In a race for world dominance like no other, finally, a clear winner has emerged amongst 2 giants of modern cricket. This particular race was about scoring the most international runs in 2019. Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma had already set the year alight with their blazing performances with the bat, while recently swapping places at the top of the run-getters list almost with every other game. But in a fitting finale to the duo’s stature, in their final international match of the year, Kohli edged past his teammate to extend his own record as the leading run-getter in a calendar year into the 4th year running.
Since 2016, Kohli has finished with the most number of runs in all Tests, ODIs and T20Is combined, each year. While in 2016, Kohli top-scored with 2595 runs to his name, he followed that up with 2818 and 2735 runs in 2017 and 2018 respectively. On Sunday during the 3rd ODI vs West Indies, when Kohli scored his 73rd run, his international run-tally for 2019 touched 2443 – one more than that of Sharma – making it the 4th consecutive year in which Kohli has claimed this feat. However, earlier Rohit did make sure to raise the bar for his captain.
Before the Cuttack game, it was Rohit who stood at the top of the heap, leading Kohli by 9 runs. Rohit further widened the gap on Sunday when chasing West Indies’ 315/5, the opener scored a fluent 63 at a-run-a-ball, laced with eight 4s and a maximum. But after Rohit fell to Jason Holder, Kohli showed why he is often called ‘The King’ by going a step further and claiming the record for himself.
Since the advent of T20s, Kohli is the only player to have completed a hat-trick of most runs scored in the world across formats for 4 years in a row.
Pakistan’s Babar Azam lies in the 3rd place behind Kohli and Rohit on this list with 2082 runs in 36 matches. But Azam can’t go past the Indian duo as there are no more international matches scheduled for Pakistan in 2019. Ross Taylor (1820) and Joe Root (1790) round up the top-5 on this illustrious list.
While Rohit missed out on the record, he should feel pretty satisfied to have owned a couple of other major ODI records. Firstly, the flamboyant opener finished as the top run-getter in ODIs in 2019 with 1490 runs which includes 7 hundreds. Secondly, Rohit’s 2442 runs in 2019 broke the record of Sri Lankan legend Sanath Jayasuriya’s 1997 run-tally of most international runs as an opener in a calendar year. Jayasuriya had scored 2387 runs as an opener 22 years ago.