Virat Kohli raises his bat after completing to score 10,000 runs, during the second ODI match between India and West Indies at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam on October 24, 2018. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: There are times in sport when even greatness can get to the point of being predictable, and hence, rob it somewhat of the competitive edge. It has happened when a Pete Sampras held sway on the court, a Michael Schumacher went to win his seven world championships in early 2000 on his Ferrari or the way the All Blacks have underlined their invicincibility in rugby in recent years.

The Virat Kohli story, in the context of contemporary cricket, is no different. A mere 11 innings back, the Indian skipper was the fastest to reach 9,000 runs in One Day Internationals. Cut to Visakhapatnam, a coastal town in south-eastern India, where ‘King Kohli’ — as the Indian media addresses him — seemed a man in a hurry on Wednesday to reach the 10,000-mark and overhaul his idol Sachin Tendulkar’s record as the fastest batsman to achieve the feat.

205
Innings Virat Kohli has taken to reach the five-figure mark.

The touring West Indies team were at the receiving end again as Kohli capped another red-letter day of his career with now back-to-back centuries — scoring 157 off 129 deliveries to register his 37th ODI century since making his debut against Sri Lanka in 2008. India went on to pile up 321 for six off 50 overs, but Caribbeans were up to the challenge as Shai Hope spearheaded a brilliant chase with an unbeaten 123 and the match finished as a ‘tie.’

The visitors finished at 321 for seven, with the series poised at 1-0 in India’s favour. The third of the five-match series will be played in Pune on Saturday.

“And the insanity continues with an undying intensity. Congratulations #KingKohli on 10,000 ODI runs and 37th century. The hunger, consistency and intensity is simply incredible,” was how V.V.S. Laxman, former Indian batting great, summed up the journey of Kohli on social media as the Twitter went ballistic after Kohli kept his date with the landmark.

Needing 81 runs at the start of the second ODI to reach the five-figure mark, Kohli walked in early at the fall of Rohit Sharma’s wicket. It seemed he was carrying on from where had left in Guwahati two days back, the only blemish being when he was left off at 44 by rival skipper Jason Holder off debutant Obed McCoy. The innings comprised everything of the by now familiar repertoire — the cover drives, the flicks with pronounced use of bottom hand, lofted strokes all around the wicket and playing with soft hands to run the hard singles with Ambati Rayudu, who was the second highest scorer (73).

A single off spinner Ashley Nurse ushered in the milestone and he then hit Marlon Samuels for a boundary to get his second successive ton of the five-match series. A fine sense of occasion presented itself as his non-striker was none other than Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who joined the elite club in July.

It’s no surprise that the form that Kohli had been batting in for nearly last five years, more so in white ball cricket, that he would go on to shatter all records and then some more. A piece of statistic, which says that Kohli was the fastest to reach 10,000 ODI runs on all counts (innings: 205; matches: 213; balls: 10,813 and timespan: 10 years 67 days since debut), tells its own story.

The punishing fitness regime and diet control that Kohli had subjected himself to are all but worse kept secrets now. Added to this was the vegan diet that the Indian captain adopted for himself during the period he pulled himself out of the Asia Cup — and seems to have come back stronger.

As for the obvious question as to where he is going to finish, we can only wait and watch!

10000-run club in ODIs

                 

Batsman

Team

Mts

Inns

NO

Runs

HS

Ave

SR

100

50

SR Tendulkar

Ind

463

452

41

18426

200*

44.83

86.23

49

96

KC Sangakkara

SL

404

380

41

14234

169

41.98

78.86

25

93

RT Ponting

Aus

375

365

39

13704

164

42.03

80.39

30

82

ST Jayasuriya

SL

445

433

18

13430

189

32.36

91.2

28

68

M. Jayawardene

SL

448

418

39

12650

144

33.37

78.96

19

77

Inzamam-ul-Haq

Pak

378

350

53

11739

137*

39.52

74.24

10

83

JH Kallis

SA

328

314

53

11579

139

44.36

72.89

17

86

SC Ganguly

Ind

311

300

23

11363

183

41.02

73.7

22

72

R Dravid

Ind

344

318

40

10889

153

39.16

71.24

12

83

BC Lara

WI

299

289

32

10405

169

40.48

79.51

19

63

TM Dilshan

SL

330

303

41

10290

161*

39.27

86.23

22

47

MS Dhoni

Ind

329

279

78

10143

183*

50.46

87.83

10

67

V Kohli

Ind

213

205

36

10076

183

59.62

92.85

37

48