Despite World Cup Disappointment, 2019 Has Been A Great Year For Birthday Boy Virat Kohli
The captain of the Indian cricket team, Virat Kohli turns 31 today and while he is on a private vacation in Bhutan with wife Anushka Sharma, where they will be celebrating his birthday, we, the fans of the cricketer take a look back at how phenominal a year 2019 has been for the skipper.
Kohli's journey towards completing his 31st birth anniversary began on a historic note when the Delhi-born became the first Indian skipper to have won a Test series against Australia on their home turf. While the Aussies managed to win the second Test, Team India won the first and third red-ball matches to bring home the victory at the end of the Border-Gavaskar Cup as the fourth and final match ended in a draw.
A couple of weeks later, Kohli crossed another point from his team's 'To-Do' list when his side defeated Aaron Finch's men for the very first time in a bilateral ODI series.
Team India beat Australia by 7 wickets. First ever Test and ODI (bilateral) series win for India in Australia. Historic Tour comes to an end. So much positives for team India. 🙌👍🇮🇳 #INDvAUS#AUSvIND— Sir Jadeja fan (@SirJadeja) January 18, 2019
By the end of January, Kohli had not only humbled the men from Down Under in the longer formats of the game, he had also dominated the International Cricket Council (ICC) Awards. He became the first cricketer in the history of the game to all three major ICC awards in a single year.
He was named the Men's Cricketer of the Year as well as the Test and ODI Cricketer of the Year and the competition was nowhere near for the top-order batsman.
ICC Men's Cricketer of the Year ✅— ICC (@ICC) January 22, 2019
ICC Men's Test Cricketer of the Year ✅
ICC Men's ODI Cricketer of the Year ✅
Captain of ICC Test Team of the Year ✅
Captain of ICC Men's ODI Team of the Year ✅
Let's hear from the man himself, @imvKohli! #ICCAwards 🏆 pic.twitter.com/3M2pxyC44n
In February, Kohli went on to become the first and only batsman to score 2500-plus runs in a single ground when he played a blistering 72 off 38 balls innings during the second T20I match against Australia at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru. As the captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore, the stadium is a home ground for the cricketer where he has scored three centuries as well.
March saw the cricketer score his 40th ODI ton which placed him just second to Indian master blaster Sachin Tendulkar. The 116-run innings against Australia also made him the fastest captain to score 9000 runs and made him the only cricketer in the world to score seven or more centuries against three countries: Sri Lanka (8), West Indies (7) and Australia (7).
Virat Kohli now the fastest to reach— Broken Cricket (@BrokenCricket) March 5, 2019
in International cricket as a captain
While during the ICC World Cup 2019 that began in May and went on till mid July, Virat Kohli made and broke numerous records, the most important and iconic one would have to be when he surpassed Tendulkar and Windies legend Brian Lara to become the fastest cricketer to score 20,000 runs in all formats of the game.
In June, the Indian cricketer also made it to the Forbes list of the world's highest-paid athletes. Ranked 100th on the list with an annual salary of $4 million and endorsements worth $21 million, Kohli was the only cricketer and the only Indian to make an appearance in the famous Forbes catalogue.
The World's Highest-Paid Athletes 2019— World Index (@theworldindex) September 19, 2019
1.🇦🇷 Lionel Messi: $127m
2.🇵🇹 Cristiano Ronaldo: $109m
3.🇧🇷 Neymar: $105m
5.🇨🇭 Roger Federer: $93m
8.🇺🇸 LeBron James: $89m
11.🇺🇸 Tiger Woods: $63.9m
13.🇬🇧 Lewis Hamilton: $55m
98.🇪🇬 Mohamed Salah: $25.1m
100.🇮🇳 Virat Kohli: $25m
During the second ODI against the West Indies host in August, Kohli walked in and slammed 120 runs, thereby shattering a 26-year-old record which was previously held by Pakistan's Javed Miandad for most ODI runs for any batsman in the world against the West Indies. What is also interesting that while Miandad took 64 innings to achieve this feat, Kohli did it in just 34 games.
In September, the Indian captain surpassed the interim captain and white-ball opener for the Men In Blue, Rohit Sharma in becoming the highest run scorer in T20 Internationals. During the second T20I match against the Proteas, Kohli slammed an unbeaten 74 off 52 deliveries. In total, Kohli went on to make 2441 runs in 71 games, while Sharma had made 2434 runs in 97 innings.
Most runs in T20 Internationals— Deepu Narayanan (@deeputalks) September 18, 2019
2441 Virat Kohli *
2434 Rohit Sharma
2283 Martin Guptill
2263 Shoaib Malik
2140 Brendon McCullum#INDvSA
The now 31-year-old also outdid the timeless 'Don' of cricket, Don Bradman when he set the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium ablaze and struck an unbeaten 254 off his bat during the second Test against Faf du Plessis' side and became the captain with the most number of 150-plus individual scores in the history of the game, even more than the Australian himself.
While November has just begun and Kohli is currently out of action, it is yet to be seen what sorts of records will the cricketer make or break this month. Nonetheless, there is no doubt in saying that Virat Kohli is the finest batsman this game has ever seen. His technicality, consistency and the ability to perform under pressure don't just make him a brilliant cricketer but an elite class athlete.