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Virat Kohli | The Most Followed Cricketer on Instagram

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Virat Kohli is the most sensational cricketer of the time. He is the most followed cricketer on social media and one of the most loved sportspersons in the world. We all know how amazing he plays on the field and how many matches he has won for the country. Virat started his career as an Under-19 and had the full support of his family. He is an outstanding player and has won countless Man of the Match titles and a lot of other sports honours along with the Padma Shri Award.

He is not only an excellent player but also a faithful husband to Anushka Sharma and a proud father to her daughter Vamika. Let’s know some more facts about our favourite cricketer.

Family and Education

Virat Kohli was born on 5 November 1988 to a Punjabi Hindu family in New Delhi. His mother, Saroj Kohli, is a homemaker, and his father, Prem Kohli, was a criminal lawyer. His father was bedridden due to bad health and died of a stroke in 2006. Virat has stated that his father was the greatest supporter of his sports career. His father used to take him to cricket practice every day. Her mother has also expressed that after his father’s death, Virat became more serious about his cricket career. Virat also has an older sister, Bhavna, and an older brother, Vikash.

Virat was raised in a residential area of West Delhi Uttam Nagar and completed his schooling at Vishal Bharti Public School. He became one of the first intakes of the West Delhi Cricket Academy in 1998, where he was trained under Rajkumar Sharma. He has also played several matches at Vasundhara Enclave in Sumeet Dogra Academy while undertaking training from Rajkumar.

Beginning of Virat as a Professional Cricketer

Virat Kohli started his sports career at a very young age. He played in Under-15 for Delhi in the 2003–04 Polly Umrigar Trophy as the captain of the team. In the Delhi Under-17 2004-05 Vijay Merchant Trophy, he finished as the highest run scorer with 757 runs (two centuries) from 7 matches. In 2006, he made his debut in List A for Delhi against the Services Cricket Team.

He also made his debut in first-class for Delhi against Tamil Nadu in November 2006. This was just the beginning of the fantastic career of Virat Kohli in the sports industry. After this, he keeps improving his skills and people start to recognise him.

Under-19

In 2006, Virat was selected for the India Under-19 team against England. He played in two series against England’s Under-19 and India won both series. Later in September, he toured Pakistan as an Under-19 Indian cricket team player and scored an average of 58 in the test series and 41.66 in the ODI series.

In 2007, he debuted in T20 and finished as the highest scorer with 179 runs in the Inter-State T20 Championship. In the same year, he toured Sri Lanka for the triangular series against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the Undere-19 category and was the second-highest run-scorer. In 2008, he became the captain of the Indian team in the Under-19 Cricket World Cup held in Malaysia and won the match. He scored an average of 47 runs in 6 matches (a total of 235 runs) and became the third-highest run scorer of the match. He also became one of the three batsmen who scored a century in that tournament.

Virat scored a century in 74 balls against the West Indies under-19 team in 2008 which helped India win a 50-run victory. This became the innings of the tournament and made Virat the Man of the Match. He also helped India in winning the semi-final against New Zealand’s Under-19 team, scoring 43 runs in the run chase, and again became the Man of the Match.

Virat was awarded the Border-Gavaskar scholarship along with his Under-19 teammates Tanmay Srivastava and Pradeep Sangwan in 2008. This helped them to get a six-week training at Cricket Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Brisbane. He was also selected as one of the emerging players of India for the four-team Emerging Players Tournament and scored 206 runs in 6 matches.

International Matches

Virat Kohli is one of the finest Indian cricketers and has been a part of innumerable international tournaments from a very young age. The early stages of his international tours have been discussed above where he played in the Under-19 team. Let’s have a closer look at his international matches in the later years.

The Early Stages

Virat got selected for the 2008 cricket tour of Sri Lanka. This was a surprise for him because he has played only eight List A matches till then. He was chosen because the first-choice openers Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar were injured. And in the 2009 Champions Trophy, he was chosen as the replacement for Shikhar Dhawan because he was injured. He was also picked as the replacement for Gautam Gambhir in the Indian squad for the tri-series in Sri Lanka because Gautam was injured. He also replaced Yuvraj Singh because of his injury in the 2009 ICC Champions Trophy. So, it has been clear that Virat started his international career as a replacement for the top players who got injured. But this was his chance to show his skills which later made him a highly popular cricketer.

In the 2010 series, Virat played each of the five matches for India. This has helped him to become the third Indian Batsman to score 2 ODI centuries before the age of 22. He got huge recognition for this achievement and was praised a lot.

Kohli’s Leadership

Virat has proved himself a good teammate and a fantastic player. His leadership was also reflected from time to time during his tournaments. The first time Virat exhibited his leadership at an international level was when he was made Vice Captain for the tri-series against Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka in 2010. In this match, he was able to score a total of 168 runs including two half-centuries. Virat also became the fastest Indian batsman to reach 1000 runs in ODI cricket matches during this series.

But he failed to perform well in the tri-series against New Zealand and Sri Lanka. Despite this, he retained his position in the ODI against Australia in October 2010. He was worried about his past performances so he put some extra effort into this series, which helped him to win The Man of the Match. During the home ODI series against New Zealand, he scored a match-winning century, his fourth ODI hundred and second in succession. This helped him to establish a competitive position and made him a strong contender in India's World Cup squad.

In January 2011, Virat was India’s leading runner in the five-match ODI series against South Africa. His amazing performance in the series led him to jump to the number two spot in the ICC Rankings for Men’s ODI batters. This allowed him to be a part of every match of India’s successful World Cup campaign.

Ups and Downs

In 2011, when Virat played the second ODI at Port of Spain, he won the Man of the Match for scoring a total of 81 runs which helped India a remarkable 7-wicket victory. But he failed to perform well in the test series that followed at Kingston and scored only 4 and 15 runs in the matches. This struggle led to his drop off from India’s 4-match series in England later that year. But he was recalled as a replacement for Yuvraj, as he was injured and was not able to play. Fortunately, he played great at the game and earned moderate success.

In the Cardiff series, Virat scored his sixth ODI century and shared 170 runs partnership with Rahul Dravid. It was the only century in the series by any player of either team and this earned him a huge appreciation. On the Australia tour in December 2011, he failed to score more than 25 in the first two tests. In the fourth innings, Virat was able to score his first century of the test series, but unfortunately, India suffered a 0-4 whitewash. Virat was described as the lone bright spot in the night sky because he was India’s top run-scorer in the series. With many more such matches, he ended up as the leading ODI run scorer for the year 2011 and get great recognition and fame.

Virat at His Best

In the Commonwealth Bank Triangular series, Virat played against Australia and Sri Lanka. He scored his two half-centuries in the series against Sri Lanka. Because of his brilliant game, Virat helped India to earn a bonus point along with the win. The Australian commentator stated Virat’s innings as one of the greatest ODI knocks of all time. Though India got out of the series in the later matches, Virat finished as India’s highest run-scorer and the lone centurion of that series.

In the 2012 Asia Cup, Virat was appointed as the Vice-Captain. He was in good form throughout the tournament and earned a 50 runs victory for India against Sri Lanka. In the match against Pakistan, he helped India to chase down 330 which was the highest successful ODI run chase of that time. Also, Virat’s knock was the highest individual score in the history of the Asia Cup. In other matches in the year 2012, he played amazingly alongside the Indian team and was named The Man of the Match many times. He has also helped India to earn the title of Team of the Tournament in the ICC because of his performance.

In the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy, Virat led India to win against England. He also scored amazingly against Sri Lanka, South Africa, Pakistan, and West Indies. His outstanding performance in these matches again brought India the title of Team of the Tournament.

Virat Taking the Number 4 Batting Position

In the triangular series in West Indies in 2013, Virat joined the team as the captain, as MS Dhoni was injured. India lost that match, but Virat became the captain for the complete series. He scored his first century as a captain in Port of Spain against the West Indies and earned a bonus point for India.

Virat Kohli played successfully in the seven-match ODI series against Australia. In the second match at Jaipur, he hit the fastest century by an Indian in ODIs. He reached the milestone in only 52 balls and put up an unbroken 186-run partnership for the second wicket with Rohit Sharma. This helped India in chasing down the target of 360 with more than six overs to spare. This was the second-highest successful run-chase in ODI matches and Virat’s knock became the fastest century against Australia and the third fastest in a run chase. His amazing gaming in such types of matches helped him to top the ICC ODI batsmen rankings for the first time in his sports career.

In the two-match test series in 2013 against West Indies, Virat did not perform as expected. This was the last test series for Sachin Tendulkar and after that Virat was expected to take his number 4 batting position. Later that year, he was able to keep up with his performance and finished the series as the highest run-scorer as well as earning The Man of the Match.

The Highest Run Scorer

In the 2014 Asia Cup, when India toured Bangladesh, Virat was again made the captain as Dhoni was ruled out because of a side strain. Virat scored 136 against Bangladesh and shared a 213-run third-wicket stand with Ajinkya Rahane. In this series, he scored his 19th ODI century and 5th in Bangladesh which made him the batsman with the most ODI centuries in Bangladesh.

In the 2014 ICC World Twenty20, he became the Vice-captain, as Dhoni recovered from his injury and played as captain. In this game, Virat scored a total of 319 runs and made a record for the most runs scored by an individual batsman in a single World Twenty20.

He has played so many national and international cricket tournaments which have helped him to become one of the most successful Indian cricketers. Many times, he lost his game and many times he played with great confidence winning many victories for the Indian team. He has played so brilliantly in the ODIs that he became the second player to score more than 1000 runs in ODIs in the world after Sourav Ganguly, and has remained in the position for 4 years.

Captaincy

In 2014, on the Australian tour, Virat held the captaincy for the first time because Dhoni was not able to play due to some injury. After Dhoni announced his retirement from Test cricket, Virat was made the full-time Test captain. This was a huge achievement for him and every Virat fan cherished that moment. In the world cup against Pakistan at Adelaide, he scored a century and became the first Indian batsman to score a century at World Cup against Pakistan. During the 2015 South Africa tour of India, Virat had become the world’s fastest batsman to score 1000 runs in T20I cricket. Later he also became the world’s fastest batsman to score more than 7000 runs in ODIs and the fastest to score 25 centuries.

Virat played as the captain for the first time in an ICC tournament in 2017. In that tournament, he became the fastest batsman to reach 8000 runs in ODIs. In 2018, India won the ODI series with Virat’s three centuries, and he became the first Indian captain to win an ODI series in South Africa. In August 2018, he ranked the No. 1 Test batsman in the ICC test rankings and was also the seventh Indian batsman to earn this rank.

After scoring his 38th ODI century in 2018, Virat became the first Indian batsman, first captain, and tenth overall to get three consecutive centuries in ODIs. He is also the second Indian batsman to score 6 test Centuries in Australia after Sachin Tendulkar. After winning the test series in Australia he had become the first Indian and the first Asian skipper to win a test series in Australia. He also became the captain during the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

Stepping Down

In 2021, Rohit Sharma replaced Virat Kohli as the India ODI captain. This stepping down of Virat from his captaincy was contradicted by the BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, but later everything settled. In early 2022, Virat also stepped down as India’s Test captain.

Even after losing his captaincy, Virat is in a good form. He has performed amazingly in the matches and earned many victories for India.

IPL (Indian Premier League)

After playing in the Under-19, Virat Kohli was bought by the Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise for $30,000. He played as the captain of RCB for 8 seasons but unfortunately was not able to get any winning trophies. In the 2008 season, he did not perform well, but as the years goes by, his performance keeps on improving. In the 2013 season, he scored a total of 634 runs including six half-centuries which made him the third-highest run scorer of the season.

In the 2016 season, Virat scored 973 runs and broke the record of maximum runs in an IPL season winning the Orange Cap and the Most-valuable Player Award of Vivo IPL 2016 leading RCB to finish as runners-up. He also became the first player to score 4000 runs in the IPL.

In the 2018 IPL, Virat was reserved by RCB at ₹170 million, the highest bid for any player in that season. He scored 530 runs in that season and became the first batsman to score 500+ runs in 5 different IPL seasons.

Virat’s Playing Style

Virat Kohli is an aggressive player, famously known for playing under pressure and chasing down innings. He has strong technical skills to handle the match brilliantly. He bats with a strong bottom-hand grip and a slightly open-chested stance. He plays more grounded shots than big hits. His favourite shot is the cover drive and he stated that the flick shot comes naturally to him.

He is strong on leg stump line bowling. He is considered one of the best limited-overs batsmen in the world. His teammates praised his commitment and ethics towards his game as well as his confidence and focus while playing on the field. Virat is also widely known for his sharp fielding skills.

Achievements

As it is said that hard work always pays off, Virat also has put great effort into his sports career. He has been honoured with numerous awards and honours throughout his lifetime. He is a wonderful cricketer and has helped India win uncountable matches. He has been the Man of the Match in innumerable series and tournaments. Let’s see Virat’s achievements and his hard work.

# Award Name Receiving Year
1 ICC ODI Team of the Year 2012, 2014, 2016 (Captain), 2017 (Captain), 2018 (Captain), 2019 (Captain)
2 ICC ODI Player of the Year 2012, 2017, & 2018
3 Arjuna Award 2013
4 Padma Shri (India's fourth-highest civilian award) 2017
5 ICC Test Team of the Year 2017 (Captain), 2018 (Captain), 2019 (Captain)
7 Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy (ICC Cricketer of the Year) 2017 & 2018
8 Barmy Army – International Player of the Year 2017 & 2018
9 Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award (India's highest sporting honour) 2018
10 ICC Test Player of the Year 2018
11 Polly Umrigar Award for International Cricketer of the Year 2011–12, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18
12 Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World 2016, 2017, & 2018
13 CEAT International Cricketer of the Year 2011–12, 2013–14, 2018–19
14 ICC Spirit of Cricket 2019
15 Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy (ICC Men's Cricketer of the Decade) 2011-2020
16 ICC Men's ODI Cricketer of the Decade 2011-2020
17 ICC Men's Test Team of the Decade 2011-2020 (Captain)
18 ICC Men's ODI Team of the Decade 2011-2020
19 ICC Men's T20I Team of the Decade 2011-2020
20 ICC Men's Player of the Month October 2022

Personal Life

Virat Kohli is married to the gorgeous Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma. The couple was dating in 2013 and got married in 2017 in Italy. They have earned the portmanteau “Virushka” and are highly loved among their fans. The couple got blessed with a beautiful baby daughter, named Vamika, on 11 January 2021.

Virat has declared in 2018 that he is shifting towards vegetarianism as eating meat was causing him some issues such as a cervical spine issue. This was also affecting his finger, eventually leading to an effect on his batting. So, he decided to practice vegetarianism in cooperation with Anushka.Virat is also a superstitious person and used to wear black wristbands as a cricket superstition. He has also stated that he used to wear the same pair of gloves which he believed that had helped him in scoring. He also wears a black thread and a Kara on his right arm since 2012. Virat also has various tattoos on his body including the God Shiva in Dhyan mudra on Kailash Parvat, Om (his parents’ names), an Adivasi sign, a Samurai warrior, a Monastery, the word ‘Scorpion’, and his ODI and Test cap numbers.

Fitness and Social work

Virat is frequently engaged in fitness and social activities. In 2014, he became the co-owner of the Indian Super League, as he stated that he wanted football to grow well in India. In 2015, he became co-owner of the International Premier Tennis League franchise UAE Royals. In the same year, he also invested ₹900 million to open a chain of gyms and fitness centres across India. This was launched under the Chisel tag and is jointly owned by Virat, CSE (Cornerstone Sport and Entertainment), and Chisel India. He also started a children’s fitness venture named Stepathlon Kids in partnership with Stepathlon Lifestyle.

Virat Kohli collaborated with Puma in 2017 and launched his athleisure brand named One8. He also owned a chain of rest-bar and its first outlet, One8 Commune, was launched in 2017. This was his first venture in the food and beverage industry.Virat Kohli is also a philanthropist and established a charitable foundation in 2013 named “Virat Kohli Foundation”. A very great initiative taken by this foundation was the football match between the Bollywood stars and the Indian cricketers. The funds gathered from this event were used for social causes supported by this foundation.

Controversies

Though Virat is one of the finest cricketers in the world, there are many events which made him highly controversial. He has been criticised for his aggressive attitude towards other players and the Umpire. Let’s have a glimpse of some of his controversial moments.

  • Playing against Bangladesh in the World Cup
  • Fight with Umpire in South Africa vs India match
  • Skipping IPL matches and upsetting his fans
  • The criticism against his first ODI Century and his captaincy at a very young age
  • The fans’ criticism against Virat as captain and Shikhar Dhawan as Vice-captain
  • Virat vs Yuvraj Singh when he was not selected for the Indian team

Wrapping Up

Virat is one of the most popular and highly loved Indian cricketers. His amazing performance on the cricket field has earned him an immense fan following. He is the most followed cricketer on various social media platforms. Virat is the first cricketer and the first Indian to get 100 million followers on Instagram. He achieved this on 1 March 2021 and reached the 200 million milestone on 8 June 2022. Virat started as a bright Under-19 Indian cricketer and now has become one of the finest cricketers in the world.

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