Virat Kohli.
Virat Kohli. Image Credit: X

When it comes to the popularity of the game of cricket around the world, Virat Kohli tops the chart with a huge lead over the other players. Whether he goes to Adelaide in Australia, or London in England, or any other place in the globe, fans try their best to get a sight of their favourite cricketer.

The Indian batter has become an icon of the game across the world in the last decade and one of the popular faces of the game when it comes to brand value as the hype in the social media platforms has played a huge role in it.

Virat Kohli has earned around 269 million followers on Instagram- which is the most as an Indian, with the next being Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra with 91.2 million followers. When it comes to sporting personalities, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are ahead of him, with 630 million and 503 million followers respectively.

‘Virat Kohli is a global superstar in the world of sports’ – Ross Taylor

The batting superstar and the icon of world cricket, Virat Kohli has managed close to 14000 runs in the One Day International (ODI) games at an average of close to 60, and a strike rate of 93.58, shouldering on 50 centuries, the most in this format of the game, along with his 72 fifties.

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When it comes to the longest format of the game, the 35-year-old has cracked up 8848 runs in 113 Tests at an average of close to 50, and a strike rate of 55.56, with 30 half-centuries and 29 hundreds.

Former New Zealand captain Ross Taylor has equalled Virat Kohli’s popularity with the likes of CR7 and LM10. He asserted that the craze of the former India captain in the social media forms are quite massive and he is an icon of the game at the moment.

“Players are putting outposts endorsing products and things like that. Who would have thought of that in 2008? Someone like (Virat) Kohli, who is a superstar in the world of cricket, but is also a global superstar in the world of sports,” the once team-mate of Kohli in the Indian Premier League, playing for the Royal Challengers Bengaluru, Ross Taylor expressed. “In terms of Instagram and social media, he’s up there with Ronaldo and Messi.”

Taylor also spoke about the fact that in this time, thanks to the hype, it’s not only the players who are critiqued.

“Yeah, I think you are more accessible, I don’t think sportsmen are just as critiqued,” the veteran told to Raman Raheja, a media professional, and creator who put the Podcast ‘180 Not Out’. “I think movie stars, Bollywood stars, politicians are all under the microscope now because of social media but I don’t think that is a bad thing.”

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Virat Kohli finishes the recently-concluded IPL season in 2024, with the ‘Orange Cap’, thanks to being the highest run-getter of the edition with 741 runs in 15 innings at an average of 61.75 at a strike rate of 154.69, with five half-centuries ad one hundred.

According to the reports, Kohli is due to travel to New York on May 30, as the BCCI scheduled his Visa for a later date, for the start of the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024. India will play their only warm-up fixture on June 01, against Bangladesh at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, as Virat Kohli may not become a part of the game.