in both games. India won the series 4–1 and on account of scoring the most number of runs in the series, Kohli was named player of the series. In the one-off T20I, he scored a 48-ball 68, his first T20I fifty, and won the player of the series award. Kohli scored his second Test century at Bangalore during New Zealand's tour of India and won his first man of the match award in Test cricket. India won the two-match series 2–0, and Kohli averaged 106 with one hundred and two fifties from three innings. In the subsequent T20I series, he scored 70 runs off 41 balls, but India lost the match by one run and the series 1–0. He continued to be in good form during the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, with 185 runs from 5 matches at an average of 46.25. He hit two fifties during the tournament, 50 against Afghanistan in the group stage and 78* against Pakistan in the Super Eights, winning man of the match for both innings.
Kohli's Test form dipped during the first three matches of England's tour of India with a top score of 20 and England leading the series 2–1. He scored a patient 103 from 295 balls in the last match on a slow and low pitch at Nagpur, keeping India in contention of drawing the series. ESPNcricinfo praised Kohli for having "demonstrated his growing maturity to play just the sort of innings his side required", while Kohli described his knock as "a learning innings". However, the match ended in a draw and England won their first Test series in India in 28 years. India drew the following T20I series 1–1 in which Kohli had scores of 21 and 38. Before the five-match ODI series against England in January 2013, India hosted Pakistan for two T20Is and three ODIs. The T20I series was drawn 1–1 and Pakistan won the ODI series 2–1. Kohli struggled in both series, averaging 18 in the T20Is and 4.33 in the ODIs. Kohli was troubled by the fast bowlers, particularly Junaid Khan, who dismissed him on all three occasions in the ODI series. Kohli had a quiet ODI series against England, apart from a match-winning 77* in the third ODI at Ranchi, with a total of 155 runs at an average of 38.75.
Kohli scored his fourth Test century (107) at Chennai in the first match of the home Test series against Australia in February 2013. He said he was "feeling hungry for this series" after a poor run of form in the two previous series and also disappointed on getting out soon after reaching the hundred-run mark. He followed that innings with scores of 34, 67*, 34, 1 and 41 in the next three matches. India completed a 4–0 whitewash, becoming the first team to whitewash Australia in more than four decades. Kohli averaged 56.80 in the series and cemented his spot in the Test team.
In June 2013, Kohli featured in the ICC Champions Trophy in England which India won. He scored a match-winning 144 against Sri Lanka in a warm-up match. He was dismissed for 34 in India's opening match of the tournament against South Africa, trying to pull a short ball from Lonwabo Tsotsobe, and 22 in the next match against the West Indies by Sunil Narine. He remained unbeaten at 22 in India's final group match against Pakistan, while India qualified for the semifinals with an undefeated record. In the semifinal against Sri Lanka at Cardiff, he struck 58 not out in an eight-wicket win for India. 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 balls, sharing a vital sixth-wicket partnership of 47 runs off 33 balls with Ravindra Jadeja, to help India reach 129/7 in 20 overs. India went on to secure a five-run win and their second consecutive ICC ODI tournament victory.
After Dhoni injured himself while batting during the first ODI of the triangular series in West Indies against the West Indies, Kohli stood-in as the captain for the rest of the match. India lost the match by one wicket, and Kohli defended his tactics of setting attacking fields throughout the match. Dhoni was subsequently ruled out of the series and Kohli was named captain for the remaining matches. Kohli led India for the first time in India's next match against Sri Lanka at Kingston. He scored 2 as India lost the match by 161 runs. In his second match as captain, Kohli scored his first hundred as captain, scoring 102 off 83 balls against the West Indies at Port of Spain in a bonus point win for India. India earned another bonus point win in their next match against Sri Lanka and, having topped the points table, qualified for the final against the same opposition. Dhoni recovered from his injury before the final and returned to the team as captain. Kohli was dismissed for 2 in that match, but India went on to register a one-wicket victory. Many senior players including Dhoni were rested for the five-match ODI tour of Zimbabwe in July 2013, with Kohli being appointed captain for an entire series for the first time. 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. He batted on two more occasions in the series in which he had scores of 14 and 58 not out. India completed a 5–0 sweep of the series; their first in an away ODI series.
Kohli was in sublime form in the seven-match ODI series against Australia. After top-scoring with 61 in the opening loss at Pune, 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 second-wicket partnership with Rohit Sharma that came in 17.2 overs, Kohli's innings of 100 not out helped India chase down the target of 360 for the loss of one wicket with more than six overs to spare. This chase was the second-highest successful run-chase in ODI cricket, while Kohli's knock became the fastest hundred against Australia and the third-fastest in a run-chase. He followed that innings with 68 in the next match at Mohali in another Indian defeat, before the next two matches were washed out by rain. 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 and won the man of the match. He reached the 100-run mark in 61 balls, making it the third-fastest ODI century by an Indian batsman, and also became the fastest batsman in the world to score 17 hundreds in ODI cricket. India clinched the series after winning the last match in which he was run out for a duck. 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.
He batted twice in the two-match Test series against West Indies, and had scores of 3 and 57 being dismissed by Shane Shillingford in both innings. This was also the last Test series for Tendulkar and Kohli was expected to take Tendulkar's number four batting position after the series. 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. During the match, he also equaled Viv Richards' record of becoming the fastest batsman to make 5,000 runs in ODI cricket, reaching the landmark in his 114th innings. Kohli said of the record, "To equal a feat with a player like him [Richards] is a very good feeling but it does not stop here because it is more or less the beginning. I am only 25. It is nice to equal his record but still there is a long way to go." He missed out on his third century at Visakhapatnam in the next match, after being dismissed for 99 playing a hook shot off Ravi Rampaul. India lost the match by two wickets, but took the series 2–1 after winning the last match at Kanpur. With 204 runs at 68.00, Kohli finished the series as the leading run-getter and was awarded the man of the series.
India toured South Africa in December 2013 for three ODIs and two Tests. Kohli averaged 15.50 in the ODIs, including a duck. In the first Test at Johannesburg, playing his first Test in South Africa and batting at 4 for the first time, Kohli scored 119 and 96. His hundred was the first by a subcontinent batsman at the venue since 1998. Regarding Kohli's hundred, South Africa bowling coach Allan Donald said, "The one word that comes to my mind is responsibility. I think he [Kohli] showed great discipline and responsibility. It reminds me of Sachin Tendulkar when they came here in 1996." The match ended in a draw, and Kohli was awarded man of the match. India failed to win a single match on the tour, losing the second Test by 10 wickets in which he made 46 and 11.
Kohli continued to amass runs on the subsequent New Zealand tour. He averaged 58.21 in the five-match ODI series in which his efforts of 111-ball 123 at Napier, 65-ball 78 at Hamilton and 78-ball 82 at Wellington all went in vain as India were defeated 4–0. He made 214 runs at 71.33 in the two-match Test series that followed including an unbeaten 105 on the last day of the second Test at Wellington that helped India save the match.
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 captain for the tournament. 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. It was his 19th ODI century and his fifth in Bangladesh, making him the batsman with most ODI centuries in Bangladesh. India narrowly lost the next two matches to Sri Lanka and Pakistan, with Kohli scoring 48 and 5. India were knocked out of the tournament even before their eight-wicket win over Afghanistan, in which Kohli did not bat.
Dhoni returned to the team as captain for 2014 ICC World Twenty20 and Kohli was named vice-captain. In India's opening match of the tournament against Pakistan, Kohli top-scored with 36 not out to guide India to a seven-wicket win. He scored 54 off 41 balls in the next game against West Indies and an unbeaten 57 from 50 balls against Bangladesh, both in successful run-chases. He was dismissed for 23 against Australia but India won the match, topped the group and qualified for the semifinals against South Africa. In the semifinal, he made an unbeaten 72 in just 44 balls to help India achieve the target of 173 with six wickets and five balls to spare. He won the man of the match for this knock which he has called "my best T20 innings". India posted 130/4 in the final against Sri Lanka, in which Kohli scored 77 from 58 balls, and eventually lost the match by six wickets. Kohli had 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, for which he won the Man of the Tournament award.
Kohli and other senior players were rested for India's tour of Bangladesh ahead of the England tour. India conceded a 3–1 defeat in the five-match Test series against England despite leading the series 1–0 after the first two Tests. Kohli fared poorly in the series averaging just 13.40 in 10 innings with a top score of 39. He was dismissed for single-digit scores on six occasions in the series and was particularly susceptible to the swinging ball on off stump line, being dismissed several times edging the ball to the wicket-keeper or slip fielders. Man of the series James Anderson had got Kohli's wicket four times, while Kohli's batting technique was questioned by analysts and former cricketers. Geoffrey Boycott said, "Jimmy Anderson ate him for breakfast. Every time Kohli came in, all he did was bowl at off stump, around the corridor of uncertainty and Kohli nicked it. He is playing with his bat too far away from his pad. He has to look at video replays of his technique and get back to basics". India won the ODI series that followed 3–1, but Kohli's struggles with the bat continued with an average of 18 in four innings. In the one-off T20I, he scored 41-ball 66, his first fifty-plus score of the tour on the last match of the tour. India lost the match by three runs, but Kohli reached the number one spot for T20I batsmen in the ICC rankings.
Kohli had a successful time when West Indies toured India in October 2014. After being dismissed for 2 in the first ODI, Kohli scored 62 in the next match at Delhi. It was his first fifty across Tests and ODIs in 16 innings since February, and he stated that he got his "confidence back" with the innings. He struck his 20th ODI hundred–127 runs in 114 balls–in the fourth match at Dharamsala. India registered a 59-run victory and Kohli was awarded man of the match. The tour was cancelled after the fourth ODI due to a pay dispute between the West Indies players and their board, giving India a 2–1 series win.
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 made scores of 22, 49, 53 and 66 in the first four ODIs, with India leading the series 4–0. In the fifth ODI at Ranchi, Kohli came in to bat with India at 14/2 in pursuit of 287. He made an unbeaten 139 off 126 balls, sharing 136 runs for the third wicket with Ambati Rayudu and an unbroken 57-run eighth wicket stand with Axar Patel, to give his team a three-wicket win and a whitewash of Sri Lanka. Kohli was awarded player of the series, and it was the second whitewash under his captaincy. During the series he became the fastest batsman in the world to go past the 6000-run mark in ODIs. 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.
For the first Test of the Australian tour, 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. Kohli scored 115 in India's first innings, becoming the fourth Indian to score a hundred on Test captaincy debut. In their second innings, India were set a target of 364 to be scored on the fifth day. Kohli came in to bat when the Indian innings was reduced to 57/2 and started batting aggressively. He put on 185 runs for the third wicket with M Vijay before Vijay's dismissal, which triggered a batting collapse. From 242/2, India were bowled out for 315 with Kohli's 141 off 175 balls being the top score. Kohli noted that his team was looking for a win and not a draw, while also saying that it was "the best Test I have been part of". Kohli's second innings ton was hailed by several Australian commentators as the finest fourth-innings performance they had ever seen in Australia.
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. In the Melbourne Boxing Day Test, Kohli was India's top-scorer in both innings. He made his personal best Test score of 169 in the first innings while sharing a 262-run partnership with Rahane, India's biggest partnership outside Asia in ten years. Kohli followed it with a resilient 54 in India's second innings on the fifth day, helping India draw the Test match. 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. Captaining the Test team for the second time, Kohli hit 147 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. He was dismissed for 46 in the second innings and India hung in for another draw. Kohli's total of 692 runs in four Tests was the most by any Indian batsman in a Test series in Australia.
In January 2015, India failed to win a single match in the tri-nation ODI series against the hosts Australia and England. Kohli was unable to replicate his Test success in ODIs, failing to make a two-digit score in any of the four games. Kohli's ODI form did not improve in the lead-up to the World Cup, with scores of 18 and 5 in the warmup matches against Australia and Afghanistan respectively.
In the first match of the World Cup against Pakistan at Adelaide, Kohli hit 107 in 126 balls, sharing 100-plus partnerships with both Dhawan and Raina, to help India set a total of 300 and win the match by 76 runs. For his knock he was awarded the man of the match award, his 20th in ODIs and first in a World Cup match. He was dismissed for 46 in India's second match against South Africa after another century stand with opening batsman Dhawan. India went on to post 307 in 50 overs and register a 130-run victory in that match. India batted second in their remaining four group matches in which Kohli scored 33*, 33, 44* and 38 against UAE, West Indies, Ireland and Zimbabwe respectively. India went on to secure wins in these four fixtures and top the Pool B points with an undefeated record. In India's quarterfinal match against Bangladesh, Kohli was dismissed edging the ball to the wicket-keeper by Rubel Hossain for 3. India recorded a 109-run victory and qualified for the semifinal. India were eliminated in the semifinal by Australia at Melbourne, where Kohli was dismissed for 1 off 13 balls, top-edging a short ball from Mitchell Johnson.
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. He was rested along with many other first-choice players for the Zimbabwe tour the following month.
In March 2008, Kohli was bought on a youth contract by the Indian Premier League franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore for $30,000. He had an indifferent 2008 season, with a total of 165 runs in 12 innings at an average of 15.00 and a strike rate of 105.09. He fared slightly better in the second season in which he made a total of 246 runs at 22.36, striking at over 112, while his team made it as far as the final. In the 2010 season, Kohli was the third highest run-getter for his team with 307 runs, averaging 27.90 and improving his strike rate to 144.81.
Ahead of the 2011 season, Kohli was the only player retained by the Royal Challengers franchise. Kohli was made vice-captain of the team that year and also captained the team in a few matches when the regular skipper Daniel Vettori was injured. The Royal Challengers coach Ray Jennings opined that the 22-year-old would become the future captain of not only the franchise but also the Indian team. Kohli was the second-highest run-getter of the season, only behind teammate Chris Gayle, and his team finished as runners-up of the IPL. Kohli accumulated a total of 557 runs at an average of 46.41 and a strike rate of over 121 including four fifties. In the 2012 IPL, he was moderately successful, averaging 28 for his 364 runs.
After Vettori's retirement, Kohli was appointed as the team's captain for the 2013 season. The Royal Challengers finished fifth on the league table that year, but Kohli found success with the bat. Averaging 45.28, he hit a total of 634 runs at a strike rate of over 138 including six fifties and a top-score of 99 and finished as the season's third-highest run-scorer. Bangalore finished seventh in the next season in which Kohli made 359 runs at 27.61. He was in sublime form during the 2015 IPL in which he led his team to the playoffs. He finished fifth on the season's leading run-getters list with 505 runs at an average of 45.90 and a strike rate of more than 130.
Kohli is a naturally aggressive batsman with strong technical skills. He usually bats in the middle-order, but, on many occasions, has opened the innings as well. He bats with a slightly open-chested stance and is said to have quick footwork. He is known for his wide range of shots, ability to pace an innings and batting under pressure. He is strong through the mid-wicket and cover region. He has said that the cover drive is his favorite shot, while also saying that the flick shot comes naturally to him. He does not play the sweep shot often, being called "not a natural sweeper of the cricket ball". His teammates have praised his confidence, commitment, focus and work ethics. Kohli is also known to be a "sharp" fielder.
Kohli is regarded as one of the best limited-overs batsmen in the world, especially while chasing. In ODIs, he averages more than 62 in matches batting second as opposed to over 37 batting first. 14 of his 22 hundreds have come in run-chases, only three fewer than Sachin Tendulkar who holds the record for most hundreds batting second. Regarding his impressive record batting second, Kohli has said "I love the whole situation that comes with chasing. I like the challenge of testing myself, figuring out how to rotate strike, when to hit a boundary."
Kohli is often compared to Tendulkar, due to their similar styles of batting, and is sometimes referred to as Tendulkar's "successor". Many former cricketers expect Kohli to break Tendulkar's batting records. Former West Indies great Vivian Richards, who is regarded as the most destructive batsman in cricket, stated that Kohli reminds him of himself. In early-2015, Richards said Kohli was "already legendary" in the ODI format, while former Australian cricketer Dean Jones called Kohli the "new king of world cricket".
Kohli is noted for his on-field aggression and was described in the media as "brash" and "arrogant" during his early career. He has got into confrontations with players and umpires on several occasions in his career. His aggressive attitude has been backed by many former cricketers, while some have criticised it. In 2012, Kohli had stated that he tries to limit his aggressive behavior but "the build-up and the pressure or the special occasions make it tough to control the aggression."
According to Kohli, football is his second favourite sport. In 2014, Kohli became a co-owner of Indian Super League club FC Goa. He stated that he invested in the club with the "keenness of football" and because he "wanted football to grow in India". He added, "It is also a business venture that I am looking at for the future. Cricket is not going to last forever so, whenever I am done, whenever I retire, I am keeping all my options open."
In November 2014, Kohli and Anjana Reddy's Universal Sportsbiz (USPL) launched a youth fashion brand 'WROGN'. The brand is set to produce men's casual wear clothing in 2015 and has tied up with Myntra and Shopper's Stop.
In 2015, Kohli invested ₹90 crore to start a chain of gyms and fitness centres across the country. Launched under the name "Chisel", the chain of gyms is jointly owned by Kohli, Chisel India and CSE (Cornerstone Sport and Entertainment), the agency which manages Kohli's commercial interests.
Kohli was signed up by sports agent Bunty Sajdeh of Cornerstone Sport and Entertainment after the 2008 Under-19 World Cup. Sajdeh recalls, "I didn’t go after them after they became stars. In fact, I watched Virat at the 2008 ICC Under-19 World Cup in Kuala Lumpur. I was mighty impressed with his attitude and the way he was marshalling his team. He had that spark. And I told Yuvi to set up the meeting." Sajdeh manages Kohli's endorsement deals, along with those of other Indian cricketers Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Murali Vijay. Kohli currently has brand endorsements worth over ₹100 crore. His bat deal with MRF is said to be the costliest deal in Indian cricket history. He was also reportedly offered ₹100 crore for a ten-year deal by an apparel brand. In 2014, the UK-based magazine SportsPro rated Kohli as the second most marketable athlete in the world behind only Lewis Hamilton, placing him above the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Usain Bolt.
As of January 2015, Kohli has endorsements with 11 brands: PepsiCo, Boost, Munch (from Nestle), Clear hair care (Unilever), Royal Challenge (from United Spirits), Adidas, MRF, Mattel, Oakley, TVS Motors and Vicks. The brands Kohli previously had endorsements with include Fastrack (from Titan), Sangam Suitings, Fair and Lovely, Herbalife, Flying Machine, Red Chief Shoes, Toyota Motors, Celkon Mobiles, Cinthol (from Godrej) and 3C Company.
In March 2013, Kohli started a charity foundation called 'Virat Kohli Foundation' (VKF). The organisation aims at helping underprivileged kids and conducts events to raise funds for the charity. According to Kohli, the foundation works with select NGOs to "create awareness, seek support and raise funds for the various causes they endorse and the philanthropic work they engage in." In May 2014, eBay and Save the Children India conducted a charity auction with VKF, and directed the funds generated towards the education and healthcare of underprivileged children.
|1||New Zealand||M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore||31 August–3 September 2012||1st innings: 103 (193 balls: 14x4 1x6)
2nd innings: 51 (82 balls: 9x4)
|2||South Africa||New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg||18–22 December 2013||1st innings: 119 (181 balls: 18x4)
2nd innings: 96 (193 balls: 9x4)
|1||West Indies||Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg||30 September 2009||79* (104 balls: 9x4, 2x6)||Won|||
|2||Bangladesh||Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Dhaka||11 January 2010||102* (95 balls: 11x4); 1 catch||Won|||
|3||Australia||APCA-VDCA Stadium, Vishakapatnam||20 October 2010||118 (121 balls: 11x4, 1x6)||Won|||
|4||New Zealand||Nehru Stadium, Guwahati, Guwahati||28 November 2010||105 (104 balls: 10x4)||Won|||
|5||West Indies||Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain||8 June 2011||81 (103 balls: 6x4, 1x6)||Won|||
|6||England||Feroz Shah Kotla Ground, Delhi||17 October 2011||112* (98 balls: 16x4); 2 catches||Won|||
|7||West Indies||APCA-VDCA Stadium, Vishakapatnam||2 December 2011||117 (123 balls: 14x4)||Won|||
|8||Sri Lanka||Bellerive Oval, Hobart||28 February 2012||133* (86 balls: 16x4 2x6)||Won|||
|9||Sri Lanka||Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Dhaka||13 March 2012||108 (120 balls: 7x4); 2 catches||Won|||
|10||Pakistan||Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Dhaka||18 March 2012||183 (148 balls: 22x4 1x6); 2 catches||Won|||
|11||Sri Lanka||Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Hambantota||21 July 2012||106 (113 balls: 9x4); 1 catch||Won|||
|12||Sri Lanka||R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo||31 July 2012||128* (119 balls: 12x4 1x6); 1 catch||Won|||
|13||England||JSCA International Cricket Stadium, Ranchi||19 January 2013||77* (79 balls: 9x4 2x6)||Won|||
|14||West Indies||Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain||5 July 2013||102 (83 balls: 13x4, 2x6)||Won|||
|15||Zimbabwe||Harare Sports Club, Harare||24 July 2013||115 (108 balls: 13x4, 1x6)||Won|||
|16||Australia||Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Nagpur||30 October 2013||115* (66 balls: 18x4, 1x6); 2 catches||Won|||
|17||West Indies||Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi||21 November 2013||86 (84 balls: 9x4, 2x6)||Won|||
|18||Bangladesh||Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium, Fatullah||26 February 2014||136 (122 balls: 16x4, 2x6)||Won|||
|19||West Indies||Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala||17 October 2014||127 (114 balls: 13x4, 3x6)||Won|||
|20||Pakistan||Adelaide Oval, Adelaide||15 February 2015||107 (126 balls: 8x4)||Won|||
|1||South Africa||Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Dhaka||4 April 2014||72* (44 balls: 5x4, 2x6)||Won|||
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|ICC ODI Player of the Year
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
|Indian national Test cricket captain