The Indian cricket team landed in South Africa with the heavy expectations of Indians weighing down their shoulders. But they did not disappoint and ace Virat Kohli has yet again set the stage aflame with his iconic batting skills that were seen dimming in the Twenty20 international series against South Africa.
The record-breaking match was historic for India as the Indian cricket team achieved their first victory on South African soil with a 5-1 ODI series win. With a score of 1,983 runs in 57 T20Is at an average of 50.83, Kohli is just short of 17 runs from becoming the first Indian to score 2,000 T20I runs and the third overall, followed by Martin Guptill at a score of 2,271 in 75 matches at an average of 34.40 and Brendon McCullum who has a score of 2,140 in 71 matches at an average of 35.66. With a rank of third in the all-time list of top run-getters in T20Is, he has achieved an impressive 18 half centuries mark. Although The two New Zealanders have achieved two centuries each and are viewed as two of the most destructive batsmen, Kohli surpasses both in almost all categories barring the hundreds column, with a better average and a better strike rate of 137.32, compared to Guptill’s 132.88 and McCullum’s 136.21.
This historical match changed the run-machine’s entire game, before which he was 130 runs away from hitting the 1,000 run mark in total in South Africa, making him only the second batsman in cricket history to do so on an international tour.
Kohli scored the highest runs in the Test series with 286 runs and went on to achieve the title of first ever batsman to score 500 runs in a bilateral series, ending with a whopping score of 558 runs.
Following the footsteps of West Indian legend Viv Richards, who was the only batsman to have scored 1,000 or more runs on an international tour in the 1976 West Indies’ tour to England, Kohli was dismissed for just one in the second T20I at Supersport Park, Centurion. The phenomenal speed with which the Indian Cricket Team is being led towards success by our ace captain is a green flag for other tours that the team is heading towards in the near future.