Are you watching closely? You better be. Because a chap named Virat Kohli, the swashbuckling Delhi-born batsman, is rewriting not only the cricket history books, but quite possibly everything we’ve ever known about the art of batting. An article about him seems to pop up every second day about him, about the kind of form he’s in, the kind of innings he has played, the kind of man that he is. No literature can do justice, though, to what he has been doing in 2016. It is only May, and he has scored runs that are breaking all-time annual records.
On Thursday night, in a rain-shortened 15-over match against Kings XI Punjab, two days after setting Eden Gardens alight, Virat Kohli returned to the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Every game since their ninth has been a must-win, and every time, either Kohli or AB de Villiers has been outscoring their own bowlers to assure them huge victories. This time, Chris Gayle joined the party too. And once again, records were made a mockery of.
Here’s a brief look at Virat Kohli’s frightening statistics this year:
4: The number of centuries in the Indian T20 league Kohli has scored in the last nine games, the first to score four in a single T20 tournament ever.
0: Number of centuries he had scored in 181 prior T20 games, both international and domestic.
7: Number of stitches he had on his left hand during his knock of 113 against Punjab.
87: Kohli’s average in the T20 league this year over 13 matches.
865: Number of runs in the league so far, the highest ever.
155: His strike-rate in the league.
16: Number of T20 half-centuries this year alone.
4: Number of places jumped (from 4 to 1) in the all-time league scorers list. Kohli became the first to score 4000 in the league, with Suresh Raina now second and stuck on 3985 runs.
99.33: Kohli’s overall T20 average in 2016, including the World T20.
226: His strike-rate for his fastest-ever T20 century on Thursday, which came off 47 balls, the first time he has struck at more than 200 in a T20 innings.
1490: Number of runs in T20s he has scored this year, third to Gayle’s 1665 (2015) and 1497 (2011).
92: His average while chasing in T20s.