Kohli keeps winning ”“ both matches and awards

By Kersi Meher-Homji

First there was Don Bradman. Then arrived Sachin Tendulkar on the batting crease. And now we have Virat Kohli, the new invincible.

King Kohli is successful as a batsman and more so as an inspiring leader. After defeating Australia in Australia in both Tests and One Day Internationals (ODIs), he started the New Zealand tour with a facile victory in Napier.

India won comfortably by 8 wickets with 85 balls in hand. The heroes were fast bowler and Man of the Match Mohammad Shami (taking 3 for 19), leg-spinner Kuldeep Yadav (4 for 39) and opening batsman Shikar Dhawan scoring 75 not out and adding 91 runs for the second wicket with Kohli (45).

Kohli had a memorable 2018 as he won three prestigious awards; the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for Cricketer of the Year, the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Test Cricketer of the Year and ICC’s Men’s ODI Player of the Year. Under Kohli’s captaincy, India is ranked number one in Tests and number two in both ODIs and T20 Internationals.

Speaking to India’s noted journalist Bipin Dani, West Indian legend Sir Garfield Sobers glowingly praised Kohli from Barbados after the India captain was announced as ICC’s Cricketer of the Year. Kohli became the first player in history to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for Cricketer of the Year, the Test and the ODI Player of the Year awards in the same year.

Kohli also became only the second player after Australia’s Ricky Ponting to retain the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy.

“Kohli is a great human being, a wonderful person. I met him once in Trinidad. My heartiest congratulations to him,” Sobers told Dani.

Kohli scored 1,322 runs at an average of 55.08 in 13 Tests with five hundreds during the calendar year 2018 while he amassed 1202 runs in 14 ODIs at a marvellous average of 133.55 with six centuries.

An elated Kohli said, “It’s a reward for all the hard work you do through the calendar year. Having recognition at the global level from the ICC is something you feel proud of as a cricketer because you understand that there are many players playing the game”.

Kohli was selected as captain in both Test XI and ODI XI of 2018 by the ICC. Other Indians to make it in the ICC’s Test XI were wicket-keeper Rishbah Pant and fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah. And other Indians to be selected in ICC’s ODI XI were opening batsman Rohit Sharma, leg-spinner Kuldeep Yadav and Bumrah.

It should be emphasized that India had played more matches overseas (in South Africa, England and Australia) than at home last year.

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