Virat Kohli’s 2016 in perspective – some numbers

We all know what a 2016 Virat Kohli has had, in Tests.
3 Double tons in 3 back to back series, averaging 76 with the bat in 18 innings batted.

Virat Kohli - 3 Double Hundreds in a calendar year!

Virat Kohli – 3 Double Hundreds in a calendar year!

I was curious to see where this performance stands in the History of Test Cricket, in terms of sheer amount of runs, Batting average and a few other numbers.

Some observations follow:

Virat Kohli’s 2016 is at #50 in terms of Runs scored in a Calendar year by a player, with 1215 runs amassed in 18 innings.

Mohammad Yousuf’s 2006 tops the list with a staggering 1788 Test runs amassed in 19 innings at an average of 99.33. Bradmanesque? Whoah!

Sachin Tendulkar’s 2010 is #5 in the list with 1562 runs at 78.10. Sachin is the only Indian who has scored more than 1500 Test runs in a calendar year.

Maximum runs in a Calendar Year! Mohammad Yousuf's 2006 is Bradmanesque

Maximum runs in a Calendar Year! Mohammad Yousuf’s 2006 is Bradmanesque

In terms of Batting Averages in a Calendar Year, Virat Kohli’s 2016 is at #20. Sir Gary Sobers averaged 144 in 1958, the year which saw him score the iconic 365*. Sunil Gavaskar’s 1978 was phenomenal too, with Sunny bhai averaging 92 in the year he toured West Indies having to face the fearsome foursome.

Only 3 batsmen have had years where their batting average was above 100

Only 3 batsmen have had years where their batting average was above 100

The English on average play 15-17 Test matches a year, much more than India, who play 12-14. No wonder we see Alastair Cook scoring 1000+ runs in 4 different calendar years. The record for most calendar years with 1000+ Test runs is currently held by Matthew Hayden. He has 5 of them. Sunny, Sachin, Dravid , Sehwag all have 3.

4 Indians have 3 Calendar years each where they have amassed 1000+ Test runs

4 Indians have 3 Calendar years each where they have amassed 1000+ Test runs

An interesting observation from the below graphic – Joe Root now in 2 consecutive years, has failed to convert 20 50s into 100s. In the last 2 years, he has 26 scores of 50+ (which is great) but ony 6 of them above 100.

Viru Pa had 13 50+ scores in 2010, a record he jointly holds with Joe Root

Viru Pa had 13 50+ scores in 2010, a record he jointly holds with Joe Root

Looking at all these numbers, there’s one more observation that crosses my mind. Look at the “Year” column. 90% of the years are post 2000. The records amassed in Test batting in the 70s, 80s and 90s are far and few. Does it indirectly indicate Test Cricket conditions off late have become more batsman-friendly? Or the quality of bowlers reduced? Or mere coincidence. There are always going to be 2 views.

Perhaps a look at a similar study on Yearly Bowling Stats can help!

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