India captain Virat Kohli is making a habit of breaking long-standing records. On Wednesday, the 32-year-old became the quickest to reach 12,000 runs in One-day Internationals. He achieved this feat in his 242nd innings — during the third ODI against Australia at the Manuka Oval in Canberra — thus bettering Sachin Tendulkar’s 17-year-old record. Tendulkar (18,426 runs) surpassed this landmark in his 300th innings. Overall, Kohli is the sixth player in the 12,000-plus run list that also features Ricky Ponting (13,704), Kumar Sangakkara (14,234), Sanath Jayasuriya (13,430) and Mahela Jayawardene (12,650).
Kohli had a pretty sedate start in this format, since his debut in 2008. He knocked off his first 1,000 runs in 24 innings, before steadily climbing the charts. Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman was the quickest to 1,000 runs in ODIs, while former South African batsman Hashim Amla holds the record for the fastest from 2,000 to 7,000 runs.
It’s only after Kohli crossed 7,000 runs (161 innings) that he began to tee off.
It has taken him only 81 innings to reel off the subsequent 5000+ runs (7,000 to 12000), which is another record in this format. Kohli (175) pipped Amla (176) by one innings to become the fastest to 8,000 runs. He was also the fastest to 9,000 runs, 10,000 and 11,000 runs. However, Kohli finishes 2020 without an ODI century, which is the first time he has not crossed the triple-figure mark since 2008, his debut year. 📣 Express Explained is now on Telegram
Let’s look at their respective numbers. In 463 ODIs, Tendulkar has notched up 18,426 runs at an average of 44.93, with 49 centuries. Correspondingly, Kohli has raced past 12,000 runs in 242 innings at an average of a shade under 60, with 43 tons to his credit. If he goes at the current rate, he would need another 110 innings to overtake the master batsman. Given his form and fitness, that would not be much of a stretch.
1️⃣2️⃣,0️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ ODI runs for Virat Kohli 🔥
— ICC (@ICC) December 2, 2020
It has, to an extent. Having two white-balls per innings has negated reverse swing and tilted the game heavily in favour of the batsmen. Even the field restrictions, in which each innings is divided into three power plays: Overs 1-10 having two fielders outside the 30-yard circle and the next 30 overs in which four fielders are allowed, and in the last 10 overs having five fielders outside the ring, has also contributed to batsmen taking ascendancy in this format. When Tendulkar played only two fielders were allowed outside the circle in the first 15 overs but five fielders were allowed outside the circle for rest of the game.
Nevertheless, that does not take anything away from Kohli’s run-scoring spree. His batsmanship is still fundamentally orthodox, runs hard between the wickets, and rarely does he resort to the pyrotechnics like the scoops, ramps and switch hits, which have been the go-to shots of most of his contemporaries. With such a classical approach, there’s no reason why Kohli would not have been equally effective in the Tendulkar era.
Kohli was dismissed for 63 in Canberra on Wednesday. Had he nicked a three-figure score, Kohli would have equalled another Tendulkar record: registering nine ODI centuries against Australia. A century in Canberra would also have put him at par with Ponting’s record of 71 international tons, who is currently placed second behind Tendulkar’s 100 centuries.