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.
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.