Indian captain Virat Kohli received the Khel Ratna award from India President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday. Kohli, the world's No.1 Test batsman as per the ICC rankings, has been in stupendous form for the past three years and missed out despite nominations in the years 2016 and 2017. He becomes the third cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni to receive the award.
The 29-year-old currently has 6147 runs in 71 Tests with 23 centuries and 9779 runs in 211 ODIs, including 35 tons. With a combined 58 tons in international cricket, he is second only to Tendulkar (100) in the list of India's top century-scorers in international cricket.
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) September 25, 2018
Kohli is one of those rare sportspersons, who has received Padma Shri award (2017) before Khel Ratna. This year, Kohli was a favourite after having led India to victories against England and Australia at home and away wins against West Indies and Sri Lanka.
The Indian team has also won limited-overs series in South Africa under Kohli's leadership.
He is a member of the 2011 ICC World Cup and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy winning team. He also led the team to the finals of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy.
Kohli has also been the recipient of ICC's 'ODI Cricketer of the Year' in 2012 and 2017 along with the sport's highest honour -- the ICC Cricketer of the Year. Kohli has won the Indian Cricketer of the Year on five occasions.
He ended the recent England series with a phenomenal 593 runs even though it was not considered in the selection cycle.
(With Inputs From PTI)