ANI Photo | Virat returns to run-scoring ways in record-breaking 2023, but redemption incomplete sans ICC, IPL trophies

After a dry spell from 2020-2022, India’s star batter Virat Kohli returned to his normal, run-scoring ways with a historic, record-breaking and consistent 2023 as a batter, breaking some massive batting records previously considered untouchable.
The star batter went several steps ahead to match the legacy of the Indian great Sachin Tendulkar.
This year will be known as the one of Virat’s redemption. Every match, every series, and every tournament saw him grab headlines and re-write record books, even during some occasional off days with the bat. Though Virat’s redemption story remains incomplete without the presence of the highly-elusive Indian Premier League (IPL) title, ICC World Test Championship mace, and the most heartbreaking of them all, an ICC Cricket World Cup trophy at home, Virat’s batting still gave millions of his fans immeasurable joy, ecstasy, pride, and many more reasons to consider him their ‘GOAT’ (Greatest of All Time).
Let us look at some major batting records established by Virat this year:
*Most centuries in ODI cricket –
Just a decade back, Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 ODI centuries looked impossible to break. Then stepped up a youngster from Delhi, piling up runs and centuries at a rate never seen before every year. On that eventful November 15 this year during the ICC Cricket World Cup semi-final at Wankhede Stadium, Virat became the first player to make 50 ODI centuries, achieving this feat in front of the legend himself, who was clapping for him in the audience.
From lifting Sachin on his shoulders following India’s World Cup triumph back in 2011 at the same venue, Virat had come a long way, standing shoulder to shoulder with his idol in debates of “Who is the greatest ODI batter of all time?”.
After overtaking this mammoth record, Virat was humble even after toppling his idol, saying after the innings, “It is all too much for me to take in now; to equal my hero’s record is something special for me. He is perfection when it comes to batting. But I am never going to be as good as him.”
The respect was mutual, as Sachin wasted no time in wishing Virat on X (formerly Twitter):
“The first time I met you in the Indian dressing room, you were pranked by other teammates into touching my feet. I couldn’t stop laughing that day. But soon, you touched my heart with your passion and skill. I am so happy that that young boy has grown into a ‘Virat’ player. I couldn’t be happier that an Indian broke my record. And to do it on the biggest stage – in the World Cup Semi-final – and at my home ground is the icing on the cake,” tweeted Sachin.
*Most runs in a single ICC Cricket World Cup event –
Despite being an incredible batter with many memorable knocks and moments, the absence of an all-timer World Cup campaign was glaring in Virat’s resume. Though he scored 443 runs in nine World Cup matches back in 2019 with five fifties, it was still not up to his gigantic standards. Even in the 2011 and 2015 CWC, he scored 282 runs in nine matches and 305 runs in eight matches, respectively.
All of this changed during this year’s World Cup at home, where Virat’s familiarity with home conditions and supreme form combined to give him a total of 765 runs in 11 matches at an average of 95.62, with three centuries and six fifties. He surpassed Sachin’s previous all-time great tally of 673 runs in the 2003 Cricket World Cup and walked out with the ‘Player of the Tournament’ award.
*First-ever cricketer to smash 3,000 runs across all ICC white-ball tournaments –
During the World Cup at home, Virat became the first-ever cricketer to have 3,000 runs across all white-ball ICC tournaments, adding more weight to the argument of him being perhaps the best limited-overs player ever.
In his Cricket World Cup career, Virat is the second-highest run-getter with 1,795 runs in 37 matches at an average of 59.83, with five centuries, 12 fifties, and a best score of 117.
Coming to the ICC Champions Trophy, he has scored 529 runs in 13 matches at an average of 88.16, with five fifties in 12 innings. His best score is 96*. He is the 11th highest-scorer in tournament history and India’s fourth.
In 27 ICC T20 World Cup matches, he has scored 1,141 runs at an average of 81.50, with 14 fifties in 25 innings and a best score of 89*. He is the highest run-scorer in the tournament’s history.
In a total of 77 ICC white-ball event matches, Virat has scored 3,465 runs at an average of 69.30 across 74 innings, with five centuries and 31 fifties. His best score is 117.
Next is West Indies great Chris Gayle, who has scored 1186 runs in CWC in 35 matches with two centuries and six fifties, 791 runs in 17 ICC Champions Trophy matches with three centuries and a fifty, and 965 in 33 matches of ICC T20 World Cup with two tons and seven fifties. He has scored 2,942 runs in 85 matches at ICC white-ball tournaments, seven centuries, and 14 fifties.
*Most fifty-plus scores in a single Cricket World Cup –
During the ICC Cricket World Cup this year, Virat left behind Sachin Tendulkar (one century and six fifties in 2003 WC) and Bangladesh great Shakib al Hasan (two centuries and five fifties in 2019 WC) to have the most fifty-plus scores in a single World Cup edition, with a total of nine. This included three centuries.
*Most Indian Premier League centuries –
Following his incredible 101 in 61 balls against Gujarat Titans, Virat registered his seventh IPL century and surpassed West Indies legend Chris Gayle (six centuries) to become the batter with the most IPL tons.
*First-ever player to smash 7,000 IPL runs –
Despite no IPL trophy to his name during his stint with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Virat has given fans something to cheer about with his batting as an RCB talent is the top run-getter in IPL history. In 237 matches and 229 innings, he has scored 7,263 runs at an average of 37.24 and a strike rate of over 130. He has seven centuries and 50 fifties to his name, with the best score of 113. During a match against Delhi Capitals, in which Virat played a knock of 55 runs in 46 balls, the star batter touched the 7,000-run mark in IPL.
*First-ever player to smash a century in 500th international match –
In the second Test against West Indies back in July, Virat became only the ninth player to play his 500th international game. Virat celebrated this feat of longevity in style, scoring a majestic 121 in 206 balls to become the first player to hit a century in his 500th outing as an international player.
*Fastest to 13,000 ODI runs –
Virat became the fastest player to reach 13,000 ODI runs, doing so in just 267 innings during his 122-run knock against Pakistan in the Asia Cup this year. Now in 292 ODIs, Virat has scored 13,848 runs at an average of 58.97 with 50 centuries and 72 half-centuries and a highest score of 183. He is the third-highest run-scorer in ODI cricket, and his hunt for Sachin’s figures of 18,426 ODI runs still goes strong.
*Fastest to 25,000 and 26,000 international runs –
On February 19 this year in front of his home crowd at Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium, Virat completed 25,000 international runs in just 549 innings, 28 innings faster than Sachin. Then during the World Cup match against Bangladesh at Pune, Virat became the fastest to reach 26,000 international runs in just 567 innings, 33 innings faster than Sachin again. With each passing inning, the star batter continues to hunt Sachin’s all-time figures of 34,357 runs across all formats.
*Most ODI centuries against a team –
In the third ODI against Sri Lanka back in January this year, Virat became the batter with the most hundreds in ODIs against a team, with a total of 10 centuries against Sri Lanka. Virat smashed 166 in 110 balls in that ODI, with 13 fours and eight sixes.
*Most times 1,000 runs in ODIs during a calendar year –
During the Cricket World Cup match against Sri Lanka, Virat surpassed Sachin Tendulkar to become a player with 1,000-plus ODI runs for the most time in a calendar year. Virat has crossed 1,000 ODI runs in eight different calendar years, as compared to seven by Sachin.
*First-ever player to complete 2,000 international runs in seven different calendar years
Kohli became the first batter to score 2000 runs in seven different calendar years during India’s crushing defeat to South Africa in the 1st Test at Centurion.
He scored 76 off 82 balls during India’s defeat by an innings and 32 runs, which made his run tally go beyond 2000.
He had previously achieved the feat in 2012 (2186 runs), 2014 (2286 runs), 2016 (2595 runs), 2017 (2818 runs), 2018 (2735 runs) and 2019 (2455 runs).
Overall in eight Tests this year, Virat scored 671 runs at an average of 55.61, with two centuries and two fifties in 12 innings. His best score was 186.
In 27 ODIs this year, Virat scored 1,377 runs at an average of 72.47 and a strike rate of 99.13, with six centuries and eight fifties in just 24 innings. His best score was 166.
Finally, in all 35 international matches and 36 innings this year, Virat scored 2,048 runs at an average of 66.06, with eight centuries and 10 fifties in 36 innings. (ANI)

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