Every batter loves to score runs in the game of cricket. However, some batters score more runs than others and are more consistent than others. We often give them the nickname of being the run machine. It is a term pretty popular in the cricketing realms and it is a dream for every batter to earn the tag of being a run machine. However, there are only a few who deserve the tag. But who deserves it?
Who is known as the run machine?
While there is no official authority to assign nicknames, fans can tag their favourite players as per their opinions, but the first name that comes to mind when we hear the term run machine is Indian batting superstar Virat Kohli. It is the nickname the right-handed batter has earned by consistently piling up runs across all formats in the last decade.
After having a lean patch for the last couple of years, Virat Kohli returned to form during the Asia Cup 2022 and finished the year on a high by becoming the top run-getter during the T20 World Cup 2022.
Why is Virat Kohli known as the run machine?
There are Test specialists, there are ODI specialists, there are T20I specialists, and then there is Virat Kohli. The Indian batting superstar scores runs across all formats with the same penchant. At the time of writing, in 102 Tests, Virat has amassed over 8000 runs at an average of 49.53, including seven double-hundreds. He will be eager to take his Test average back over 50 as he has now returned to form.
In his favorite one-day format, he surpasses everyone as he has already scored 12344 runs in 262 ODIs at a mind-boggling average of 57.68, including 43 centuries. He is second on the list of the players with the most ODI centuries, only behind the great Sachin Tendulkar with 49 ODI centuries; and, Sachin Tendulkar played 462 ODIs in his career.
Virat Kohli is equally consistent in T20I cricket as he has scored 4008 runs in 115 T20Is at an astonishing average of 52.74. If we talk about the IPL, he has amassed 6624 runs in 223 IPL games, including 4 centuries. Virat Kohli is also the batter with the most IPL runs (973) in one season.
His efforts with the bat are certainly super-human and he is a machine with the bat when it comes to scoring runs. It is no secret that every batter faces a slump in their form during their respective careers and Virat Kohli also faced a major from 2020 to 2022. However, his standards are so high that during the loss of form, he was consistently scoring fifties, with only centuries not coming out of his bat.
Hence, given his numbers, the run-machine title given to him is completely justified.
Who are the other contenders for the title of the run machine?
Most often than not, fans of every country give the tag of the run machine to the most consistent batter of their nation. Once Sri Lankan fans used to call Kumar Sangakkara the run machine, while English fans used to call Sir Alastair Cook the run machine courtesy of his run-scoring habit in Test cricket.
In modern-day cricket, Australians call Steven Smith the run machine owing to his consistency in red-ball cricket. Joe Root is another contender from England, while Babar Azam from Pakistan is also on the list.
There could be many contenders, but all of them are mostly effective in one format, unlike Virat Kohli, who has mastered all formats. If there is one batter who deserves the tag of the run machine then there is only one batter on the planet – Virat Kohli.