Virat Kohli just keeps on winning one accolade after another, not just in his own country, but also in the other countries. The Indian skipper is arguably the best batsman in the world currently, not just for Indian fans, but also for England fans.
In a special gesture to pay tribute to his greatness, England's famous fan club 'Barmy Army' awarded Kohli the 'International Player of the Year' accolade. He received the award after the conclusion of Day One of the three-day tour match between Essex and India. The Indian skipper is currently No.2 ranked player in Test format.
He scored 110 runs in three T20Is earlier this month, helping India win the three-T20I series 2-1. The Indian skipper then followed it up 191 runs in the ODI series. Though, he saw his team fall 2-1 in three-match series.
India, having won the toss, chose to bat. But under the swinging conditions, they were given a taste of what to expect in the upcoming five-match Test series against England.
The Essex bowlers rattled the Indian batting unit, removing Shikhar Dhawan for a 'golden duck' and Cheteshwar Pujara for 1. Murali Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane were at the crease, and they steadied the ship for the visitors.
Rahane, after getting off to a star, got out for 17. But the moment Kohli came to the crease, the game turned on its head. The Indian skipper played some aggressive cricket to rattle the Essex bowlers.
He and Vijay both reached the half century mark before dispersing back to the pavilion for 68 and 53 respectively. But the following batsmen, KL Rahul and Dinesh Karthik continued the attack on the host bowlers, and put India in a commanding position.
Both the middle order batsmen reached their 50's, before Rahul was dismissed. That was the final wicket of the day, as Karthik, along with Hardik Pandya, saw off the rest of the day, playing some attacking cricket. At the stumps, Karthik was unbeaten at 82, whereas Pandya remained not-out at 33.
After the tour match, India play a five-match Test series against England starting August 1 at Birmingham. The visitors have had a dismal record in this format in the past two tours. In 2011, India were whitewashed 4-0 in the four-Test series. Three years later, they lost the five-Test series 3-1.