Virat Kholi, the former Captain of the Indian cricket team is one of the world’s best right-hand batsmen. He was born on November 5, 1988, in Delhi, India. His nickname is Cheeku. He was named one of the most well-known athletes in the world by ESPN in 2016 and one of the most valuable athlete brands by Forbes. Time magazine listed him as one of the 100 most influential persons in the world in 2018. According to Forbes, he received an expected salary of about $26 million in 2020, placing him 66th out of the top 100 athletes in the world. With expected revenues of 165 crore (US$21 million) in 2022, Kohli has been regarded as one of cricket’s most financially viable players.

Early Life and Family

On November 5, 1988, Virat Kohli was born into a Punjabi Hindu household in Delhi. His mother, Saroj Kohli, worked as a homemaker, and his father, Prem Kohli, practiced law. Vikas, his older brother, and Bhawna, his older sister, are his siblings. The early years of Kohli’s life were spent at Uttam Nagar, where he started his schooling at Vishal Bharti Public School. According to his relatives, Kohli showed an early interest in cricket at just three. He would take up the bat in a game of cricket, show off his innate talent, and ask his father to bowl to him.

At a very early stage, about 9 years old, Kholi becomes part of West Delhi Cricket Academy. There he was trained by the trainer Rajkumar Sharma. Later he joined Saviour Convent for his cricket. Kholi was not only talented in cricket, but he was also very good in academics.

Kohli lost his father on December 18, 2006, due to a brain attack. His father was a key supporter of his cricket training during his formative years. Kohli has said that his father drove him to practice each day. He has acknowledged how much he occasionally misses his father. Kohli’s mother noticed a significant shift in his personality after his father’s death. Overnight, Kohli seemed to mature, and he started treating every cricket match with seriousness. After his father’s untimely passing, he seemed to devote his entire being to the game of cricket because he intensely disliked being left out of sports.

Career

Virat Kholi was selected in the Delhi under-15 team for the Polly Umrigar trophy in 2002-2003. In that tournament, he scored the highest run and became the Captain of the team for the 2003-2004 tournaments. The same year (2004), he was selected for the India’s under-17 team. There, his team won the Vijay merchant tournament (2004-2005), and again Kohli was the highest run-scorer. In July 2006, he played for India under-19 team. There, his team won both ODI and test series against England. His performance was appreciated by Coach Lalchand Rajput. In November 2006, he played his debut match against Tamil Nadu for Delhi. The same year in December, when his father died, the very next day, he played against Karnataka and scored 90. His father’s death at Kholi’s very young stage was a shock to him. After that, he made his father’s dream his dream and never looked back. His mother said “Virat changed a bit after that day. Overnight he became a much more mature person. He took every match seriously. He hated being on the bench. It’s as if his life hinged totally on cricket after that day. Now, he looked like he was chasing his father’s dream which was his own too.”

In April 2007, he was the highest scorer of the inter-state T20 championship. In 2008 India won the under-19 cricket World Cup in Malaysia under the captaincy of Virat Kholi. In that tournament, he was the third-highest scorer. After this, Kholi played in several under-19 tournaments and won the matches. After the under-19 World Cup, Royal Challengers Banglore of IPL Indian Premier League bought Kohli for $30,000. He was awarded the Border-Gavaskar scholarship that allowed him to train at Cricket Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Brisbane for six weeks. In 2008 he was selected for the Indian ODI for the Sri Lanka tour as well as for the champions’ trophy in Pakistan. On the Sri Lanka tour, he played as an opener batsman, and this was his first international match. India also won its first ODI series against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka. After that, Kohli got the chance to India as a team and played in several tournaments. And finally, it was December 2008 when he got the annual BCCI grade D contract that entitled him to receive Rs 1.5 million.

In 2009 he was selected for India’s Emerging Player Tournament. He played as an opener batsman in the matches and scored the highest of 398 runs. This tournament was the turning point of Kohli’s career, and he was also praised by the Chairman of the national selection committee, Kris Srikkanth. Further, the same year in the ICC champions trophy, he batted at number 4 instead of Yuvraj Singh and got the man of the match award. His first ODI century was against Srilanka in 2009, in which he scored 107 of 114 balls. His second century was against Bangladesh in 2010 in a tri-national ODI tournament in Bangladesh. He was also the highest scorer of that series with 275 runs. He was the third Indian batsman who scored two ODI centuries at an early age before 22. Before him, it was Tendulkar and Dhoni who scored 2 ODI centuries at an early age.

Further, in the same year (2010), he became the Vice Captain for a tri-series (May-June) in Zimbabwe. However, India lost the series, but he became the fastest Indian batsman to score 1000 runs in ODI.

After that, for a period, he struggled with his form, and he retained it with his third ODI century 118 off 121 balls in a series against Australia at Visakhapatnam in October 2010. His fourth ODI century was against New Zealand in the same year. He became the highest scorer in ODIs (2010) with 995 runs in 25 matches. After this, match by match with his performances, he got ranked 2 batsman in the ICC ranking.

Further, he was selected for the World Cup 2011 and played in all the matches. He scored his fifth ODI century in his first match of the World Cup against Bangladesh, which made him the first Indian batsman for such an achievement. In the final match of the World Cup, he played a good partnership with Gambhir, making it possible for India to win the World Cup after the 1983 World Cup. After the success of the World Cup, he played his test debut at Kingston in June-July 2021, when India toured the West Indies for a one-day test series. But there in the test series, he struggled with his performance, so he was first dropped from the next test series of July-August in England. But later, due to the injury of Yuvraj Singh, he was recalled. After that, in all ODI series, he gave his best performance and scored the highest run in ODIs for the year 2011 (1381 in 34 matches).
Now with his consistent performance, he got a place in the test series and toured Australia in December 2011. However, India lost that test series, but he was the highest Indian scorer of that series as well and he scored his first test century (116 runs) in the first inning of the fourth match of that series.

Further, in the Commonwealth Bank triangular series (February 2021) in Australia, Kholi was the highest Indian scorer as well as the only Indian batsman who scored a century in the series. However, India lost that series, but for his nice performance in that series, Kohli was appointed the vice-captain for the Asia Cup 2012, which was going to be in Bangladesh.

In that tournament, too, he was the highest scorer with 357 runs. In the last group match of the tournament, he scored 183 against Pakistan, which was his 11th ODI century, as well as the highest individual score in the Asia Cup that broke the record of Younis Khan (144) in 2004. Kohli was awarded the man of the match in two matches of the tournament. However, India could not qualify for the final of the tournament. In the same year (2012), Kohli played several other matches and series and got the Man of the Match and Man of the Series awards. At the time of the ICC World Cup twenty20 in 2012, he was the highest Indian scorer with 185 runs and was awarded ICC’s Team of the Tournament. Match by match, Kholi was improving and also showing his growing maturity in the game. Viv Richards (former West Indies captain) said:

I love watching Virat Kohli bat. He looks to me like an individual of my own heart. I love his aggression, and [he has] serious passion that I used to have. He reminds me of myself.

Later in a triangular series in the West Indies, Kholi played as the Captain when Dhoni was injured in the first match of the series. He scored his first century (102 off 83 balls) as a CAPTAIN against West Indies in that series. Further, in July 2013, when most of the senior players were rested for the ODI Zimbabwe tour, Kholi was the first time appointed as the Captain for the whole series. India won that series 5-0. After that, in the second match of an ODI series against Australia in Jaipur, Kohli scored 100 in just 52 balls that were the fastest century against Australia. In the sixth match of that series, he scored 115 in just 66 balls which made 100 in 61 balls which was the third-fastest ODI century by an Indian batsman. With this century, Kholi also became the fastest batsman in the world to score 17 hundred in an ODI. After this series, Kohli also reached the top rank in the ICC ODI batsmen rankings. In another ODI series, Kohli equaled Viv Richards by becoming the fastest batsman to make 5000 runs in 114 innings in ODI Cricket. He was also the man of the series for scoring the highest run (204).

Further, Kohli toured for several series, and in almost all matches, he Showed consistent performance. In the 2014 ICC World T20, he was the Vice-Captain of the Indian team. In all matches, he played very well, especially in the semi-final he scored 74 in 44 balls. For that, he got the man of the match and said, “My best twanty20 innings”. Even in the final match, he scored 77 from 58 balls against Srilanka. However, India lost that match. Kohli scored 319 runs in that tournament which was the highest individual score. For that, he won the award of Man of the Tournament.

After that, Kohli struggled with his form for some time, and many questions arose about his technique. In the test and ODI series against England, he struggled. But later in October 2014, in-home ODI series, he got his form back. He scored his 20th ODI century 127 in 114 balls in the 4th match of the series. After that, in November, for an ODI series against Srilanka, Dhoni was rested, and Kohli captained the full series. In the fifth series match, he scored an unbeaten 139 off 126 balls and won the series 5-0. He got the player of the series. This was the second whitewash under his captaincy. At that time, Kholi also became the fastest batsman in the world to cross 6000 in ODIs. He also became the second player in the world to make more than 1000 runs in 4 consecutive years.

In 2023, Kohli started his ODI campaign early in the year with a century against the Sri Lankan team that was on tour. Kohli put on a spectacular display in the series’ third game, scoring an undefeated 166 runs off 110 balls. His 21st century in India was significant since it was the most ODI centuries ever scored in the nation, surpassing all previous players. In addition, with his effort in this game, he surpassed Mahela Jayawardene to reach fifth place in ODI run scoring. India went on to win the third ODI match with a record-breaking margin of 317 runs thanks to Kohli’s effort. In the Border-Gavaskar series of 2023, Kohli participated from February to March. He endured a run of poor results in the first three tests before playing a disciplined and technically sound innings in the final test at Ahmedabad. His century was his first in the format in three years. He scored a total of 186 runs during the game.

Kohli Got Test Captaincy

In December 2014, for the Australian tour, Kohli got test captaincy due to Dhoni’s injury. However, Dhoni returned to the team as Captain from the second match of the series, but at the last of the third match of the series, Dhoni announced his retirement from Test Cricket, and Kohli became the full-time Captain for the test team. As the captain of the test team, he gave his best performance in all the matches. He scored 692 in all four matches, the highest by an Indian batsman in the test series in Australia.

Kohli’s Performances as a Captain

  • Test: Kholi captained 68 test matches in which he won 40 matches and lost 17 matches. Eleven matches were drawn.
  • ODI: Kohli captained 95 ODI matches in which he won 65 matches and lost 27 matches. One match was tied, and there was no result in the 3 matches.
  • T20I: Kohli captained 50 twenty20 matches in which he won 30 matches and lost 16 matches. 2 matches were tied, and there was no result in 2 matches.

In the 2016 ICC World, T20 Kohli scored 273 runs in 5 matches. However, in the semi-final, despite his top-scored 89 from 47 balls, India lost the match to the West Indies, and India’s campaign was ended. But Kohli got the awards of the man of the tournament as well as the Captain of the ‘team of the tournament’ by ICC.

In October 2017, Kholi made new records for the highest number of 8888 runs with 31 centuries in 200 ODI matches. The ICC appoints Kohli as Captain of their World Test XI and ODI XI for 2017. In 2018 in the series against West Indies, Kholi completed his 10000 ODI runs in 205 matches. He was the fastest and 12th batsman to make such records. He made that record in 205 matches which was 54 matches less than the next fastest Sachin Tendulkar. In the same year (2018,) of his captaincy, Kohli won the test series in Australia and became the first Indian as well as the first Asian Captain to win the test series in Australia. And again, he was appointed the Captain of the World Test XI and ODI XI by ICC.

Kholi captained the Indian team in the 2019 cricket World Cup. In June 2019, in a match against West Indies, he completed 20000 runs in 417 international matches that were the fastest by any batsman.

At the start of 2020, India toured New Zealand, but on that tour, Kholi struggled with his performances, and that tour was disastrous under Kholi’s captaincy. India lost all its matches.
In India’s tour to Australia during 2020-2021, India lost the ODI series but won the T20I series in which Kholi was the highest scorer. In the test series, after the first test, Kohli took paternity leave as he was expecting his first child and left the series in between. For this decision, he was criticized by Gavaskar and Kapil Dev. But despite his absence in the captaincy of Ajinky Rahane, India won the series.

After that, in June 2021, under Kohli’s captaincy, India lost the 2021 ICC World Test Championship final by New Zealand. In September, he was announced as a captain for the 2021 ICC men’s t20 World Cup. But later, Kohli was announced for quitting India’s captaincy.

Retirement from Captaincy

Kohli was chosen to lead the Indian team at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in September 2021. However, Kohli publicly announced his choice to relinquish his position as T20I captain after the competition. India was shut out of the tournament’s later rounds for the first time in nine years after they could not move to the semifinal round.

Rohit Sharma succeeded Virat Kohli as the ODI captain of India in December 2021. Sourav Ganguly, the BCCI President, revealed that Kohli’s ouster from the ODI captaincy was due to the selectors’ choice to forgo having two leaders for the white ball game. However, he expressed that Kohli has been asked to continue serving as the T20I’s Captain. At a press conference, Kohli refuted the BCCI President’s assertion, saying that the BCCI administrators had supported and welcomed his choice to relinquish the captaincy. The top selector, Chetan Sharma, allegedly notified Kohli of his expulsion from the ODI captaincy 90 minutes before the release of the Test squad for India’s tour of South Africa. More than a week later, when the team for the ODI series against South Africa was revealed, Sharma rejected Kohli’s assertion and said that the administrators had pushed him to rethink giving up his position as T20I captain.

Kohli’s Style

Virat Kohli is an aggressive right-hand batsman. Usually, He played at number 3. He is famous for his wide range of shots, as well as for his capability to bat under pressure. Although the cover drive is his favorite shot, his natural shot is a flick shot. He was appreciated by his team for his confidence, commitment, focus, and work ethic. He is also known as a sharp filter.He is a good chaser as he plays well at the time of chasing another team. He said himself, “I love the whole situation that comes with chasing. I like the challenge of testing myself, figuring out how to rotate the strike when to hit a boundary.” Even Kohli’s batting style resembles Tendulkar’s batting style. Sometimes he was called a successor of Sachin Tendulkar. Actually, from his childhood, Kohli was a big fan of Tendulkar, who was also his idol. Kohli always tried to copy the shots of Tendulkar. On his shots, one of the best batsmen, Vivian Richards, said that Kohli reminds him of himself. In this way, he was praised by several cricketers. Greg Chappell said about him, ” Most Australian non-Australian cricketer of all time. However, due to his aggression on the field, he was criticized by the media, who told him he was ‘brash’ and ‘arrogant,’ and at the same time, many cricketers appreciated this aggressive attitude. In 2018 Brian Lara, the legendary cricketer of West Indies said Kohli was one of the best batsmen in the world.

Overall Career Summary

Test Match: Overall, as of May 2023, Kohli has played 110 test matches. Their total runs are 8555, of which there are 28 centuries and 29 His highest score in the test match is 254*.
One-Day Matches (ODI): Kholi has played 274 one-day matches. Their total runs are 12898, with 46 centuries and 65 His highest score in one-matches is 183.
Twenty20: Kohli has played 115T20I matches. Total runs are 4008, with 1 century and 37 The highest score in t20 is 122*.
IPL Matches: Kohli played 227IPL matches in which he scored 6844 runs with 5 centuries and 47

Achievements

Kholi is the highest scorer in T20I, and he has been awarded two times the player of the tournament in the Twenty20 World Cup. In the Twenty20 World Cup 2014, he scored 319 runs with 4 fifties.

In ODI, he is after Sachin Tendulkar(49 centuries) in terms of centuries with 43 centuries. If we see his overall centuries in international cricket, then he has a total of 70 centuries which is after Tendulkar (100) and Ricky Ponting (71). Kholi scored 1000 runs (ODI) in only 11 matches which is the fastest one. He is also the fastest player to score 10 thousand runs.

Awards

Virat kohli Award
Virat kohli Award

National Awards: Kholi received three national awards;

  • In 2013, he was honored with Arjuna Award,
  • In 2017, he was honored with the Padma Shri award ( fourth highest civilian award in India)
  • In 2018, he was honored with the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award (the highest sporting honor in India).

Virat Kohli

Sporting awards: Kholi received several sporting awards. Some of the award lists are below.
Years Awards

Sporting awards: Kholi received several sporting awards. Some of the award list is below.

Years Awards
2017, 2018 Sir Garfield Sober Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year
2012, 2017, 2018 ICC ODI Player of the Year
2018 ICC ODI Test Player of the Year
2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 ICC ODI Team of the Year
2019 ICC spirit of cricket
2011-2020 ICC men’s ODI cricketer of the decade
2011-2020 ICC men’s test team of the decade
2011-2020 ICC men’s ODI team of the decade
2011-2020 ICC men’s T20I team of the decade
2011-2012, 2014-2018 Polly Umrigar Award for international cricketer of the Year
2016, 2017, 2018 Wisden leading cricketer in the world
2011-2012, 2013-2014, 2018-2019 Ceat international cricketer of the Year
2017, 2018 Barmy Army for international player of the Year

Apart from the above awards, Kohli also got other awards in 2012, he was awarded the People’s Choice Awards India for his favourite sportsperson, and in 2017 got an honour from CNN-News 18 for Indian of the Year.

Kohli’s Love Life and Marriage

Kohli marrage
Virat Kohli marrage

Kholi never hides his affair with his girlfriend, Anushka Sharma (Bollywood actress). The couple started dating in 2013, and very soon, the lovebirds started living in a relationship. Their fans give them the name ‘Virushka’. The couple tied in wed-lock on 11th January 2017 in Florence, Italy. This year on 11th January, the couple was blessed with a baby girl and gave her the name ‘Vamika’.

Kohli Child
Kohli Child

Kholi’s Commercial Life

Virat Kholi is known as one of the best cricketers. But apart from cricket, he also loves football. He is a Co-Owner of the Indian Super League club FC Goa. He said that he invested in the club because he wanted football to grow in India, and at the same time, it is also a business venture for him for the future.

Kholi is also the co-owner of the International Premier Tennis League (franchise UAE Royals) and the pro wrestling league (Jsw-owned Bengaluru Yodhas franchise). Kholi, with Universal Sportsbiz, launched a brand called WROGN. It is a men’s casual wear clothing brand later tied up with Myntra and Shopper’s Stop. Kholi is also the shareholder and brand ambassador of the social networking venture ‘sports convo.’

Apart from these, Kholi also invested Rs 900 million in gyms and fitness centers. He has planned for a chain of gyms and fitness centers nationwide. It was launched under the name Chisel and jointly owned by Kholi, chisel India, and Cornerstone Sport and Entertainment. Kohli also invested in a children’s fitness venture in Stepathlon Kids with a Stepathlon lifestyle partnership.

Kholi’s endorsements

With a bright career and popularity in cricket, Kohli also became the brand ambassador of many brands. Just after the 2008 under-19 World Cup, Kohli was signed up by Bunty Sajdesh, a sports agent for Cornerstone Sport and Entertainment. 8-year deal with Puma worth RS 1.1 billion was the highest deal of a sportsperson with a brand.

Kholi’s brand value was in one of the top ranks. According to an American appraisal in 2014, Kohli was at 4th rank in the list of most valued celebrity brands in India. In the same year, according to SportsPro (UK Magazine), Kohli was the second most marketable athlete in the world. According to Duff & Phelps, in 2016, Kohli’s brand value was US$92 million, which was the second number only next to Shah Rukh Khan. In 2017 in the list of Forbes, Kohli was at 7th rank in the most valuable brand among athletes. Kholi had a deal with 17 brands in 2017 like Boost, American Tourister, Audi, Gillette, Gionee, MRF, Manyavar, Punjab National Bank, Uber etc. Mobile Esports platform Mobile Premier League in March 2019 signed Kohli as their brand ambassador. In 2019 Kholi’s earnings were estimated at $ 25 million, of which $21 million were from endorsements, and the rest of the earnings were from salary and winnings. This year (2021), in April, Kohli was signed as a brand ambassador of IPL and Vivo.

Kohli’s Social Welfare and Charity

With his talent and popularity, Kohli is also very kind-hearted and charitable. He has his charity foundation named Virat Kholi Foundation (VKF). Through this foundation, he helps underprivileged children. This foundation also works with other NGOs to raise awareness to support underprivileged children.

To fund their charity foundation, celebrities always organize different events. Kohli and Abhishek Bachchan jointly organized a football match between their clubs, All Heart Football Club, owned by VFK, and All Stars Football Club, owned by Abhishek Bachchan. Kohli captained his team in this match, and the fund generated by this match was used for both charity foundations.

Conclusion

Virat Kohli is an Indian cricketer with tremendous success and popularity. He has been one of cricket’s most well-known and significant figures. The Indian cricket team has been led by Kohli, who has helped the squad to several triumphs and remarkable successes, including significant tournament victories.

Virat Kohli has received a great deal of recognition for his record-breaking career. He has a reputation for having outstanding batting prowess, an aggressive playing style, and a knack for consistently scoring runs in all game formats. The ICC Cricketer of the Year title was one of several significant honors and accolades that Kohli has received.

Virat Kohli is renowned for his charitable work, contributions to several social causes, and cricketing accomplishments. He has contributed significantly to encouraging fitness, helping poor kids, and spreading awareness of many concerns.

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