It seems that it was just yesterday when Virat Kohli, that talented young teenage skipper, brought home the Under-19 World Cup. Time has flown by and in eleven years' time, Kohli is the national team skipper, among the highest selling brands in the country and one of the best ever batsmen the sport has seen.
On his 31st birthday, we take a glance at 31 lesser-known things we don't really talk about when discussing the man.
- Kohli's father died on 18th December 2006 when he was 18. Since then, he has always had his jersey number as 18.
- Kohli established a charity foundation called Virat Kohli Foundation to raise funds for underprivileged children.
- Kohli has kept wickets twice! Once in a Test in Johannesburg for two overs and then in an ODI in Dhaka for five overs.
- Kohli is the co-owner of FC Goa, an Indian Super League football team, Bengaluru Yodhas in Wrestling and UAE Royals in the International Premier Tennis League.
- Virat Kohli has four tattoos including that of a golden dragon and a samurai warrior for good luck.
- Kohli is the only batsman to hit a century in a rain-shortened T20 match of 15 overs.
- Kohli's first crush was apparently Karishma Kapoor.
- Kohli not only won India the Under-19 World Cup in 2008 but also the Emerging Players' Tournament in 2009, where he scored two hundreds.
- He is the first Indian to score a World Cup debut hundred.
- At just 23, he became an ICC Cricketer of the Year in 2012
- Former Delhi coach Ajit Chaudhary gave Kohli the nickname ‘Cheeku’.
- Kohli's favourite recipe is mutton biriyani and kheer. They are however probably not part of his diet now!
- Kohli has never gotten out or made just 17 runs in ODIs. Interestingly he has made all other scores between 0-40.
- Kohli has most of his ODI hundreds in October. He only has two in November
- Kohli's first International wicket was off his zeroeth ball - Kevin Pietersen was stumped off a wide ball and declared out.
- Kohli has never faced Pakistan in a Test.
- Kohli was once ranked No. 10 in the T20I All-rounders list.
- Kohli debuted as an opener in place of Sachin Tendulkar in his maiden series.
- He was named Border security force ambassador in 2013.
- India has chased down 350+ scores thrice in ODIs. Kohli made a hundred each time.
- Kohli is the only player in the world to make 1000-plus runs in five successive years.
- Kohli started playing cricket when he was three years old.
- He joined Delhi Cricket Academy at the age of 9 with backing from his dad and neighbours.
- Kohli drinks only Evian Natural Spring Water imported from France. It costs Rs 400 per litre.
- His idol at one time was South Africa's Herschelle Gibbs.
- He is the fastest to 20 ODI tons and the only non-retired ODI player other than Rohit Sharma with 25 or more tons.
- He holds the record for the fastest ODI ton by an Indian - a 52-ball hundred against New Zealand.
- After Suresh Raina and Tendulkar, Kohli was the third Indian to have two ODI hundreds before age 22.
- He holds the record for the highest individual ODI score against Pakistan.
- He scored hundreds in his first three Test innings as captain.
- He is the only Indian captain with an overseas Test double hundred.
Quite a genius, one must say! Well, we can’t agree more.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Money Sharma