It has been a tremendous year for Virat Kohli, the captain and Virat Kohli, the skipper. He led India to a historic series win in Australia and then swept all the individual ICC awards on the plate. He was the best in Tests, unbelievable in ODIs, and proficient in T20Is. His form and machine-like consistency have been the cornerstone to India's success in the recent past and coach Ravi Shastri, who has seen the captain grow, puts it all down to evolution.
"Starting with the ICC awards (achieving all awards in the same year), I don't think anyone will ever do it again. It is something very rare because you need two things to happen to win all awards in a single year. You need to be a captain of a very good cricket team across formats, that allows you to win two awards as the best captain of the ICC Test team and the ICC ODI team," Shastri told Cricbuzz.
'As dominant as Viv Richards'
As far as the numbers are concerned, Shastri believes that Kohli is buoyed by the extra responsibility and this reflects on his batting. He has also compared his attitude to Viv Richards.
"He is as dominant as Sir Vivian Richards. The closest I have seen to the great man. Virat is in your face, he wants to dominate and has a work ethic like no one else. Whether it comes to discipline, training, sacrifice or self-denial, it is unbelievable. I think India is lucky to have a leader of that sort. He reminds me of Imran Khan in many ways," Shastri said.
"England was icing on the cake. Here's a guy who has got 140 runs in 10 innings (2014) and then gets 590 runs with two masters of bowling in James Anderson and Stuart Broad," he added.
As far as captaincy is concerned, the head coach believes there is plenty of room for improvement and Kohli will only grow, both as a leader and tactically.
"As far as I am concerned, tactically, there is still room for plenty of improvement as captain. He has gotten better and better, and better, and I thought in the Australian Test series, tactically he outsmarted Australia," the coach analysed.