In February–March 2008, Virat Kohli captained the victorious Indian team at the 2008 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup held in Malaysia. Batting at number 3, he scored 235 runs in 6 matches at an average of 47 and finished as the tournament's third-highest run-getter and one of the three batsmen to score a hundred in the tournament. He was instrumental in India's three-wicket semi-final win over New Zealand Under-19s in which he took 2/27 and scored 43 in the tense run-chase and was awarded the man of the match. He scored 19 against South Africa Under-19s in the final which India won by 12 runs (D/L method).
Virat Kohli registered his first ODI century on December 24,2009. Kohli went on to play a knock of 107 runs against Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens sharing a 224-run partnership for the third wicket with Gautam Gambhir. Kohli's Century helped India script a seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka.
In May-June 2010, Kohli was the vice-captain for the tri-series against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe, as many first-choice players skipped the tour. Kohli made 168 runs at 42.00 including two fifties. During the series, Kohli became the fastest Indian batsman to reach 1,000 runs in ODI cricket.
In 2011, Kohli played in every match of India's successful World Cup campaign. He scored an unbeaten 100, his fifth ODI century, in the first match against Bangladesh and became the first Indian batsman to score a century on World Cup debut. In the final against Sri Lanka at Mumbai, he scored 35, sharing an 83-run partnership with Gambhir for the third wicket after India had lost both openers within the seventh over chasing 275. This partnership is regarded as "one of the turning points in the match", as India went on to win the match by six wickets and lift the World Cup for the first time since 1983.
Kohli was appointed the vice-captain for the 2012 Asia Cup in Bangladesh. Kohli was in fine form during the tournament, finishing as the leading run-scorer with 357 runs at an average of 119. In the final group stage match against Pakistan, he scored a personal best 183 off 148 balls, his 11th ODI century. Coming in at 0/1, he struck 22 fours and a six in his innings to help India to chase down 330, their highest successful ODI run-chase at the time. His knock was the highest individual score in Asia Cup history, the joint-second highest score in an ODI run-chase and the highest individual score against Pakistan in ODIs surpassing previous record of 156 by Brian Lara.
In June 2013, Kohli featured in the ICC Champions Trophy in England which India won. In the semi-final against Sri Lanka at Cardiff, he struck 58 not out in an eight-wicket win for India. The final between India and England at Birmingham was reduced to 20 overs after a rain delay. India batted first and Kohli top-scored with 43 from 34 balls,sharing a sixth-wicket partnership of 47 runs off 33 balls with Ravindra Jadeja and helping India reach 129/7 in 20 overs. India went on to secure a five-run win and their second consecutive ICC ODI tournament victory. He was also named as part of the 'Team of the Tournament' by the ICC.
In 2014 England tour, India conceded a 3–1 defeat in the five-match Test series despite leading it 1–0 after the first two Tests. Kohli fared poorly in the series averaging just 13.40 in 10 innings with a top score of 39. He was dismissed for single-digit scores on six occasions in the series and was particularly susceptible to the swinging ball on off stump line, being dismissed several times edging the ball to the wicket-keeper or slip fielders. Man of the series James Anderson got Kohli's wicket four times, while Kohli's batting technique was questioned by analysts and former cricketers.
For the first Test of the Australian tour in December 2014, MS Dhoni was not part of the Indian team at Adelaide due to an injury, and Kohli took the reins as Test captain for the first time. Kohli scored 115 in India's first innings, becoming the fourth Indian to score a hundred on Test captaincy debut. MS Dhoni announced his retirement from Test cricket at the conclusion of third Test match, and Kohli was appointed as the full-time Test captain ahead of the fourth Test at Sydney.In 2015, Captaining the Test team for the second time, Kohli hit 147 in the first innings of the match and became the first batsman in Test cricket history to score three hundreds in his first three innings as Test captain. He was dismissed for 46 in the second innings and India hung in for another draw. Kohli's total of 692 runs in four Tests was the most by any Indian batsman in a Test series in Australia.
Kohli maintained his match-winning form in the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 in India, scoring 55 not out in another successful run-chase against Pakistan. He struck an unbeaten 82 from 51 balls in India's must-win group match against Australia in "an innings of sheer class" with "clean cricket shots". The knock helped India win by six wickets and register a spot in the semi-final; Kohli went on to rate the innings as his best in the format. In the semi-final, Kohli top-scored once again with an unbeaten 89 from 47 deliveries, but West Indies overhauled India's total of 192 and ended India's campaign. His total of 273 runs in five matches at an average of 136.50 earned him his second consecutive Man of the Tournament award at the World Twenty20. He was named as captain of the 'Team of the Tournament' for the 2016 World Twenty20 by the ICC.
Virat Kohli got the chance to captain in an ICC tournament for the first time in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy. In the semi-final against Bangladesh, Kohli scored 96*, thus becoming the fastest batsman, in terms of innings, to reach 8,000 runs in ODIs in 175 innings. In the captaincy of Virat Kohli, the Indian cricket team reached the final, but lost to Pakistan by 180 runs. He was named as part of the 'Team of the Tournament' at the 2017 Champions Trophy by the ICC.
In 2018 England Tour, Kohli scored his first Test century on English soil in the first test match of the series against England. On 5 August, Kohli displaced Steve Smith to become the No. 1 ranked Test batsman in the ICC Test rankings. He also became the seventh Indian batsman and first since Sachin Tendulkar in June 2011 to achieve this feat. In the third test at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, Kohli scored 97 and 103, and helped India win by 203 runs. At the end of 5-match test series, Kohli scored 593 runs, which was third highest runs by an Indian batsman in a losing test series.
In April 2019, he was named the captain of India's squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup. On 16 June 2019, in India's match against Pakistan, Kohli became the fastest batsman, in terms of innings, to score 11,000 runs in ODI cricket. He reached the landmark in his 222nd innings. Kohli scored five consecutive fifty plus score in the tournament. India lost the semi-final against New Zealand, in which Kohli was out for just a run.