Who is the King of Cricket? For some, it could be Sachin Tendulkar, while for others, it could be Brian Lara. Some of you might regard Sir Donald Bradman, Sunil Gavaskar, Courtney Walsh, or Shane Warne as the King of cricket. As there is no official title for “The King of Cricket”, the floor is always open for debate. So, feel free to comment and give your views on who is the king of cricket.
In modern-day, India’s former cricket captain and country’s favorite celebrity, Virat Kohli, is the king of cricket. Let us understand why Virat Kohli is called the King of Cricket.
Why is Virat Kohli called King of Cricket?
Since Virat Kohli established himself as the best batsman in modern cricket, he is known as “King Kohli.” He is the fastest cricketer to tally 12000 runs in ODI cricket, surpassing Sachin Tendulkar’s tally. He ranks 2nd in the ODI batting, the most recent ranking surpassing Brian Lara, Sunil Gavaskar, Courtney Walsh, and Shane Warne.
Virat Kohli has broken the record for the most 150+ scores in tests as a captain. He surpasses the record of Don Bradman, the greatest batsman, with a 99.94 batting average in test cricket. The total test runs as of June 20, 2022, for Virat Kohli stands as 8043, whereas, for Don Bradman, it is 6996.
The numbers only get better in the T20 format for Kohli. He has the most “Man of the Series” awards in T20I cricket. He has the highest career batting average at 51.5. Here are the career batting average stats for the top cricket players:
*As of June 20th, 2022.
Apart from numbers, Virat Kohli surpasses top crickets in terms of fame and popularity. He is the first international cricketer to cross 100 million followers on the social media platform. In fact, he is the only cricketer in the top 5 who occupied the third spot. He is one of the three Indian cricketers selected for the nation’s A+ contract, which guarantees an annual salary of $1 million in 2020.
Now that we have established that Virat Kohli is undoubtedly the modern-day King of cricket let’s look at how he rose to fame.
The Journey to becoming the King of Cricket
Born to Prem and Saroj Kohli in Delhi on November 5, 1988, this icon started showing his interest in the game from age three. The prodigy was the youngest amongst three siblings, including a brother and a sister. In 1998, Virat and his brother Vikas joined the West Delhi Cricket Academy and got coached by Rajkumar Sharma. Despite being the youngest, his enthusiasm and passion for cricket made him stand out amongst 250 other kids.
Early career graph
Virat Kholi played a tournament at the Delhi Development’s Authority Sports Complex ground in Harinagar under his coach, Rajkumar Sharma, and became the tournament’s highest run-getter. He was awarded the ‘Player of the Tournament’ by Ashish Nehra, who returned after his remarkable performance in the 2003 World Cup. Virat was merely 13 years old then. His career was just propelled from that point, and there was no looking back.
- He first played professional cricket when he represented the Delhi under-15 teams in the Polly Umrigar Trophy in October 2002. In the following season, he was assigned the captaincy.
- In 2003-04, he played under-17 Vijay Merchant Trophy for Delhi, finishing as the top run-scorer.
- He debuted in List A in February 2006 for Delhi and played against the Services Cricket Team but did not get to bat for the match. Later, he played in Delhi’s Ranji Team in November 2006 against Tamil Nadu but could only score 10 runs in the innings.
- In the same year, the under-19 Indian team named him in the squad for the tour of England, and he averaged 105 runs in the three ODIs and 49 runs in the test series.
Rise of the Legend
In 2006, while he was in a rampant form, he lost his father due to a heart stroke. He had to play against Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy the same day. He played the match, contributed 90 valuable runs, and left the stadium as soon as he got out to attend the funeral. As overwhelming and empathetic as this incident sounds, many consider it one of the foundation stones of Virat’s glamourous career.
- The burden of national captaincy never limited Virat’s efficiency. It only drew the best out of him, as he demonstrated when he led the under-19 team for the 2008 World Cup in Malaysia. He finished as the third-highest run-getter of the tournament, and under his captaincy, India won the World Cup 2008. He scored crucial 43 runs, took 2 wickets in the final game against New Zealand, and was eventually awarded the ‘Man of the Match.’
- Following his performance in the under-19 World Cup, Royal Challengers Bangalore bought him for $30,000 in the newly inaugurated Indian Premier League. 2008 may not be his best IPL season, but gradually he enlisted himself in the big boys club by becoming the third-highest run-getter for the team in 2010 and second-highest run-getter in the 2011 edition.
- The King of cricket was introduced as one of the finest finishers with his brief but essential innings in the 2011 World Cup Finals against Sri Lanka and then playing a flamboyant knock against arch-rivals Pakistan in Asia Cup, 2012. He achieved the highest individual score for India at the time by chasing 330, making it India’s highest run chase.
- In the Commonwealth Bank 2011-12 series, a must-win match was to be played between India and Sri Lanka, where Sri Lanka batted first, scoring a humongous score of 323, but Kohli had other plans that day. To take India to the target, he scored 133, not out, off 86 deliveries. India won the match with 13 overs to spare. It is noteworthy that Dean Jones, the former Australian cricketer, and commentator, called the innings ‘One of the greatest knocks of ODI cricket’.
A Rocky Road in the King’s Career
The most significant dip in the King’s Kholi career was the 2014 tour to England, where he was exposed to the off-swinging delivery outside the off-stump. With an average of 13.4 runs in 10 innings, the analysts and veterans started to question the technique and the skills of King Kohli. Furthermore, India lost the series by 3-1, with Kohli scoring 134 in the series. He still considers it the worst phase of his cricketing career but iterates that he has learned a lot throughout the period.
However, the King of cricket proved himself once again in the land of Kangaroos. Australia is considered the most brutal battleground for a touring team because of the killer instinct of the Australians. Amidst all the controversies and fights and brawls on the ground, Kohli took his revenge when he played them in 2014-15. This was the first time he was assigned captaincy because of the injury of the then-test Captain MS Dhoni. Kohli scored 692 runs, the highest by any Indian batsman in test cricket in Australia. In the same series, ahead of the fourth test in Sydney, Mahendra Singh Dhoni retired from the test series, and Kohli was selected as the full-time test Captain.
In 2016, Kohli broke the record of the highest runs in a season by scoring 973 runs in 16 matches with 4 centuries. That is when his career reached its peak.
King of Cricket – Recent Stats
- Often called one of the most handsome eligible bachelors in India, Virat Kohli married Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma on December 11, 2017, in Florence, Italy. The couple became parents to a daughter on January 11, 2021.
- In an Instagram post in September 2021, Virat Kohli announced that he would step down as the Captain of the Indian T20 team post the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
- In December of the same year, Kohli also stepped down from the ODI captaincy, and Rohit Sharma was selected as the new Captain of the Indian Team.
- Kohli decided to step down from the captaincy after the 2-1 loss to South Africa in the test series in January 2022.
The King of Cricket – Stats
Take a look at Virat Kohli’s Career averages below:
|Batting & Fielding||Test||ODI||T20||T20I|
Glaring achievements and awards
In 2013, Kohli received the prestigious Arjuna Award. He was awarded Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian award, in 2017. In 2018, he was given India’s highest sporting honor, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. Other awards include:
- Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy
- Polly Umrigar Award
- ICC ODI player of the year
- Men’s ODI cricketer of the decade (ICC)
- ICC Test player of the year
- ICC Spirit of cricket
- Wisden Leading Cricketer in the world and others
India is famous for producing several world-class cricketers and batsmen. When it comes to batting, people tend to compare Virat Kohli with the Master Blaster, and when it comes to captaincy, they end up drawing a comparison between Virat Kholi and MS Dhoni. However, his enticing personality, on-field aggression, and passion for the game make him stand out from the rest. That’s probably why Virat Kholi is referred to as the ‘King’ by everyone- from legends to young aspirants alike.
Who is the King of Cricket – FAQs
Virat Kohli is called the King of batting as he has scored over 23,000 runs across all three formats of international cricket.
He made his one-day debut on August 18, 2008, against Sri Lanka.
The Indian cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar is known as the God of cricket. Take a look at this article to know why.
Sachin Tendulkar is the richest cricketer in India. Take a look at the top 50 richest cricketers in the world here.