Who is the Run Machine in Cricket?

It’s a nickname that’s quite common in the game and I’ve even heard it in club cricket circles. To be called a Run Machine is quite an honour, but who deserves the nickname more than most?

Who is Known as the Run Machine in Cricket?

There may be differences of opinion but the majority suggest that the man with the best claim to the nickname ‘Run Machine’ is India’s Virat Kohli. It’s a title that he earned by scoring heavily both for the national team and in domestic cricket.

He may be looking for a return to his best form in 2022 but consistently high run scoring throughout his career is behind the reasons for this highly respected nickname.

Why is Virat Kohli considered to be the Run Machine?

While he has endured dips in form like all batters, Virat Kohli has been a consistent run scorer over the course of his career. At the time of writing, he still holds the record for most runs in an IPL season after scoring no fewer than 973 of them in 2016.

At international level, Kohli started 2022 looking to end a long run without a century. It’s potentially a worrying time and, while we all expect him to get back to his best, this stretch of bad form continues for now.

At the end of the 2022 Indian Premier League, Virat Kohli’s statistics speak for themselves and prove why he has been called the Run Machine throughout his career.

In 101 test matches up to and including the game against Sri Lanka in March 2022, Kohli had scored over 8,000 runs with no fewer than 27 centuries. His best of 254 came in a test match against South Africa in 2019 and, at that time, it was his seventh double ton in first class cricket.

His average in tests at that point was a shade under 50 and he’ll be looking to get back above that particular figure in the months and years ahead.

In One Day Internationals, Virat Kohli had scored an incredible 43 hundreds in his first 260 games for India. He is second only to the great Sachin Tendulkar for centuries in ODIs and it should be remembered that Sachin’s 49 tons came from 463 games.

That’s another reason why many think that the title of Run Machine is justified when it comes to Virat Kohli.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli celebrates his first Test century, in Adelaide

In all T20 matches across international and domestic cricket, Kohli has made five centuries and has a best of 113. He has been an effective player for India in this format, but he tends to save his best performances for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL.

Other Contenders for the Title Run Machine

In all probability, every test playing country in the world has a player who they think should be called the Run Machine. In England, it’s a name that’s certainly been linked to Alastair Cook who is the country’s leading run scorer in test matches.

Alastair Cook Run Machine
Graeme Swann, Alastair Cook, Matt Prior and Stuart Broad celebrate the wicket of Michael Clarke during day four of the Investec Ashes 4th test match at The Emirates Riverside Stadium, on August 12, 2013 in London, England.

Australia would suggest that Steve Smith is their run machine and English supporters would probably agree after his incredible performances in the 2015 Ashes series. Kane Williamson of New Zealand and Babar Azam of Pakistan would be other contenders.

Final Thoughts

The nickname Run Machine appears to have some flexibility. After Joe Root scored his second century of the series against New Zealand in 2022, this term was also used against his name.

In conclusion, there are a lot of contenders for this title and each one will feel it’s them that should be the run machine, but Virat Kohli’s claim is as good as any.