Virat Kohli celebrates century
Virat Kohli celebrates century during the 2nd ODI cricket match against Australia at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur, Tuesday, March 5, 2019. Image Credit: PTI

The exploits of Virat Kohli have reached such proportions in recent years that no new landmark for him really surprises us anymore. It was such another Tuesday at Nagpur where Kohli became the fastest among captains to reach 9,000 runs in One-day Internationals in 159 innings, overtaking Ricky Ponting by more than a mile (204 innings).

The sport boasts of only six cricketers who have reached the 9,000-run barrier as captains, the others being Graeme Smith, M.S. Dhoni, Allan Border and Stephen Fleming.

It’s only nine centuries that separate him and Sachin Tendulkar, the Master Blaster, whose record of 49 ODI centuries seemed a bridge too far for any batsman when he retired from international cricket in 2013. It was as if on cue that Kohli took over the baton in the shorter format of the game — slipping into a kind of purple patch that modern cricket had not really witnessed.

A somewhat worrying factor for India — who now have three ODIs left before the ICC World Cup — is that Kohli is the only constant in a batting line-up, which has been showing too many ups and downs of late. It’s been a case of hit-or-miss for Rohit Sharma in recent months while Shikhar Dhawan has logged in only 376 runs in his last 15 innings.

Are India becoming over-reliant on their talismanic captain? We will know the answer soon enough.