Records are meant to be broken, as they say, in any form of life, and it is more suitable for sports, especially team sports like cricket.
Yes, cricket is a game played with 1 member in the park, and collective contributions are the need of the hour. But at times, an inspirational effort from an individual player can lift the whole side, and we have seen the particular cricketer carrying the entire team on his shoulders.
Returning to the part about records and new ones being created over time, few are difficult to break. For instance, Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan’s tally of 800 Test wickets is yet to be broken, and so does Brian Lara’s long-standing individual Test high-score of 400 and Rohit Sharma’s ODI high score of 264.
Likewise, coming in this category is a record in franchise cricket, and it is not just any other ordinary T20 league going around the world. We are talking about the IPL, and its competitiveness is still unmatched.
So any record made here is something to boast about, and one such record is Virat Kohli’s incredible run aggregate of 973 runs in the 2016 edition of the Indian Premier League.
The former Indian skipper, leading the Royal Challengers Bangalore team back then, had a sensational IPL season amassing a stunning 973 runs and smashing 4 centuries in the process. His average throughout the season was 81.03, and his strike rate was over 152. Virat almost single-handedly took the team past the finish line as RCB ended as the runner’s up in the 2016 edition.
Six seasons have passed, and no batter has surpassed this incredible feat set by Virat Kohli. Will the upcoming season be any different, or someone break it? We will have to wait and watch.
But here are the 5 batters who we think can go past the run tally of Virat Kohli in 2016.
#1 Shubman Gill
The young Indian batter represents the defending champions, Gujarat Titans, in the IPL. Gill has the potential to score big runs consistently, and he has shown that in his brief international career for India.
In the 18 innings across formats for the men in blue, Gill has scored 980 runs at an average of 61 with 5 centuries. His 2023 IPL season has started positively, with him scoring a 36-ball 63 in the tournament opener against CSK. He has scored 400-plus runs in the last editions of the IPL.
Though this feat of crossing 973 runs seems far-fetched, Gill might do the unthinkable in his current run of form.
#2 Ruturaj Gaikwad
Another young Indian batter who has made a mark through the IPL is CSK’s batting mainstay Ruturaj Gaikwad. Like Shubman, Gaikwad has had a sublime start to his 2023 IPL campaign, where he made a 92 against Gujarat Titans.
CSK opener has been in tremendous form in the domestic circuit and has already won the orange cap in the 2021 edition of IPL. He made 635 runs that season and might have to do more to cross Virat’s tally.
#3 Jos Butler
England’s white-ball skipper is the next candidate on the list, and he is one of the few batters who have come close to breaching the mark set by Virat Kohli.
In the last IPL season, Jos played for the Rajasthan Royals for 863 runs at an average of 57.53, and at one stage, looked set to surpass a 973-run tally.
Interestingly, the RR opener, too, had made 4 centuries in a single season, just like Virat. We have to see whether Butler also goes on another run-scoring spree this season.
#4 KL Rahul
The Indian opener and Lucknow Super Giants captain is a different beast when it comes to IPL. He has always been among the top run-getters of the season in the past few editions, and this year is no different.
Rahul has already won the orange cap once in 2020 when representing PBKS scoring 670 runs, and made over 600 runs in 4 of the last 5 completed seasons.
So we can’t overlook KL Rahul as the batter who can break Kohli’s tally.
#5 David Warner
The only batter in the IPL with 3 orange caps for his kitty, and the Delhi Capitals skipper is a legend when it comes to IPL cricket.
David Warner is the only other batter apart from Virat and Butler to make over 800 runs in a season. Though he looks past his prime, Warner is a capable run-scoring machine in this format. He started the tournament with a half-century against Lucknow and will look to add much more.