What's the story?
Enjoying a rich run of form that has now extended across multiple seasons, India captain Virat Kohli's could add another feather to his bulging cap by 2017 as the highest ODI run-getter this calendar year. With his fifty against Sri Lanka in the first ODI of the ongoing series, Kohli broke into the top-three of 2017's highest run-getters in ODIs.
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Kohli scored an unbeaten 82 off just 70 balls, playing the ideal support hand to centurion Shikhar Dhawan, whose 11th ODI century helped the Indian side hunt down Sri Lanka's mediocre total without even breaking a sweat.
Captain of all three formats, Kohli is undergoing a purple patch, with the disappointment of the Champions Trophy final to Pakistan firmly behind him. A fruitful series against West Indies right after was followed by the Tests against Sri Lanka.
The heart of the matter
With the half-century, Kohli overtook England's Eoin Morgan and broke into the top-three, behind only South Africa's Faf du Plessis and England's Joe Root. While du Plessis, who scored a career-best 185 against the Lankans in January this year, has 814 runs from 16 games, Root has 785 from 14. While Du Plessis averages 58.1 and Root 71.3, Kohli averages a whopping 96.1
England are not slated to play any ODIs until September 19 (when they lock horns with West Indies), while South Africa won't be seen playing 50-over games until mid-October 15 (when they face Bangladesh). Given that Du Plessis and Root won't be playing, Kohli will get a chance to garner a big lead on his contemporaries towards the end of the year.
Post the conclusion of the Sri Lanka tour, which still has four ODIs and a T20I to go, the Indian team will travel back home to face Australia in a five-match ODI series that begins with the first game at Chennai on September 17.
Kohli's stature continues to grow bigger with each passing series: irrespective of the format, the 28-year-old has managed to gather big numbers under his belt. 2016 was a watershed year for him, where he scored 726 runs in seven innings while chasing (including three hundreds).
With captaincy on his shoulders and an opposition like Australia lined-up to play next, expect Kohli to bring out his best game over the next few months. There has been no lull in his batting form, despite a shoulder injury in the first half of 2017, and a similar approach from the batsman for the next year and half will help him, and the Indian team, gather momentum in the months leading-up to the 2019 World Cup.