Happy Birthday, Virat Kohli! India’s run-machine and Captain Courageous has grown in stature ever since he made his international debut in 2008 against Sri Lanka. Kohli has been on a record-breaking spree in one day internationals and recently became the fastest man to breach the 9000-run mark.Kohli also surpassed Ricky Ponting in October to move to second in the list of most century-scorers in ODIs. Kohli currently has 32 hundreds to his name and is only behind Sachin Tendulkar (49). Many feel that record is well within Kohli’s grasp too.In terms of international hundreds, Kohli now has 49 tons, which is the second most by an India batsman behind Tendulkar’s 100 hundreds.Kohli is ranked No.1 in ODIs and is currently the leading run-getter in the format in 2017. He has been India’s most prolific chaser since his ODI debut and has scored 16 hundreds in successful run chases for India so farKohli, who notched up his maiden hundred against Sri Lanka in Kolkata on December 24, 2009, also holds the record for most hundreds in chases in 50-overs cricket. The Delhi dasher continues to raise the bar every day and has been a massive influence on his teammates. While Indian cricket adores him, his opponents too accept the mastery they witness on the cricket field.CAPTAIN FANTASTIC(BCCI Photo)Kohli has been a leader par excellence. He steps up on the field and fires up his teammates when the chips are down. He leads by example and enjoys full support and respect in the dressing room.advertisementKohli was named the skipper of the Indian Test team after MS Dhoni retired from the format in the middle of the Australia tour in December 2014..Even though India lost the four-match series 2-0, Kohli showed he has skills to lead the team from the front. Kohli’s first assignment (barring the two Tests in Australia where he led India) was a one-off Test in Bangladesh in 2015. Thanks to persistent rain, the match ended in a draw.Kohli then led his side to a historic triumph in Sri Lanka when India bounced back after losing the first Test to win the series 2-1. Kohli has not looked back since.(BCCI Photo)The same year India annihilated South Africa (3-0). In the 2016-17 season, Kohli’s India recorded a 2-0 win vs West Indies, whitewashed New Zealand 3-0 at home, hammered England 4-0, beat Bangladesh 1-0 and then won 2-1 against Australia in a closely-fought series.In 2017, Kohli became the first Indian captain to clean sweep a series away from home when India whitewashed Sri Lanka 3-0. He also became the first Indian skipper to win two Test series in Sri Lanka.So far, Kohli has led India to 19 victories out of 27 Tests as captain.In February, Kohli became the first batsman in the history of the game to smash double hundreds in four consecutive Test series — 200 vs West Indies, 211 vs New Zealand, 235 vs England and 204 vs Bangladesh.LEADER PAR EXCELLENCE(BCCI Photo)Kohli was handed additional responsibility in January this year when MS Dhoni stepped down from his post after nine years at the helm.Kohli led his team from the front and is yet to lose an ODI series. Kohli recently recorded his fifth consecutive ODI series victory in 2017 when India edged past New Zealand to clinch the three-match series 2-1. Overall, Kohli has led India in seven ODI series and has won them all.In ODIs this year, India have mastered England, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Australia and New Zealand.The world No.1 batsman also led India to the final of the ICC Champions Trophy in England in June.CHALLENGING YEAR AHEADKohli has had a sensational time over the last two years as batsman and captain but he would be the first to admit his real test would begin overseas. India will begin the New Year with a Test series against South Africa and therein lies the chance for Kohli’s Team India to establish itself further.