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The Two Pillars: Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma Dominate 2019

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Indian stalwarts Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma dominated the year 2019 in terms of most international runs. It was a year that belonged to these two gentlemen, who had their eyes fixed on scoring emphatically. It was the ODIs where these two senior batsmen found the most solace from. To come out unscathed and taking the attack to the opposition, both Kohli and Rohit stood tall to dish out a commendable show.
Be it their runs in the ODI series win in Australia. The dazzling ICC World Cup 2019 show and terrific performances in the recently-concluded three-match ODIs against the West Indies at home. Kohli and Rohit made runs look so easy in regards to the domination they enjoyed.
In Test cricket, India’s Mayank Agarwal stood out this year. However, Kohli and Rohit too had their moments. Rohit, who was promoted as an opener in the Tests against South Africa, turned out a new leaf in his career in the longest format. Kohli too had his fair share of moments. Most notably the double hundred against South Africa and the century in the historic Day-Night Test against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
And then in T20Is, the two continued to fight for the supreme status. In the end, both these players see each other tied as the highest run-scorer in the 20-over format. India was perhaps the best side in 2019 across formats. Their unbeaten run in Tests and a solid show in ODIs topped the show. In T20Is, they were made to sweat but came out strong. And a lot of credit goes to these two for standing out with a sense of responsibility.
Here we look at how Kohli and Rohit dominated 2019 and walked away with the laurels.

Kohli and Rohit gain the honours in terms of international runs

Kohli and Rohit
Rohit aggregated a whopping 2,442 runs from 47 international innings at an average of 53.08 and strike rate of 91.28 in 2019. Notably, he scored the most hundreds this year across formats (10). It was indeed a special honour for the opening batsman to show how far he has come in terms of his offerings upfront for Team India.
It was only Team India skipper Kohli, who registered more runs than Rohit in the calendar year. Kohli slammed 2,455 runs at 64.6. He amassed a total of seven hundreds.
Overall, Rohit’s international aggregate in 2019 is the 17th highest of all-time for any batsman in a calendar year. And it is also the eighth highest amongst Indians. Only three batsmen – Sachin Tendulkar (12 in 1998), Ricky Ponting (11 in 2003) and Kohli (11 in 2017 and 2018) – have registered more hundreds in a calendar year than Rohit.
The Hitman also broke Sanath Jayasuriya’s 22-year old record of the highest run-scorer by an opener in a calendar year in international cricket. The former Lankan ace had 2,387 runs at 58.21 in the year 1997.
Rohit also ended the year as the maximum six and four hitter.  He blasted 78 sixes and 244 fours in the calendar year across the three formats.
For Kohli, gaining the top prize in terms of most runs in a calendar year has become an age-old habit. This was the sixth time he scored most runs in a calendar year. Notably, he amassed this feat in four successive years now between 2016 to 2019. For the third year in a row, he amassed 2,500-plus runs in a calendar year. This is insane domination from Kohli.
Here’s a look at how these two scored across formats.
Rohit Sharma (Tests) – Matches 5, Runs 556, Best 212, Average 92.66, Hundreds 3
Virat Kohli (Tests) – Matches 8, Runs 612, Best 254*, Average 68.00, Hundreds 2
Rohit Sharma (ODIs) – Matches 28, Runs 1,490, Best 159, Average 57.30, Hundreds 7
Virat Kohli (ODIs) – Matches 26, Runs 1,377, Best 123, Average 59.86, Hundreds 5
Rohit Sharma (T20Is) – Matches 14, Runs 396, Best 85, Average 28.28, Fifties 4
Virat Kohli (T20Is) – Matches 10, Runs 466, Best 94*, Average 77.66, Fifties 5

Kohli and Rohit walked away with all the glory in ODI cricket

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Kohli and Rohit
Rohit may have missed out on the record for most runs in a calendar year in 2019, however, he should feel pretty satisfied to have owned a couple of other major ODI records. The senior opener finished as the top run-getter in ODIs in 2019 with 1,490 runs. Rohit was at his absolute best during the ICC World Cup 2019.
It was in the event held in England and Wales, where he came out on top. Rohit finished the 2019 World Cup as the highest run-scorer (648). He finished one place above David Warner (647). Notably, he had registered three successive tons against the likes of England, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Rohit started off well in 2019 and in India’s maiden ODI match at the SCG, he had notched a special 133 against Australia. That set the tone for the rest of the year for India’s vice-captain. He went on to overcome many batsmen to break a flurry of records.
On the other hand, Kohli wasn’t far behind. The Indian stalwart had a better average than Rohit and played two matches lesser. He also enjoyed a better strike-rate than the Hitman. This shows how Kohli went about his business in terms of taking the game to an extra level. Both Kohli and Rohit slammed the most fours in ODIs this year. They were neat in terms of finding the gaps.

How did Kohli and Rohit help India in Tests and T20Is?

Kohli and Rohit
In Tests, 2019 belonged to more of a collective approach in batting by the Indians. Mayank ended as India’s top run-getter. The likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and surprisingly Ravindra Jadeja, came good. Hanuma Vihari was another player in the ranks to enjoy a strong start.
Having said that, Kohli and Rohit played their part. The move to see Rohit open the innings against SA in October was a masterstroke. Rohit slammed runs at will and helped India overcome the Proteas 3-0. Rohit scored 529 runs in his debut series as an opener in 4 innings at a stunning average of 132.25. His understanding of Mayank was key. Kohli didn’t step behind. His 254* against SA was his seventh career double Test ton.
His other magic moment came against Bangladesh in the pink-ball Test match. It was a special inning against the ball that did a lot. It was the first time Kohli had played against the pink ball. India won seven out of eight Tests in 2019 and these two had a huge role to play especially post the 2019 World Cup.
Kohli, who is definitely the most complete batsman in the world, dominated the show in T20Is. He played a strong hand in the recently-concluded T20Is which included two match-winning knocks. His best of 94* in the first match set the tone for a record-breaking score. And then the 70*-run knock in the decider was a Kohli masterpiece while chasing a target.
To average over 70 in the format made the Indian captain look special. Rohit didn’t have the best of years in T20Is this year, however, he managed to hang in there.

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