Numbers Check: Why Virat deserved to win all 3 top ICC awards in a year

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India captain Virat Kohli created history on Tuesday when he became the first player to win all three International Cricket Council top awards in the same year. The 30-year-old was named Test and ODI men’s player of the year and won the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year. He was also picked to skipper the ICC Test and ODI teams of the year for the second year running.

The recognition comes after what has been another phenomenal year for Kohli, who lead India’s Test and one-day series triumph in Australia.

Always considered to be among the best bats of his generation, in the last year Kohli has risen high above his contemporaries. The highest scorer in both forms of the game in 2018, he was one of only two batsmen to score more than 1,000 runs in Tests and only among three to do so in ODI cricket.

The Indian scored 1,322 runs at an average of 55.08 in 13 Tests with five hundreds during the calendar year while in 14 ODIs he amassed 1202 runs at an astonishing average of 133.55 with six centuries. He also scored 211 runs in 10 T20Is.

What makes his feat even more remarkable is the fact all his Test runs, with the exception of two home Tests against West Indies, came in South Africa, England and Australia – the toughest batting conditions for sub-continent batsmen. In ODIs, the he scored his 38th century and became an even more potent force chasing.

Here’s a look at his numbers from the year

Virat Kohli in 2018 Tests

Series Runs Average 100/50
3 Tests vs South Africa 286 47.66 1/1
5 Tests vs England 593 59.30 2/3
2 Tests vs West Indies 184 92.00 1/0
3 Tests vs Australia 259 43.16 1/1

Virat Kohli in 2018 ODIs

Series Runs Average 100/50
6 ODIs vs South Africa 558 186.00 3/1
3 ODIs vs England 191 63.66 0/2
5 ODIs vs West Indies 453 151.00 3/0

Record breaking year for Kohli

Through the course of the year, Kohli also scripted his own set of records, even as he exorcised his England demons – a personal Final Frontier for him.

But even as he piled on the runs in England, it was the Australia tour that gave him his biggest success as captain. And one of the crucial knocks from the series was his gritty century in Perth, that may have gone in a losing cause but was superlative batting all the same.

He became the second-fastest batsman to 25 Test centuries in terms of innings, with 127. Sachin Tendulkar is third with 130, while Don Bradman managed it in just 68. He also moved past Rahul Dravid in the list of leading run-getters for India in Australia and is only behind Tendulkar and VVS Laxman.

Here’s how he compares against the top batsmen of 2018

Top Test run-getters in 2018

Player Matches  Runs  Average 
Virat Kohli 13 1322 55.08
Kusal Mendis 12 1023 46.50
Joe Root 13 948 41.21
Cheteshwar Pujara 13 837 38.04
Jos Buttler 10 760 44.70

Top ODI run-getters in 2018

Player Matches Runs Average
Virat Kohli 14 1202 133.55
Rohit Sharma 19 1030 73.57
Jonny Bairstow 22 1025 46.59
Joe Root 24 946 59.12
Brendan Taylor 21 898 42.76

While England captain Joe Root is the only name that shows up in both lists, it is only Kohli who dominates the run charts. In ODIs, he has played substantially fewer number of matches than the rest on the list, but has a phenomenal numbers even after sitting out a series to take a break.

He is carrying the same form into the new year, as he scored a century in the Adelaide ODI to lay the foundation of India’s series win.

If he can continue through the rest of 2019 in similar vein, there could well be many more records and historic feats for the Indian captain.

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