Virat Kohli named Leading Cricketer in the World by Wisden Almanack
The editor went on to describe Virat Kohli as the "spiritual successor to Sachin Tendulkar".
Updated - Apr 5, 2017 1:58 pm
Team India captain Virat Kohli has added another feather to his illustrious hat. He has been named as the Leading Cricketer in the World in the 2017 edition of the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. The 2017 edition was published this week. The editor of the Almanack, Lawrence Booth, noted that Kohli had the ‘year of his dreams’ and was exceptional in all the three formats of the game.
Describing the stats Kohli has this season, he wrote, “averaging more with the bat in each of the three formats than anyone: 75 in Tests, 92 in one-day internationals and 106 in Twenty20 internationals”. It was under his leadership that team India had a phenomenal home season of Test cricket when they registered wins over England, New Zealand, Australia and Bangladesh. The editor went on to describe Virat Kohli as the “spiritual successor to Sachin Tendulkar”.
Kohli became the third Indian to win the award ever since the inception back in the year 2003. The Almanack covers all the formats of the game – Tests, ODIs and T20Is – from the preceeding year. Hence, it was the spirited show by Kohli against the Kiwis and England that set the tone for him to win the accolade.
The other two Indians to have received the prestigious honor are Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar. Sehwag won the award twice in the year 2008 and 2009, while Sachin bagged it in the year 2010. Also, Virat Kohli features on the cover of the Wisden Almanack this year. The theme of the Almanack awards has been an Asian one. Pakistani batsmen Younis Khan and Misbah Ul Haq have been named in Wisden’s prestigious Five Cricketers of the Year.
Speaking about Misbah, Booth wrote, “His century in the First Test at Lord’s set a benchmark for his team-mates, while his celebratory press-ups became one of the motifs of the year. Against the odds, he led Pakistan, without a home Test since 2009, to the top of the rankings – and all at the age of 42.”
Commenting on Younis’s contribution to the game, he mentioned, “With the pressure on, Younis Khan delivered. His classy 218 in the final Test of the summer, at The Oval, helped Pakistan square the series after successive defeats had left them in danger of squandering their win at Lord’s. It was his 32nd Test hundred – and a reminder that his struggles earlier in the series had been a blip rather than part of a decline.”
Among the all-rounders, Chris Woakes bagged the top honor – an honor which a player can receive only once in his career. “This was the year Chris Woakes announced himself as an international-class all-rounder,” Booth wrote.
The Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack is also known as the Bible of cricket. It is a reference book that is published annually in the United Kingdom. It is renowned as the world’s most prominent sports reference book. Wisden is a small-paged but a very thick book usually having over 1500 pages in modern editions with a distinctive bright yellow cover that it has carried since the 75th edition in 1938.