first_imgIt comes as no surprise to anyone now that Virat Kohli once again dominated a year in international cricket as a batsman, but it was his record as captain in Test cricket which improved a lot this year thanks to the Indian team’s wins away from home.Kohli ended the year as the number-one ranked batsman in Tests and one-day internationals for the second-time running but more importantly, it was his team which consolidated its position at the top of the team rankings in Test cricket, which would have been more satisfying for the captain.Kohli scored 2735 runs across all formats in the year with 11 hundreds but he also became the first Asian captain to register Test wins in Australia, England and South Africa in the same calendar year.The Boxing Day Test win at the MCG gave Virat Kohli his 11th away Test win as captain in just 24 Tests and he went equal with Ganguly on the record, who had achieved 11 away Test wins in 28 Tests as captain.Kohli had said that this year would be an extremely important one for Team India given the Tests away from home. While India put up some good performances (especially Kohli and the pacers), they failed to win series in South Africa and England.However, in Australia, Kohli’s India came out all guns blazing to at least get them into a position from where they cannot lose the series now.A YEAR OF DOMINATION IN TEST CRICKETOn top of that, Kohli became the first Indian captain to retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy in Australia. India had defeated Australia 2-1 in the four-Test series during their tour of India in 2016/17.advertisementKohli has over the years grown in stature and is rated among the best athletes in the world in terms of his work ethics, fitness and heroics on the field — all-in-all, he has become a complete package. He has been India’s poster boy ever since the retirement of the great Sachin Tendulkar in November 2013. Virat Kohli scored a brilliant 123 in the Perth Test but it went in vain as India lost the match (AP Photo)In just his third year as captain, Kohli has set the benchmark for his teammates to follow by leading from the front. Though it’s tough to maintain the intensity but the Indian skipper has proved that it’s not impossible.With 1322 runs in 13 Tests at an average of over 55, Kohli sits head and shoulders above the rest as the highest run-scorer this year in the format. The five hundreds that he scored is also the most by any batsman in 2018. Last year he was fourth on the list behind Steve Smith, Cheteshwar Pujara and Dean Elgar.But the Delhi dasher really came into his own in what can be termed as a breakthrough year for Kohli, the batsman, in Test cricket as he scored runs in places like Australia, South Africa and England.England was in fact the only country which he hadn’t conquered after a torrid tour in 2014. But Kohli made sure to put the ghosts of his past behind him to amass 593 runs in five Tests at 59.30 with two hundreds to his name.Even the critics who questioned Kohli once, stood up and applauded as he let his bat do all the talking and made sure everybody got the message. The tour of England put the full-stop on the debate on who is the best batsman in the world in the modern era. Virat Kohli scored a magnificent hundred in Trent Bridge to lead India to victory (Reuters Photo)His 25th hundred during the Perth Test was not only one of the best he has ever scored but also saw him become the second fastest batsmen to reach the milestone in 127 innings, just behind the great Don Bradman, who took a mere 68 innings to score 25 Test hundreds.It was Kohli’s seventh Test hundred vs Australia while his 6th Down Under. In Oceania, Kohli has now scored 7 hundreds while this was his 14th ton as captain in away Tests. This was also Kohli’s 18th Test century as the captain of the team.With his sixth Test century in Australia, Kohli also equalled Sachin Tendulkar’s record of most Test centuries by an Indian Down Under.Earlier on the tour at Adelaide Oval, Kohli became the fastest to score 1000 Test runs for India in Australia. He beat Don Bradman to the milestone by reaching the figure in nine Test matches while Don Bradman had reached the four-figure mark in his 10th Test at home.advertisementOn the way to this milestone, Kohli also became the only Indian skipper to score 2000 Test runs in away matches. He is also the first Indian captain to score 2000 Test runs both in India and overseas.Kohli also has the second-best Test average among batsmen who have scored at least 500 Test runs in January 1, 2017.FASTEST TO 10,000 ODI RUNSBut not just in whites, Kohli also dominated the run charts in ODIs, scoring 1202 runs in 14 ODIs at a staggering average of over 133 and once again he scored the most number of centuries with 6. The next best on the list is his teammate and vice-captain Rohit Sharma with 1030 runs in 19 matches with five centuries.During the recent ODI series at home against the West Indies, became only the fourth batsman to score 10,000 ODI runs for India and in the process, he also broke Sachin Tendulkar’s record to become the fastest to reach the milestone. Virat Kohli became the fifth Indian batsman and 13th ever to reach 10000 ODI runs (AP Photo)Kohli joined Tendulkar (18426), Sourav Ganguly (11221) and Rahul Dravid (10768) to reach the elite club. MS Dhoni has also scored over 10000 ODI runs (10123) but only 9949 of those have been scored for India. The other 174 runs came for Asia XI.Overall, Kohli became the fifth Indian batsman and 13th ever to reach 10000 ODI runs. While Tendulkar took 259 innings to get there, Kohli got to the landmark in a mere 205 innings.Ganguly needed 263 innings to reach 10000 ODI runs while South African great Jacques Kallis brought up his 10000th run in his 272nd innings. MS Dhoni is next on the list, having got to the landmark in his 273rd innings.Kohli also scored more than 1000 runs in a calender for the sixth time in his career in 2018 after 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2017.Kohli is second only to Tendulkar in the list of most century-scorers in one-day internationals and it is widely believed he will one day leave the Master Blaster behind.WHAT NEXT?The first and foremost agenda on his list would be to win the fourth and final Test against Australia in Sydney. If he manages to do that then he will become the first Indian captain to win a Test series Down Under.Another Test win would also see him equal MS Dhoni as the most successful Indian captain in the format. Kohli currently has 26 Test wins in just 45 matches while Dhoni had 27 in 60 Tests.India will then play a series of three ODIs against the Aussies which will be followed by a five-match ODI contest against New Zealand from January 23, before the T20I series against the Blackcaps – on February 6, 8 and 10.But the biggest assignment for captain Kohli will be the upcoming 2019 World Cup in England where he will look to become the third Indian skipper to win the 50-over mega-event after Kapil Dev (1983) and MS Dhoni (2011).A Test series win in Australia and a World Cup triumph after eight years would really cement Kohli’s legacy as one of the greatest captains India has ever had.advertisementAlso Read | The Pant and Paine show at MCG: When light-hearted banter turned offensiveAlso Read | Watch: Virat Kohli shakes a leg to celebrate Boxing Day Test win with Bharat ArmyAlso Read | Kohli reveals why he did not enforce follow-on: Wanted to give our bowlers enough restAlso Read | Watch: Virat Kohli leads Team India’s victory lap as MCG cheers historic triumphlast_img read more