Virat Kohli: Man or Machine?

Virat Kohli scored his 26th ODI century on Sunday at Indore against a baffled New Zealand team. After a long time, his partner-in-crime was MS Dhoni, the man who once finished games better than anyone else on earth. Kohli is now that man – and it was poetic to see the old hand and the explosive successor at it, making viewers feel like they the decade they spent fretting about Sachin Tendulkar’s lone hands were all in vain. Dhoni made 80, his top score in a year, while Kohli spent just another miraculous day in office. 

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The defining moment came when Kohli smashed Trent Boult, the best bowler in ODI cricket, for 20 runs in the penultimate over. That’s not normal by any stretch of imagination. Kohli finished unbeaten at 154. With it, India went 2-1 up in the 5-match series, and chased 285 after their openers failed yet again. Rohit Sharma’s form, despite being one of the highest scorers in ODI cricket this year, is once again an issue, but for now, Kohli is acting as both the stabilizer and the finisher – something no other contemporary (or any) batsman has ever managed in a career. A finisher at number three? Why is Dhoni even fretting about finding a middle-order guy when this machine bats at three? 

Here are some stunning stats from yet another record-breaking innings by the man whose runs have taken precedence over his hair-styles long ago. The ODI captain-in-waiting himself:

26 – number of ODI centuries by Virat Kohli.

27 – his age. 

30 – average age of an Indian ‘youngster’ once their career goes into second gear. Kohli’s is in fifth gear…and counting. 

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16 – number of ODI centuries made by Kohli while chasing a score (in 174 matches).

17 – number of ODI centuries (out of 49) made by Tendulkar while chasing (in 463 matches).

14 – number of ODI centuries by Kohli in a successful chase, the SAME as Sachin Tendulkar already. 

166 – number of innings it has taken Kohli to reach 26 centuries, 75 lesser than Tendulkar.

53 – Kohli’s average in ODI cricket after 171 games.

57 – Kohli’s average in international T20s after 45 games.

91 – Kohli’s strike rate in ODI cricket.

90 – Kohli’s average in successful chases in ODI cricket (3514 runs).

90 – Kohli’s speed of running between wickets in km/hr, no matter what stage of the innings he is in. 

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3 – number of ODI centuries this year by Kohli in only eight innings. 

5 – the number of years, on current estimation, it could take Kohli to double his ODI run-tally and break Sachin’s records. Kohli will only be 32.

247 – number of runs scored by Kohli in three matches against New Zealand, getting dismissed only once.

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