Dubai: In a year that reverberated with the resounding echoes of his cricketing prowess, veteran Indian batter Virat Kohli stood tall as he was crowned the ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year 2023, a fitting tribute to his exceptional contributions in the 50-over format.
The zenith of Kohli’s cricketing saga in 2023 was undoubtedly his Player of the Tournament performance at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. With a bat that seemed almost orchestral in its symphony, Kohli not only led India to the final but etched his name in the annals of cricketing history.
Throughout the World Cup campaign, Kohli’s willow conducted a melody of brilliance, striking at least a half-century in nine out of eleven innings. The crescendo came in the form of an astounding 765 runs, the highest individual tally in a men’s Cricket World Cup, surpassing the legendary Sachin Tendulkar’s record set in 2003.
Kohli’s numbers were not mere statistics; they were a testament to his dominance— an average of 95.62, a strike rate of 90.31, and three centuries, including a memorable one in the semi-final against New Zealand. It was in this crucial knockout clash that Kohli walked in at the fall of Rohit Sharma’s wicket, weaving a performance that resonated with historic significance.
Completing his record 50th century in the ODI format during the semi-final, Kohli’s contribution became emblematic of his indomitable spirit and determination. The stunned silence that followed his dismissal in the final spoke volumes about Kohli’s pivotal role in India’s pursuit of the title.
The Indian batting maestro concluded the year with a staggering 1377 runs at an average of 72.47, a reflection of his consistency and ability to deliver under pressure. Six centuries and eight half-centuries in 24 innings solidified Kohli’s status as a run-scoring machine.
For Kohli, the setting of his monumental knock in the semi-final seemed almost surreal. With his wife, Anushka Sharma, in the stands and the legendary Sachin Tendulkar watching, the innings took on a dreamlike quality. “It’s stuff of dreams,” Kohli remarked, capturing the essence of the moment. IANS