India skipper Virat Kohli added another feather to his already illustrious cap on Thursday as he became the fastest batsman to achieve 12,000 ODI runs, surpassing legendary Sachin Tendulkar in the process. Kohli achieved the feat during the third and final ODI against Australia at Canberra.
Kohli, only the sixth batsman to cross the 12,000-run mark in ODI format, reached the milestone in only 242 innings. Tendulkar had taken 300 innings to cross the mark and was previously the fastest player to achieve the feat. Apart from the two, Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka), Ricky Ponting (Australia), Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka) and Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka) are the only cricketers to have scored over 12,000 runs in the 50-overs format.
Meanwhile, former India opener Gautam Gambhir, known for his unfiltered opinions and remarks, showered praise on Kohli upon reaching the milestone. He also congratulated the current Indian captain for gathering over 20,000 international runs.
“You can take anything, you can actually do whatever you want, but the best feeling in the world is, when you score that last run and come back to your hotel room and you’re so satisfied that you’ve done something for your country, what you were meant to do," Gambhir said on Star Sports show Cricket Connected.
"So probably, all those combinations have made him what he is, and hats off to him, he’s scored more than 20,000 runs, centuries all that,” he added.
Gambhir had earlier grabbed headlines for lambasting Kohli after RCB's exit from IPL 2020. He had even called for Kohli's removal as the captain of the Bangalore-based outfit. Since the inception of the tournament, RCB have failed to lay their hands on the IPL trophy.
“Eight years into the tournament [without a trophy], eight years is a long time. Tell me any other captain…forget about captain, tell me any other player who would have got eight years and wouldn’t have won the title and would have still continued with it. So it has to be accountability. A captain needs to take accountability," Gambhir had told ESPNCrinfinfo.
Kohli, who was 23 runs short of 12,000 runs ahead of the final ODI against Australia, scored a resilient half-century as India managed to post 302-run total on the scoreboard. Kohli's knock was followed by a record 150-run partnership between Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja. In response, Australia were restricted to 289 runs as visitors India salvaged a win in the final game of the series.