He was also the fastest to score 8,000 ODI runs — and by scoring 1,460 runs in ODIs so far in 2017, Rajneesh pointed out, Kohli’s tally is now the highest for any captain in a calendar year. Ricky Ponting, the great Australian batsman, held the previous record.
Kohli’s six ODI hundreds are also the most by a captain in a calendar year, beating the record of five centuries by Sourav Ganguly and Ponting.
Ironically, those feats came hours after Rahul Dravid told an audience at the Bengaluru Lit Fest that he ‘cringed’ when he heard Kohli’s comments before a series.
‘Virat sometimes comes across as outrageous, and I cringe on reading his statements before a series. But if he can bring the best out of himself by needling the opposition, so be it,’ Dravid told a discussion about Rajdeep Sardesai’s new book Democracy XI, moderated by our former colleague Prem Panicker.
Unlike Dravid or Sachin Tendulkar or V V S Laxman whose achievements on the cricket pitch were accompanied by an absence of drama, everything Kohli does on the field has aggression as an accomplice.
Which may be why Kohli does not quite attract the same unqualified adoration from the cricketing public that Tendulkar did and still does. Even those awestruck by Kohli’s genius, his athleticism, his reverence for the game are sometimes put off by what they view as his arrogance.