Wisden Cricketers’ Almanac unveils Virat Kohli in its 2017 cover

South Africa's former domestic cricketer jailed for raping woman 150 times over 10 years

London, Feb4:Wisden Cricketers’ Almanac has unveiled Virat Kohli as its cover star for the year 2017. The Indian skipper has been given this honour thanks to the sensational form he was in last year where he scored 2595 runs in international cricket across all formats.

This year’s cover image features Kohli playing a reverse-sweep, a shot which he seldom plays in Test or limited-overs cricket, which according to Wisden’s editor, Lawrence Booth, signifies that he is a modern-day cricketer.

The 2017 edition of Wisden will be published in April, to coincide with the start of the English season.

“It underlines the fact that he is a very modern cricketer,” Booth told ESPNcricinfo. “It felt like the right time to get some unorthodoxy onto the cover. People often think of Wisden as a bastion of orthodoxy, but cricket is changing so rapidly that it felt like the right time to reflect that, and Kohli was the right man for the job.”

Kohli is only the second cricketer after batting icon Sachin Tendulkar to feature on the front cover of the Almanac in the past four editions. Tendulkar had received the honour of adorning the front cover in 2014 after his retirement from international cricket. England all-rounder Moeen Ali is the only other cricketer of Asian origin to feature on the cover of the magazine. He appeared on the cover in 2015.

.@imVkohli on @WisdenAlmanack 2017 cover – “right moment to make him Wisden’s cover star”, says @the_topspin. More: https://t.co/HyuAfz558k pic.twitter.com/VJc3CWP83y

— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) February 3, 2017

Kohli will be fresh in the mind of all cricket fans after his performances against England. He has pulled clear of the likes of Steve Smith, Joe Root, Kane Williamson and AB de Villiers, and is clearly the most exciting all-format batsman in world cricket,” Booth added. (Also Kohli finished 2016 as the highest run-scorer across formats with 2595 runs from 41 innings at an average of 86.50 including 7 centuries and 13 half-centuries.

The 28-year-old also led India to three Test series wins last year against the West Indies (2-0), New Zealand (3-0) and England (4-0). After taking over the limited-overs captaincy from Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Kohli also led India to series victories over England in the three ODIs and three T20Is this year.

List of records for Kohli in 2016:

– Fastest to 25 ODI tons

– Fastest to 7,500 ODI runs

– Equals Sachin Tendulkar’s (14) record of most hundreds in successful run chases

– Most runs in IPL in a single season

– Most hundreds in IPL in a year

– Only Indian Test captain to score three double hundreds

– Third player to score three double hundreds in a calendar year after Don Bradman and Ricky Ponting

– First Indian captain to register nine Test wins in a calendar year

– First Indian captain to register five successive Test series wins

– First Indian to aggregate over 1000 Test runs in a calendar year since Rahul Dravid, who made 1145 runs in 2011.