Virat Kohli

50 Most Marketable 2018 - Virat Kohli

Indian, 29, Cricket

India’s all-conquering captain cementing his legend

Representatives: Cornerstone Sport and Entertainment

Key partners: Puma, Tissot, Audi, MRF Tyres, Uber, Philips

When Sachin Tendulkar retired from international cricket in 2013, India’s cricket-obsessed population mourned the loss of its king. Five years on, Tendulkar’s iconic berth has not just been filled, but perhaps usurped.

With Kohli, it is more than just the volume of runs that has kept his audience so in awe of its hero. Rohit Sharma, Che Pujara, Shikhar Dhawan – all three have superb records for their nation. Yet, none are worshipped like their captain. Kohli’s predecessor MS Dhoni commands similar nationwide reverence – the sort that only the captain can - but there is, in Kohli, an overt and wild passion that, at times, verges on the deranged. It is that insatiable desire to win and the beaming eyes of this spectacular cricketer that has dragged a nation along with him.

Of course, bravado alone will only go so far – especially when faced with India’s band of deeply knowledgeable fans. And that, perhaps, is what makes Kohli so special. His numbers with the bat are otherworldly – nobody in the history of the game comes close to his one-day international record. With a World Cup and a pair of World T20 tournaments around the corner, the legend – and the marketability – of this modern-day great will only increase. NF

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