Virat Kohli: From Young Prodigy to T20 World Cup Champion

Virat Kohli has been widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket. His journey began as a young prodigy in the narrow lanes of West Delhi where his exceptional talent quickly caught the attention of local coaches.

India won the ICC T20 World Cup after thirteen years, on June 29, 2024. This marked India’s fourth victory in the World cup and it’s second victory of the T20 series.

Kohli Announces Retirement

On the occasion, Indian cricketer Virat Kohli announced that the T20 world Cup finals was his last match and that he was retiring from the T20 International cricket.

“This was my last T20 World Cup and this is exactly what we wanted to achieve,” Kohli had announced after he was awarded with the Player-of-the-Match for his 59-ball 76 in India’s seven-run victory against South Africa in the thrilling finish of the T20 world Cup for this year. “This is an amazing game, I was telling Rohit today when we went out to bat that one day you feel like you can’t get a run, and then you come out and things happen. God is great. I bow my head in gratitude. I’m really grateful was able to get the job done for the team when it mattered the most. This is my last T20 game playing for India, my last World Cup I was going to play and I wanted to make the most of it. This was our aim. We wanted to win an ICC tournament, we wanted to lift the cup.” He had further added, ” This was an open secret, it was not something that I was not going to announce if we’d lost. it’s time for the next generation to take over. Two-year cycle, there are some amazing players playing in India, they’re going to take the team forward in the T20 format, and do wonders as we’ve seen them do in the IPL. I’ve no doubts they’ll keep the flag waving high, and really take this team further from here now.”

India’s victory in the T20 World Cup was the first since the ODI edition that had taken place in 2011 and was also coincidentally was Kohli’s first World Cup. The announcement of his retirement from T20 International cricket marks the end of era for the Indian Cricket.

Kohli’s Early Life

Born on November 5, 1988, in Delhi, India, Virat Kohli has been widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket. His journey began as a young prodigy in the narrow lanes of West Delhi where his exceptional talent quickly caught the attention of local coaches.

Kohli was born into a Punjabi Hindu family to Prem Nath Kohli who worked as a criminal lawyer and wife Saroj Kohli. He had received his early education at Vishal Bharti Public School. His family believed that Kohli used to exhibite an affinity for cricket since a very young age. He had first expressed his interest in the sport when he was three-years-old.

When, in 1998, the West Delhi Cricket Academy (WDCA) was established. Kohli’s father, Prem Nath Kohli, recognizing his younger son’s passion for cricket, helped his nine-year-old son to meet coach Rajkumar Sharma. Kohli’s father had also considered enrolling Virat in a professional cricket academy, believing his son’s talent deserved more than just playing street cricket.

Kohli’s Cricketing Career

As a young aspiring cricketer, Kohli was initially enrolled in the West Delhi Cricket Academy, and his early success in age-group cricket paved the way for his entry into the Delhi Under-15 team. His prolific performance continued as he progressed through the ranks, leading to his selection for the Delhi senior team.


       *  The biggest breakthrough in Kohli’s career came in the 2006-07 Ranji Trophy season, with his stellar performances for India as an Under-19 in the 2008 World Cup, where he led the team to victory which marked him as a future star.

       *  In August 2008, Kohli made his international debut for India in an ODI against Sri Lanka. Despite initial struggles, his determination and adaptability soon shone through. His maiden century against Sri Lanka in 2009 showcased his potential, laying the foundation for a remarkable international career. Kohli’s Test debut followed in 2011, and he quickly established himself as a mainstay in all three formats.

        * Kohli’s leadership journey began with the Indian Test team in 2014, and he took over the limited-overs captaincy in 2017. Under his captaincy, India achieved historic victories, including their first Test series win in Australia in 2018-19. Known for his aggressive and passionate approach, Kohli led by example, fostering a winning culture within the team.

        * Kohli’s prolific run-scoring has earned him numerous records. He is the fastest player to reach 8,000, 9,000, 10,000, and 11,000 runs in ODIs and became the captain with the most Test wins for India. He has held the top rank in both Test and ODI batting rankings. Kohli’s consistency and hunger for success have made him a modern-day cricketing legend.

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Other Achievements

*Kohli had made his debut in the Test matches with the West Indies vs India at Kingston match that took place in June, 2011 and had played his last test match in the India vs Australia match that had taken place in Ahmedabad in November, 2023. His ODI debut was marked with Sri Lanka vs India that took place in Dambulla in August 2008 and he played his last India vs Australia that was played in Ahmedabad in November in the year 2023. Kohli’s debut in the T20I matches was with Zimbabwe vs India that was played in Harare in June, 2010 and he played his last T20I India vs South Africa at Bridgetown in June 2024.

*His stride into the FC matches began with Tamil Nadu vs Delhi at Delhi in November 2006 and ended with the South Africa vs India match that was played at Cape Town in January 2024. He also made his debut in the List A matches in Delhi vs Services at Delhi in February 2006 and played his last in India vs Australia at Ahmedabad in November 2023. He played his first T20 match of Delhi vs Himachal in Delhi in April 2007 and played his last in India vs South Africa at Barbados on June 29, 2024. Kohli’s T20 international career came to a glorious end with India’s victory in the ICC T20 World Cup against South Africa on June 29, 2024. India clinched their second T20 World Cup title in Barbados, and Kohli played a pivotal role, scoring a match-winning 76 off 59 balls in the final. His performance earned him the Player-of-the-Match award.

          * He holds several cricket records, including the most individual hundreds in ODI matches and the most runs scored in a single edition of an ODI World Cup. Kohli has been named Player of the Tournament at global events on three occasions: at the 2014 and 2016 T20I World Cups and the 2023 ODI World Cup. Kohli was also a member of the Indian sides that won the 2011 ODI World Cup, the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy, and the 2024 T20I World Cup.

*He was also awarded with the second highest sporting honour, the Arjuna award in the year 2013 and Padma Shri in the year 2017 along with  Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award which is the highest sporting honour of the nation in the year 2018.

           * He ended his 125-match T20I career as India’s second-highest run-scorer in the format – 4188 runs at an average of 48.69 and a strike rate of 137.04. He had endured a difficult T20 World Cup up until the semi-final, scoring only 75 runs in seven innings before his heroic performance in the final.

           * Virat Kohli’s impact on Indian cricket extends beyond the runs and wickets that he has scored across his career span. His passion and commitment for the sport has been deemed commendable. While as a role model and captain, he played a pivotal role in shaping India’s cricketing identity. Kohli has earned praise for his discipline and commitment from teammates, opponents, and cricket veterans alike. “He has changed the face of cricket and how you prepare for the game. The discipline that he has stands out, always,” cricketing great Brian Lara said of Kohli after Kohli was named Player of the Tournament for the 2023 Cricket World Cup.

Also read: India Returns, Wins T20 World Cup 2024: See How India Celebrates The Victory