From 2010 to 2019, Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli went on to dominate the sport. He was at his absolute best and scripted a flurry of records over time across formats. The 31-year-old grew as a cricketer and was also given the Test captaincy reins in 2014 after MS Dhoni decided to take a call on his career. And then Kohli was also handed over the limited-overs captaincy role with Dhoni playing under him.
From being a champion batsman to transforming himself into an able leader, Kohli was the cynosure of all eyes. One felt that the cricketer took over the mantle from Sachin Tendulkar, who dominated the sport in the 2000s. When you look at the Indian skipper, he has set himself well across Tests, ODIs and T20Is with equal panache.
That makes the player a complete batsman and one should credit him for working hard to rule the circuit with so much ease. Kohli, who is considered as the cricket version of Cristiano Ronaldo, has bossed the game in this decade.
To look back, the Indian cricketer made his T20I debut in 2010 and marked his maiden Test appearance in 2011. However, in ODIs, he had made his debut in the year 2008. Notably, the batsman stamped his authority in this decade in the ODIs. This has been a decade that belonged to the present Indian captain in many ways. In this article, we analyse how.
Kohli was a step above the rest in ODI cricket
The aggressive batsman, who has played 242 career ODIs, featured in a total of 227 matches in this decade. And he set himself aside to conquer the field in the 50-over format. When you look at his stats, the amazing batsman amassed the most runs (11,125) and registered the most hundreds and fifties (42 and 52) respectively.
Kohli averaged a staggering 60.79 with a best of 183 against Pakistan. That knock is still regarded as one of the greatest in ODI history. Not just that, the player also went on to slam the most fours (1,038). He also hit 115 sixes as well. The 31-year-old cricketer is one of the most fittest personalities and an excellent fielder. He accounted for the most catches as a fielder (117).
Fitness sees Kohli hardly miss out through injuries. And that saw him feature in the most ODI games (227) in this decade. No wonder, he is regarded as one of the best ODI batsmen ever to have played the game. He is set to surpass Tendulkar next for the most number of ODI centuries.
He also finished with the most ODI runs in four calendar years in this decade.
Kohli amongst the elite in Test cricket in this decade
In the 2010s, the rising talent made his mark in Test cricket after being handed a chance in 2011. He went on to quickly stamp his authority and ended as the third-highest run-scorer in Tests in the 2010s. Interestingly, the Indian batsman rubbed his shoulders with the elite in this period to have dictated the show in the longest format.
Former England skipper Alastair Cook (8,818) was the top run-scorer in this decade. Current England skipper Joe Root follows suit. He has amassed 7,311 runs so far. The two England heroes slammed 40 Test centuries between them and averaged just below the 50-run mark.
Meanwhile, the Indian captain slammed a total of 7,202 runs in 84 Test matches. He averages a staggering 54.97. Notably, Kohli is the second Indian to have a 50-plus average in batting in the 2010s. The right-handed batsman has scored the most Test hundreds in this decade (27) which includes a staggering seven double centuries as well.
His last double ton came against South Africa in October.
Meanwhile, Australia’s Steve Smith and David Warner are the other two batsmen to score 7,000-plus runs in this decade.
Kohli registered the most runs in T20Is and international cricket
Generally, you attach the most hard-hitting and aggressive batsmen in the world with their attributes in T20 cricket. Kohli, who isn’t known to go slam-bang in the format, is currently the joint-highest run-scorer in T20Is. He is tied with fellow Indian senior cricketer Rohit Sharma (2,663). Notably, Rohit made his debut in the format back in 2007.
In that scenario, Kohli registered the most T20I runs in this decade. He slammed the most fours (242) and the highest 50-plus scores as well (24).
When you sum up the entire tally across formats, the 31-year-old batsman has accounted for the most international runs across formats in the 2010s. The celebrated figure scored a total of 20,960 runs to lead the mark. He has 69 centuries in this decade which is also the most by any batsman.
The versatile Kohli has been a real pioneer of the game in modern-day cricket. He knows himself well and mastered the art of scoring runs. He has more character to his game than just boundaries. From running between the wickets to finding gaps, Kohli’s art of batting makes him a real king.
His performance in ODIs, in particular, needs to be the icing on the cake.