Twelve years ago, a 19-year-old Virat Kohli donned the India jersey for the first time in his career, as he made his debut against Sri Lanka in Dambulla. After leading the India U-19 side to glory in the World Cup in the same year, Kohli had become a household name after his appearance for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League.
His impressive individual performances eventually earned him his first India call-up in August 2008 for the series against Sri Lanka. Kohli opened the batting alongside Gautam Gambhir in his debut ODI, which marked the beginning of a glorious chapter in Indian cricket.
He failed to impress in his first series, however, registering one score of over fifty in five matches. In his first ODI, he scored 12 off 22 deliveries, facing a tough test against the likes of Chaminda Vaas and Nuwan Kulasekara - the latter eventually dismissed him.
He registered scores of 37, 25, 54 and 31 in the next four matches - all coming as an opener.
Kohli, however, announced himself at the international stage in 2009 when he came at number four and slammed a brilliant century against the Sri Lankan side in Kolkata. In the chase of 316, India had lost Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar very early and Kohli joined Gambhir with the side's score at 23/2.
The duo, then, forged a 224-run partnership, steering the game away from Sri Lanka and eventually aiding India to a seven-wicket victory, securing a series victory. The century marked Kohli's arrival in the international setup and the youngster never looked back since.
On this day in 2008, a young @imVkohli donned the #TeamIndia jersey for the first time and as they say the rest is history.— BCCI (@BCCI) August 18, 2020
Here's congratulating #TeamIndia Captain on #12YearsOfVirat pic.twitter.com/ietcVCDfrG
In 2011, Virat Kohli was the part of the Indian team which lifted the World Cup. In the final, Virat -- again, against Sri Lanka -- joined Gambhir at a stage where India were on the backfoot after losing Tendulkar and Sehwag early. While the batsman didn't score a century this time, he helped stabilise the Indian innings alongside Gambhir, adding 83 runs for the third wicket.
Today, the Indian captain is widely regareded as one of the greatest batsmen in international cricket. He boasts of an average of over-50 across all the three formats of the game, having made 86 appearances in Tests, 248 in ODIs and 82 in T20Is.
Kohli has scored 70 international centuries so far and remains only two shy of overtaking Australian great Ricky Ponting to become the second-highest century-scorer. With 11,867 runs in ODI cricket, the Indian captain is the highest run-getter among present cricketers and sixth-highest overall. In Tests, he has slammed seven double-centuries so far -- most by a present cricketer and joint-fourth overall with West Indies' Wally Hammond.
In 2017, Virat Kohli became the captain of the Indian team across all the three formats. He has since led India to famous victories at home and abroad -the most significant one coming against Australia in the Test series Down Under, where his side became the first from Asia to defeat the Australians at their home soil.
However, he is yet to lift an ICC trophy as a captain. In the 2017 Champions Trophy, India lost in the final to Pakistan while in the 2019 World Cup, India, despite a terrific show in the group stages, lost to New Zealand narrowly in the semis.