The former Indian skipper has already stamped his authority on the ongoing T20 World Cup in Australia and again become a force to reckon with. Kohli has scored 220 runs so far in the tournament with knocks of 82 not out, 62 not out, 12 and an unbeaten 64.
With him turning 34 on Saturday, TimesofIndia.com here relives some of the best knocks Kohli has played over the years.
141 vs Australia in Adelaide, December 2014 (Test)
If Virat Kohli is given an option of being aggressive or defensive, the latter option always takes a backseat even when the odds are against him. And that’s exactly what was on display in Kohli’s first Test as skipper when Australia made the match interesting by declaring their second innings on 290/5, leaving India 364 to chase on the final day. Kohli, who had already got a century in the first innings of the match, decided to go for the kill instead of playing for a draw. He came out all guns blazing on a pitch where Nathan Lyon was causing all sorts of trouble. But Kohli defied all the odds in his stroke-filled knock of 141 studded with 16 fours and a six. His strike-rate was 80.57. India couldn’t cross the finish line, but this knock will be remembered for a very long time as one of the best counter-attacking innings played in Test cricket.
153 vs South Africa in Centurion, January 2018 (Test)
Virat Kohli walked out to bat when the chips were down for India at 28/2. He assessed the conditions quickly and produced a masterclass against a ruthless South African pace attack. He smashed an exceptional 153 off 217 balls, accounting for 50 percent of India’s total of 307 in reply to South Africa’s first innings total of 335. His knock will be recorded in history as one of the finest knocks played by a visiting batsman in South Africa. AB de Villiers’ second innings masterclass though propelled the Proteas to victory.
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133* vs Sri Lanka in Hobart, February 2012 (ODI)
Chasing 300 plus score in ODIs has become the new normal, but doing that in less than 40 overs requires special skills which Virat Kohli possesses. This can perhaps be termed as Kohli’s best ODI knock till date. His unbeaten 133 off just 86 against Sri Lanka helped India stay alive in the tri series in Australia as they chased down 321 in just 36.4 overs. Kohli built a partnership with Gautam Gambhir after India found themselves in a spot of bother. The way he decimated Lasith Malinga to all parts of the ground was one of the highlights of the knock.
183 vs Pakistan in Dhaka, March 2012 (ODI)
Virat Kohli was at his destructive best against Pakistan in the 2012 Asia Cup at Mirpur in Dhaka. He made a mockery of the Pakistan bowling with some pure carnage. It was knocks like this one that made people give him the tag of ‘chase master’, as he became one of the most complete ODI batsmen in the world. He scored a mammoth 183 off just 148 balls – his highest ODI score till date – to knock off a massive 330-run target with consummate ease. It was also India’s highest successful chase in ODIs at the time. This match also turned out to be Sachin Tendulkar’s last ODI outing.
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82* vs Australia in Mohali, March 2016 (T20I)
It was a virtual knockout for India chasing a spot in the T20 World Cup semifinal. The hosts were staring down the barrel at 49/3 in their pursuit of 161. But Kohli – the chase master – was at the crease to script another memorable chase for India. He stood unbeaten on 82 off 51 to steer India into the semi-finals as they chased down the target of 161 with five balls to spare. Needing 39 off 18 balls, Kohli hit James Faulkner for two fours and a six and then Nathan Coulter-Nile for four boundaries in the 19th over to bring down the equation to four off the last over. Virat took India home to a 6 wicket win.
82* vs Pakistan in Melbourne, October 2022 (T20I)
Another unbeaten 82, another chase and another big stage of the T20 World Cup. After a long hiatus, ‘King Kohli’ was back to doing what he does best and the way he snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against Pakistan in India’s opening match at the 2022 T20 World Cup reminded the fans of the Virat Kohli of old – the champion chase master. Pakistan were well and truly in the driver’s seat, but Virat single-handedly powered India to an epic four-wicket win against the arch-rivals with a magnificent 53-ball 82 not out – an innings that he himself called his best T20I knock ever. Kohli lifted India from 31/4 while chasing a target of 160 in their first match, to guide the team to a memorable win and begin their campaign in the current edition on a high.