With every passing innings, journalists, reporters and writers alike are running short of adjectives to describe Virat Kohli's batting genius. In the ongoing tour of South Africa, the Indian captain has amassed 870 runs from 13 innings at an average of 87.00 and a strike rate of 82.38. In the process, Kohli has hit seven sixes and 91 boundaries.
Having already made many records on this tour, Kohli is now closing in on Vivian Rachards and Don Bradman's record of runs scored on a single tour. The West India legend had scored 1045 runs in West Indies' tour in 1976. Richards had scored 216 runs in ODIs, and 829 in four Test matches. In comparison, Kohli's numbers are a mirror image of Richards. The Indian skipper hit 286 runs in the three-match Test series with a hundred and a fifty, 558 runs in the 6 ODI innings with 3 hundreds and a fifty and 26 runs in the first T20I at the Wanderers Stadium.
Kohli now needs to score 175 runs in the final two T20I matches to go past Richards' record and considering the 29-year-old's form, the feat may not be beyond him. However, the talismanic Indian captain might find Donald Bradman's tally of 974 in five Test matches in England more accessible.
India lead the three-match T20I series 1-0 after winning the 1st T20I at Johannesburg and keeping in mind the form they showed in the ODI series, the visitors will be in positive mood ahead of the remainder of the tour.
Kohli's chances of eclipsing Richards and Bradman's record could well depend on the outcome of the toss. The Proteas' struggle against Indian spinners may prevent them from posting big total if they are to bat first in the two matches. But, Kohli is not letting the records or the comparisons with former cricketing greats get to his head.
"It is surreal to think of comparisons. I have always thought that it was tougher for the greats of the game because we have better protective gear today. I can't think of playing in a cap and Sir Viv always did. He smacked fast bowlers for sixes all over the world and even thinking about it sends chills down your spine," Kohli said.
India play South Africa in the second T20I at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Wednesday.
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Washington is the third player after Shubman Gill and Avesh Khan to be ruled out of the tour.
Dhawan will lead a young squad with six uncapped players in a six-match limited-overs series against Sri Lanka, which is the last opportunity to check out a few players for the available slots for the marquee event in the UAE, starting 17 October.
Shikhar Dhawan's unbeaten 86 in the first game of the ongoing three-ODI series in Colombo helped him accumulate 712 rating points and gain two slots, while Kohli has 848 points.