Virat Kohli is likely to become the third cricketer to receive Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna as the India captain and weightlifter Mirabai Chanu have been jointly recommended for the country's highest sporting honour.

Subject to approval from Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Kohli will become the third Indian cricketer after batting great Sachin Tendulkar (1997) and World Cup 2011-winning India captain MS Dhoni (2007) to receive the sporting honour.

Kohli, the top-ranked Test and ODI batsman going around, failed to get the selection committee's nod for Khel Ratna in 2016, according to the Press Trust of India.

Nonetheless, the 29-year-old has been hard to ignore this year as he has been in phenomenal form across all format of the game in the ongoing season.

Kohli finished as the highest run-scorer in the recently-concluded five-Test series in England, amassing 593 runs, including two centuries in conditions difficult for batting.

Virat Kohli
File photo of India captain Virat Kohli.PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

Mirabai rewarded for consistent performances

Meanwhile, 24-year-old Chanu was recommended for the award after she won the gold medal in the 48kg weightlifting event at the world championships last year. She also stood on the top step of the podium at Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast earlier this year.

Mirabai Chanu
Mirabai Chanu came up with her A game to win gold medal in the World Weightlifting ChampionshipIANS

Chanu missed out on an opportunity to add an Asian Games medal as she skipped the continental multi-sport spectacle last month in Jakarta with an injury.

Meanwhile, Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth, who equalled a few records after winning four Superseries titles on the tour last year, was also in the fray for the prestigious honour, according to the report.

Recently-retired former Indian hockey captain Sardar Singh and Paralympics gold medalist Devendra Jhajharia were honoured with the Khel Ratna award last year.