King Kohli: The conqueror
Kohli has become only the second Indian batsman after Sunil Gavaskar to reach the 900-point mark in the latest ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen
Dubai: Indian skipper and batting mainstay Virat Kohli dominated the ICC annual awards clinching both the cricketer and captain of the year honours — a much- expected windfall of accolades for his phenomenal run across formats.
Kohli, who is currently leading India in an away Test series against South Africa, was named recipient of the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for Cricketer of the Year and also the ODI Cricketer of the Year. Besides he was picked the captain of both the ICC's Test and ODI teams of the year.
Ironically, this comes at a time when his leadership has been called into question in the ongoing three-match series against South Africa, which India are trailing 0-2 after heavy losses.
However, in the qualification period from September 21, 2016 to the end of 2017, Kohli scored 2,203 Test runs at an average of 77.80 including eight centuries, 1,818 ODI runs including seven centuries at 82.63, and 299 T20I runs at a strike rate of 153.
He also captained India to the top of the ICC Test rankings.
"It means a lot to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for becoming the ICC Cricketer of the Year 2017 and also the ICC ODI Player of the Year," Kohli was quoted as saying in an ICC statement.
"I won that back in 2012 also but it's the first time winning the Garfield Sobers Trophy, and it's a huge honour for me. It's probably the biggest of all in world cricket and two Indians getting it back-to-back makes it more special," he added. This is the second time in succession that an Indian has won the overall cricketer of the year award. Off-spinner R Ashwin had claimed the honour last year.
Apart from Kohli, there were four other Indians who were picked in the ICC's Test and ODI Teams of the Year. While the Test team featured Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah and Rohit Sharma found a place in the ODI side. Kohli surprisingly pipped Australian skipper Steve Smith for the ICC's Test team captaincy. Smith had led his team to a dominating 4-0 win over England in the Ashes.
Smith, however, claimed the Test Player of the Year award after scoring 1875 runs in 16 matches at an average of 78.12, with eight hundreds and five 50s. "It's a great honour to receive this award for the second time, having won it in 2015 as well. It's called Test cricket for a reason, and I've enjoyed that test of my ability over the past 12 months," Smith said.
Kohli became the first non-South African since 2013 to win the ODI Cricketer of the Year award since 2013. Quinton de Kock received the accolade for 2016 and AB de Villiers won it in 2014 and 2015.
In the nominations for ODIs this year, Kohli was placed alongside Pakistan paceman Hasan Ali, Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan and his own teammate Rohit Sharma.
Smith, meanwhile, beat off competition from last year's winner Ashwin, who took 111 wickets at 25.87, Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored 1,914 runs, Kohli, and Ben Stokes, who hit 1,000 runs at 40.00 and took 35 wickets at 27.68.
Among other awards, Yuzvendra Chahal's incredible haul of 6/25 against England in Bengaluru last year, was named as Twenty20 International performance of the year.