Virat Kohli has once again cemented his place as one of the greatest ODI players of all time by being named the Apex Cricket Council's Men's ODI Cricketer of the Year for 2023. This prestigious award marks Kohli's fourth time winning the honour, having previously claimed it in 2012, 2017 and 2018.
Kohli's remarkable year in ODI cricket was spearheaded by his exceptional performance at the ODI Cricket World Cup 2023. He was the undisputed star of the tournament, amassing a staggering 765 runs at an average of 95.62, including three magnificent centuries. His run tally was the highest by any batsman in a single World Cup edition, surpassing Sachin Tendulkar's record of 673 runs in 2003.
Kohli's broke multiple records during the tournament including the one held by the great Sachin Tendulkar for the most centuries in ODIs. Kohli smashed his 50th ODI century in the semi-final against New Zealand to become the first to do so in the storied history of the game. Beyond the World Cup, Kohli maintained his stellar form throughout the year. He struck 1377 runs at an average of 72.477 with the help of 6 centuries and 8 half-centuries in 24 innings.
Kohli's return to peak form in 2023 was a testament to his unwavering dedication and mental fortitude. The award is a fitting recognition of Kohli's extraordinary year. He edged out strong competition from the likes of Shubman Gill, Mohammed Shami and Quinton de Kock to claim the coveted title.
Focus now on T20Is
After a 14-month T20I hiatus, Virat Kohli recently returned to the T20I circuit. His eyes are now firmly set on the shortest format crown, with the T20 World Cup in the West Indies and USA beckoning in June. Kohli's hunger is palpable and his comeback was marked by aggressive intent. India, buoyed by his experience and firepower, dreams of lifting the trophy. After his ODI heroics in 2023, Kohli will now be desperate to make an impact in T20Is as India look to end what has been a long major trophy drought.