A master of the modern game, Virat Kohli has surpassed ICC Hall of Famer Mahela Jayawardena as the most prolific run-scorer in ICC Men’s T20 World Cup history.
Tucking Taskin Ahmed for a single off his hip Kohli edged past Jayawardena’s 1016 in 23 innings, eight innings quicker than the Sri Lankan, as he eventually finished with 64* from just 44 deliveries.
The unbeaten half-century means Kohli now averages 88.75 across T20 World Cup matches, striking at 132. His knock at Adelaide Oval backed up the work of KL Rahul, who vitally found form with a score of 50 from just 32 deliveries.
Despite a lean trot earlier in the year, the 33-year-old found his groove in the Asia Cup and in bilateral series against Australia and South Africa leading up to the event, and hit the ground running in the much-anticipated meeting with Pakistan at the MCG in front of over 90,000 people to begin his tournament.
Runs against the Netherlands pushed Kohli closer towards the thousand mark, and despite a blip against South Africa, he joined Jayawardena as the only men to boast a four-figure tally.
A glowing embodiment of the modern day athlete, Kohli’s record doesn’t just stack up well with others in the game, but those across other sports.
Meticulous in his preparation, laser-sharp in focus, and perhaps still at the peak of his fitness, his results in a game are hard to comprehend, especially in a game known to be so fickle.
“Fitness for me is probably more important than having cricket practice. I honestly feel that having a fit body makes you think better as well,” Kohli said in the build-up to this year’s event.
“So, it could help people in their work, sport, anything. When you’re fit, you just want to start your day well, look forward to doing a lot more, on an everyday basis rather than just dragging yourself through the day.”
At one stage averaging over fifty in all three formats – he currently averages 49.53 in Test cricket at this point in time to deny him for now – it is the mindset and clinical calculation that truly sets him apart.
Ian Smith raved about Kohli after his miraculous chase against Pakistan on a recent episode The ICC Review.
“He’s a genius, the way he plays, and he’s a genius in the way he’s worked the game out. And he’s a genius in that he knows exactly what to do, when to do it, and when to push the go button,” Kiwi great Smith said.
“When he finished, we had shots of him kneeling down and punching the pitch surface, punching it to relieve the pressure on himself.”