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Virat Kohli: Only batsman in the world to average over 45 in all three formats of the game

Virat Kohli © Getty Images
Virat Kohli is ranked among top 10 batsmen across all formats © Getty Images

Virat Kohli has been taking giant strides in international cricket. Abhishek Mukherjee looks at an almost unnoticed record for the man who has been hailed as one of the potential all-time greats by several gurus.

There are orthodox cricket pundits who are not impressed with Virat Kohli’s on-field antics. This columnist, a traditionalist to the core, especially when it comes to cricket, had raised an eyebrow when news of his discipline used to come in. With time, scepticism gave way to awe as Kohli took gigantic strides across all formats.

To start with, Kohli has the highest batting average among all batsmen with 500 Twenty20 International (T20I) runs, significantly ahead of Aaron Finch, the next man on the list:

Highest T20I averages (500 runs)
R Ave SR 4s 6s
Virat Kohli 906 45.3 130 96 19
Aaron Finch 660 41.25 156.8 70 30
Michael Hussey 721 37.94 136.3 58 25
Kevin Pietersen 1,176 37.93 141.5 119 32
Misbah-ul-Haq 788 37.52 110.2 45 26

Having already dominated Tests and One-Day Internationals (ODIs), Kohli has now taken to T20Is. In fact, at the time of writing this article, Kohli is the only man to be averaging over 45 in all three formats of the sport. Since it is evident from the above table that nobody barring Kohli has averaged over 45 in T20Is, let us lower the bar to 250 runs.

35+ averages in all three formats (250 runs in all formats)
Tests ODIs T20Is
R Ave R Ave R Ave
Andrew Symonds 1,462 40.61 5,088 39.75 337 48.14
Jacques Kallis 13,289 55.37 11,574 44.86 666 35.05
Kevin Pietersen 8,181 47.28 4,440 40.73 1,176 37.93
Matthew Hayden 8,625 50.73 6,133 43.8 308 51.33
Michael Hussey 6,235 51.52 5,442 48.15 721 37.94
Misbah-ul-Haq 3,218 48.75 4,527 44.38 788 37.52
Virat Kohli 1,721 46.51 5,634 52.16 906 45.3

Only seven men have averaged over 35 and scored 250 in all three formats; of them, Mathew Hayden has crossed the forty-mark in all, but Kohli has gone a notch ahead, going past the 45-mark in all formats.

This versatile quality has also an impact on the Reliance ICC Player Rankings, making Kohli the only batsman to rank in the top ten across formats:

Tests ODIs T20Is
Rank Rating Rank Rating Rank Rating
AB de Villiers 1 922 Virat Kohli 1 881 Aaron Finch 1 892
Kumar Sangakkara 2 879 AB de Villiers 2 872 Virat Kohli 2 889
Shivnarine Chanderpaul 3 876 George Bailey 3 856 Alex Hales 3 834
Hashim Amla 4 873 Hashim Amla 4 840 Brendon McCullum 4 777
David Warner 5 871 Kumar Sangakkara 5 833 Kusal Perera 5 725
Ross Taylor 6 842 MS Dhoni 6 783 Faf du Plessis 6 714
Misbah-ul-Haq 7 824 Jonathan Trott 7 725 JP Duminy 7 698
Cheteshwar Pujara 8 819 Shikhar Dhawan 8 723 Ahmed Shehzad 8 684
Michael Clarke 9 818 Tillakaratne Dilshan 9 717 David Warner 9 681
Virat Kohli 10 784 Misbah-ul-Haq 10 715 Suresh Raina 10 679

As is evident, though there are five men (de Villiers, Sangakkara, Amla, Warner, and Misbah) who appear on two of the three lists, Kohli is the only one to feature on all three.

(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Deputy Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs at http://ovshake.blogspot.in and can be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ovshake42)

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