The triple crown of batting

Virat Kohli was named Sportsman of the Year (Cricket) at the Sportstar Aces Awards, supported by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, in association with MRF.

“Sportstar for me used to be the posters (centerspread),” says Virat Kohli.   -  Getty Images

"I can’t think of anyone else better than (him) as the sportsman of the year,” said former Australia spin legend Shane Warne as he gave away the Sportsman of the Year (Cricket) at the Sportstar Aces Awards, supported by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, in association with MRF, to India captain Virat Kohli.

Kohli smiled, shook his head and accepted the award from his childhood hero Warne, who is now the brand ambassador of the Rajasthan Royals. And Warne’s praises defined the phenomenal success the 30-year-old had in the last one year.

He not only let his willow do the talking, but also ensured that India won the historic Test series in Australia.

He amassed 2,735 runs in international cricket in 2018, with an average of 68.37. In the process, he became the highest run-scorer in the both Tests and One-Day Internationals with 1,322 and 1,202 runs, respectively. And in the 10 T20 International fixtures that he featured in, Kohli scored 211 runs at an average of 30.14 and a strike rate of 121.96.

As he scaled newer heights, Kohli was named the 2018 Cricketer of the Year as well as being voted Test and One-Day International Player of the Year at the International Cricket Council awards. It is the first time a player won all three prizes in the same year.

But this year, as India chases its World Cup dream, Kohli is excited to have won Sportstar’s Sportsman of the Year award.

Sportstar for me used to be the posters (on the centre spread). I used to buy those magazines and would look forward to the posters,” he said, with a smile.

“Getting this award and being on the magazine’s cover now is like a childhood memory revived but the difference being I am on the cover now. To receive it from (Warne), one of my heroes growing up, is a dream come true,” Kohli said. As a child, Kohli would make sure to collect all the centrespread posters of the childhood heroes. And it is no different this time around. Moments after receiving the award, Kohli turned the pages of the Sportstar magazine and tore off the centrespread, which had a poster of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. “I am going to take the poster home and hand over to him,” Kohli said.

After all, even for the India captain, it is about reviving the childhood memories!