For most batsmen, three Test match double hundreds is a body of work to be proud of over a career. Virat Kohli made that many in 2016. For most batsmen, averaging 50 in ODIs over a year is reason to pat themselves on the back. Virat Kohli averaged 92.37 in 2016. For most batsmen, 500 runs in an IPL season is an exceptional effort. Virat Kohli made 973 in 2016.
Additionally, Kohli was man of the series at the World T20, scoring 273 at an average of 136.50 in five innings. He made 2595 runs across international cricket in 2016. Only Rahul Dravid in 1999 has made more for India in a calendar year.
Clearly, Kohli isn't most batsmen.
In 2016, in coloured clothes or white, Kohli was a colossus. He was assured and dominant. Insatiable and defiant. In nerve-wracking run chases such as the virtual quarterfinal of the World T20, he ran and ran and ran, till Australia were run into the ground. In an ODI against New Zealand at Mohali, he serenely knocked off an unbeaten 154 to saunter to the 286-run target with ridiculous ease. Every time he pulled on an RCB shirt, he threatened to go past three figures.
Against England in Mumbai, he decided he just wouldn't be dismissed. Nearly nine hours and 235 runs later, he had punctured even a semblance of resistance. Kohli ended the year as the world's second-ranked Test & ODI batsman and the top gun in T20Is.
However, the Kohli story in 2016 is incomplete without referencing Kohli the captain. Under his command, India now hold a lead of 15 ratings points at the top of the ICC Test rankings. India won nine of their twelve Tests in the year and drew the other other three. No other Indian captain in history has won as many in a single year. He is already joint-third with Mohammad Azharuddin with 14 wins as Test captain. It took Azhar 47 Tests to win as many, Kohli has got there in 22. His team-above-self, victory-at-all-costs-without-fearing-defeat mantra has seeped down a resilient unit bursting with young energy as a new year beckons.
In 2016, the boy wonder from Delhi took a decisive step towards claiming a place among the legends of the modern game. Scarily, at 28, Virat Kohli's best might still be ahead of him.