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Five of the best innings from Virat Kohli


India have always been known for producing great batsmen, from the time of Vijay Hazare to our present generation, all of them making their mark with the bat when called upon. The 2000s were probably the best time for Indian cricket when they really started making an impact on the world stage, with the likes of Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman forming the core of a formidable batting unit. And now Kohli has evolved into the linchpin of this batting unit. Here we look back at five of the best innings from Virat Kohli.

There was no doubting the fact that India would have had to face an uphill task in replacing these legends once they retire. But in 2008, Indians were about to witness the birth of another batting legend who would make sure that the team went through their transition period rather smoothly.

Regarded widely as the best batsman in the world at the moment, Virat Kohli burst onto the scene making his ODI debut in August 2008. Having already amassed more than 14000 international runs across all formats, Kohli holds the record for the joint most number of centuries(17) in ODIs while chasing, 15 of them coming for a winning cause which is also a record in itself. It is this inexplicable record that made Aussie spin legend Shane Warne to rate him at a level different from that of his current competitors in world cricket.

ALSO READ : Bangladesh fans target Kohli after their semi final defeat to India

With India set to take on Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final on Sunday under Kohli’s captaincy, let’s look back into the five best performances from him in ODIs .

5) 107 vs Sri Lanka (4th ODI, Kolkata, Dec 2009)

This was an innings that would be etched in Virat’s memory, en route to his maiden century in international cricket.

Sri Lanka posted a huge first innings total of 315/6, thanks largely to some wayward bowling from the Indians and also a superb ton from southpaw Upul Tharanga. The chase began in the most difficult way possible for the hosts as they were left reeling at 23/2, with both Sachin and Sehwag back in the shed.

It was then a young Virat Kohli joined his Delhi teammate Gautam Gambhir to form a match winning 224-run stand. Virat looked composed on his way to his maiden ton, despite looking vulnerable with his constant shuffling across the stumps. He reached the milestone in 110 balls with a single wide of midwicket. Unfortunately, Kohli couldn’t finish the job off as he perished late on, trying to end the game quickly. But India went on win the game without losing further wickets.

It set the tone for what was to come from Virat Kohli’s willow during chases.

4) 35 vs Sri Lanka (World Cup Final, Mumbai, Apr 2011)

Looking at the score you might be wondering why such a low one would even feature in this list considering the number of centuries Virat Kohli has been able to make throughout his ODI career. But it is necessary to understand that sometimes the runs made by a batsman gets overweighed by the importance of his innings, especially this one which came in a World Cup final.

In the 2011 World Cup final, India came face to face against their neighbours Sri Lanka, with both looking to win the coveted trophy for the second time in their history. The Lankans, opting to batting first, managed to put up a formidable total of 274/6 on the board. Again India were put under pressure as they began their chase, when Malinga produced a brilliant opening spell to remove both Sachin and Sehwag. At 31/2, the Lankans looked well and truly on their way to winning the cup that they had last won in 1996. However, the Delhi duo of Gambhir and Kohli had other plans, as they milked the opposition’s bowling attack and produced an 83-run partnership with Kohli striking four boundaries in his 49-ball knock.

This partnership laid the foundation for Dhoni’s assault later, as India went on win the World Cup after a gap of 28 years and producing one of the most iconic moments ever when Dhoni finished off the game with a helicopter shot.

3) 183 vs Pakistan (Asia Cup, Mirpur, Mar 2012)

Another occasion where Virat Kohli single-handedly destroyed an opposition came in the 2012 Asia Cup against arch-rivals Pakistan.

India were asked to chase a huge total yet again, as Pakistan managed to score 329 on the back of centuries from openers Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed. In the chase, Kohli went completely berserk as he smashed the Pakistani bowlers all around the park. Kohli formed a formidable 133-run stand with Sachin Tendulkar, after Gambhir was dismissed cheaply, negating the threat posed by Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal. Tendulkar’s dismissal didn’t stop him as he went on his merry ways before finally perishing to a short delivery from Umar Gul. But the damage had already been done as India cruised to a comfortable six-wicket win.

The 183 runs Kohli scored that day still remains his highest score in ODIs.

2) 115* vs Australia (6th ODI, Nagpur, Oct 2013)

Barely a fortnight after smashing the record for the fastest century by an Indian, Kohli was at it again against the Aussies to guide India to victory by overcoming yet another massive total.

Shane Watson and George Bailey starred for the Aussies as they managed to put a commanding total of 350/6 . India made a good start to the chase with Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan putting up 178 runs for the opening wicket, before the former fell for a well made 79. When Kohli came into bat, India required 173 runs to win at nearly 8.5 runs/over. This didn’t seem to bother him much, as he went on to  complete the chase with a 115-run knock off 66 balls which included 18 fours and 1 six.

The win helped India level the series at 3-3, which they went on win later by defeating the Australians in the decider at Bangalore.

1) 133* vs Sri Lanka (CB Series, Hobart, Feb 2012)

The best of the lot from Kohli’s bat came when India were up against the Lankans, fighting for a place in the CB Series final, with them having to chase down whatever the Lankans put on the board to even stand a chance for qualification. This knock was full of sheer class and aggression that it would go down as one of the best in the history of the game.

Sri Lanka made sure that the Indians were given a mountain to climb by scoring 320/4 in the first innings,  with Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara doing the bulk of it. The equation was simple, India had to finish the chase inside 40 overs. India started off strongly through Sachin and Sehwag, but the star of the show was Kohli who took the Lankan bowlers to the cleaners on their way to a famous win. The match would also be remembered for the way in which Virat took a special liking to Malinga, who managed to concede 96 runs in less than 8 overs he bowled, and thereby setting the team on its way to overcoming the target with 80 balls to spare.

Despite Virat’s valiant efforts, India failed to qualify and had to return back from Australia following a disappointing campaign.


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