Virat Kohli is the ‘Numero Uno’ batsmen in the latest ICC ODI rankings. He has certainly emerged as one of the best players in the limited-overs format. Kohli has set high benchmarks that will not be an easy task for the upcoming cricketers to outclass. India has produced some of the finest batsmen in the history of cricket comprising the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag and many more.
It was quite difficult for the 31-year-old to fill the boots of the senior batsmen after their departure. But, Kohli successfully managed to do so and established himself as one of the best batsmen across the globe. In the last decade, the Indian skipper has soared from rock bottom to glory and his path has been full of ups and downs. Nevertheless, Kohli’s ability to never back down has transformed him into a successful cricketer in international cricket.
Kohli has tasted a lot of success in ODIs in which he has already scored 11,609 runs in 242 games with 43 tons and 55 fifties. His stats show that he is no less than a magnificent cricketer. In the year 2019, he muscled 1377 runs in 26 games at a brilliant average of 59.86 and ended as the No.1 batsmen in ICC rankings.
As everyone knows, the competition level in international cricket is always at its peak. And, with the passage of every year, new batsmen come into the spotlight with jaw-dropping performances and brilliant batting performances.
Hence, here are the five international players that can outshine Virat Kohli in the year 2020:
1. Rohit Sharma
The first and the biggest competitor of Virat Kohli in the ODI format is his own teammate Rohit Sharma. The 32-year-old opener had one of the best years (2019) as far as his cricket career is concerned. The Mumbai Indians skipper ended as the leading run-scorer in the ICC World Cup 2019 with 648 runs that comprised five tons and one half-century. Rohit broke several records throughout the year on the back of his mesmerising form.
Rohit was in such great form that he left the world number one batsmen Virat Kohli behind in terms of leading run-scorer at the end of the year 2019. Moreover, he missed the prime position in the ODI rankings by just 14 points. If he continues with the same form in 2020, then the chances are quite high that the Hitman might leave Kohli behind in ODIs.
The Mumbai-born player has certainly raised the bars and Virat Kohli will get some tough competition in 2020. And, it is confirmed that a fearsome rivalry is on the line for the fans.
2. Babar Azam
Babar Azam, the top-order batsman from Pakistan has certainly emerged as one of the biggest rivals of Virat Kohli in ODI format. The 25-year-old is one of the mainstays in Men in Green and he has been giving consistent performances for his national side. Babar mustered 1092 runs in 20 games at an average of 60.66 with three tons and six half-centuries in the year 2019. He also went past Kohli and became the third-quickest player to smack 11 tons.
Even, Babar is not very far from Virat Kohli in the latest ODI rankings as he is ranked 3rd in the batsmen tally. The 25-year-old is technically very sound due to which he received lots of praises from the former cricketing greats. His previous year performances for Pakistan and stats make him a fierce competitor for Virat Kohli for the year 2020 in the ODI format. However, Babar will have to be in its prime throughout 12 months if he wants to outclass the Indian batter.
In ICC World Cup 2019, Babar Azam was the leading scorer for Pakistan with one brilliant ton and three half-centuries. He possibly showed glimpses of becoming the best batsmen in the 50-over format by performing well in unfamiliar conditions of England.
3. Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson, the right-handed batsman from New Zealand is rated as one of the best batsmen when it comes to ODIs. He is quite consistent in compiling runs and successfully managed to do the same for his national team. Williamson is a calm individual that plays in old-fashioned style in the modern era. He likes to take pressure and score runs that make him a whole lot of a different player from others.
The 29-year-old led his side from the front to the finals in the ICC World Cup 2019 and his brilliant performances turned out to be the pivotal reason behind the success of New Zealand in the mega-event. Despite not being a hard-hitting batsman, Williamson manages to leave a good impact in the match.
Williamson mustered 948 runs in 20 ODIs at an average of 59.25 in the year 2019 and ended on the seventh position in the ODI rankings with 796 points. And, the right-handed batsmen have all the prerequisites to outshine Virat Kohli in 2020.
4. David Warner
David Warner, the left-handed opener from Australia marked his return to international cricket after finishing his ban imposed by Cricket Australia. The 33-year-old batsman is known for his killer instinct and his brilliant hitting that has established him as one of the best openers across the globe.
Witnessing Warner’s recent heroics, it never looked that the Aussie batsman was sidelined from cricket for almost 12 months. The southpaw came with a bang on knock of 89* runs against Afghanistan in his first ODI match for the year 2019 in the mega-event.
Warner played quite a few ODI games throughout the year in comparison to his competitors but still managed to use the opportunities to the fullest as he amassed 647 runs in 10 games at a brilliant average of 71.89 with three tons and as many fifties. Warner is also ranked seventh in the latest ODI rankings with 794 points.
If Warner continues with his impressive form with the bat for Australia in 2020, then there are no second thoughts that Virat Kohli will face some tough competition in the 50-over format.
5. Quinton de Kock
Quinton de Kock, the Proteas skipper is another recipient in the list of Virat Kohli’s competitors in ODIs. He has emerged as one of the best batsmen in South Africa and has proved his worth on international stage with some career-defining knocks with the bat.
After the departure of senior players like AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla, the left-handed batsman took the responsibility on his shoulders and certainly turned out to be one of the best finds for South Africa in the recent past.
De Kock is no less than a world-class batsman when it comes to 50-over format and his stats are enough to speak more about the Proteas player. In 2019, he managed to score 774 runs in 17 innings at a good average of 48.37 with one ton and seven half-centuries and ended as the second leading run-scorer for his country.
Quinton de Kock will surely look to upgrade his performance in 2020 in comparison to his previous years as a cricketer. And, if he remained successful in doing the same then he will be a serious threat cum competitor for Virat Kohli in ODIs.
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