Happy Birthday King Virat Kohli – India’s Most Popular Sports Icon

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Happy Birthday King Virat Kohli - India’s Most Popular Sports Icon
Happy Birthday King Virat Kohli - India’s Most Popular Sports Icon

Current Indian Test and ODI captain Virat Kohli was born on November 5, 1988, in Delhi, India into a Punjabi family. His father, Prem Kohli, was a criminal lawyer while his mother, Saroj Kohli, is a homemaker.

Kohli took to cricket at the age of nine when he was one of the first members of the West Delhi Cricket Academy. His coach there was Rajkumar Sharma. He completed his schooling in West Delhi too where he resided until 2015. After that, Kohli shifted to Gurgaon.

His first setback in life was his father’s death in December 2006. It affected young Virat. Their family was also not doing too well financially.
He made his first-class debut when he represented Delhi against Tamil Nadu in November 2006 in a Ranji Trophy match.

He also was selected for the India Under-19 squad which toured England in July 2006. Kohli’s average in the three-match ODI series against the hosts was 105 and it was 49 in three Test matches. Again in September, he was picked up for the India under-19 team to tour Pakistan. His average was 58 in the Test series and 41.66 in the ODI series.

Based on his performances in these two overseas tours, he was made the captain of India 2008 under-19 team that played and lifted the World Cup in March 2008. A few months later, he was picked up for the senior ODI team. He made his short format debut against Sri Lanka.

After cooling his heels as a reserve batsman, Kohli cemented his place in the one-day squad, being a part of it when India lifted the World Cup in 2011. He made his test debut against West Indies in Kingston in June 2011. Although his Test performance began rather tepidly, he showed India’s selectors that he was a class apart when he scored 75 against Australia in Perth on a tough wicket in December 2011.

In the fourth and final Test at Adelaide, Kohli notched up his first-ever Test century. In fact, he was the only Indian to have scored a century on that tour. Meanwhile, he made his T20I debut against Zimbabwe at Harare in June 2010.

Virat Kohli’s career was going great guns until the tour of England in 2014. He couldn’t negotiate the Dukes ball there. He managed only 134 runs in the five-test series where his technique outside the off-stump was exposed.

But he sorted out many of his shortcomings by practicing regularly. While touring the Down Under in December 2014, he scored 141 off 175 balls in the first Test match before India was bundled out for 315, chasing a target of 364 for victory. This particular inning of his was rated by many Australian experts as one of the best fourth-innings knocks ever seen in Australia.

After he took part in some breathtaking chases for the Indian ODI team, cricket experts began comparing him to Sachin Tendulkar.

He is the first-ever cricketer to bag the top three ICC awards as a cricketer, Test and ODI player in a year in 2018.

Even as he is unarguably considered the world’s finest ODI batsman, Kohli vies with Steve Smith for the best batsman title in the Test format. He is also one of India’s most successful Test and ODI captains.

Kohli has amassed more records than any other Indian batsman, barring Tendulkar. He is the fastest player in the world to cross 9,000 10, 000 and 11,000 runs in the ODI format. He also became the fastest in the world to reach 40 ODI centuries. He is also one of the best T20I players ever as he scored became the world’s fastest 2,000 run-scorer in that format.

Kohli was conferred the Padma Shri in 2017 and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 2018. He married one of the top Indian actresses (Anushka Sharma) in 2017.

In the IPL, he has been representing Royal Challengers Bangalore since 2008.

Among his other accolades are being ranked one of the world’s most famous athletes by ESPN in 2016, one of the most valuable athlete brands by Forbes in 2018. According to Time Magazine, he is one of the 100 most influential people in the world in June 2018.

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