Kohli joins elite 10,000 ODI run club

13 players have now scored 10,000 runs in ODI history. Virat Kohli, of course, is the newest addition to the list, and while 13 is more than a handful, a quick look at the list of players in the club adds validity to the achievement. Tendulkar tops it, followed by Sangakkara and Ponting. Jacques Kallis, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Brian Lara also find themselves in there. In this list of champions, however, none can lay claim to going close to reaching the 10,000 run mark even close to as quickly as Kohli did.

Kohli took just 205 innings to get there, eclipsing the previous record held by Tendulkar - the Little Master took 259 innings. Kohli, after 205 innings, sits on the list with an average of 59.62 - the second highest average is that of his former captain MS Dhoni, who averages 50.46. Third place goes to Jacques Kallis, with an average of 44.36, more than 15 less than Virat. Oh, and it’s also worth noting that India’s captain also boasts the best strike rate amongst the elite group, going at a rate of 92.85. 

Despite being in last place on the list in terms of total runs scored, he is already second in total centuries, behind only Tendulkar. He has shown a remarkable ability to convert 50s into 100s in the 50-over format, scoring 37 centuries to his 48 half-centuries. For comparison, Kallis had 86 50s and 17 100s, Inzamam 10 and 83, and Dravid 12 and 83. Even Tendulkar only converted a little over one in three half-centuries, scoring 96 of them compared to 49 hundreds.

Kohli, at still a few days short of 30, seems destined to pass most if not all of these players. Second place is just another 4,000 runs or so away, though there is a leap of the same distance to reach Tendulkar in first. Regardless, if Kohli keeps going at even remotely close to the pace he is currently at, he will likely be remembered as the greatest ODI batsman of all time. Even the recently retired AB de Villiers, who many would have been saying the same thing about just a couple of years ago, will struggle to put together a case if Kohli keeps things up for another few years. For reference, de Villiers wound up his career with 9,577 runs at the average of 53.5 and an incredible strike rate of 101.09.

Potentially the scariest thing about Kohli is that he seems to be getting better and better as he ages. In fact, for the past year or so he has been playing a different game entirely to his opponents. Take his numbers this year: in 11 innings, he has notched up 1,046 runs, averaging 149.42 at a strike rate of 103.87, and accumulating five centuries and three half-centuries. Those numbers are ridiculous, though at least they are confined to only 11 games - so lets go back a little further.

In 2017, he played 26 ODI innings. In them, he accumulated 1,460 runs, averaging 76.84 at a strike rate of 99.12 with six centuries and seven half-centuries. The year before, he played just 10 games, but in them he averaged 92.38 at a strike rate of exactly 100.00. 

These sorts of numbers put him so far ahead of any other player in the game that it’s almost impossible to comprehend. In the past three years he has played 47 innings and totalled 3,245 runs at an average of 95.44 at a strike rate of a tick over 100. That isn’t a small sample size. That is now at the point where you can literally expect that kind of output for him on any given night. There are not enough operatives in the English language that exist to describe how impressive that is.  

Kohli may only find himself in 13th place of the list of top run scorers in ODI history, but he is not yet 30 and is beginning to put together the kind of ODI career we have never seen before. So dominant is he that, for the past three years, his numbers are rivalling those of Don Bradman - but in a form of the game in which run scoring is generally significantly reduced! Of course, that isn’t to say he is anywhere near rivalling Don Bradman - he literally averaged a tick under 100 for his entire career, something which gets more absurd every time it’s said. But Kohli is currently an unstoppable force of the kind that many of us would never before have witnessed. The West Indies are currently on the end of it and seem powerless to stop it, but they will be far from the last team torn apart by Virat Kohli.

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