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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Reliving some of Virat Kohli’s best innings across formats as he turns 34

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Since he made his debut in 2008, Virat Kohli has altered the face of contemporary cricket. Atop the list of all-time greatest batsmen across all formats, he has also proven himself to be.

The former Indian captain has already established his dominance during the current T20 World Cup in Australia and has once again emerged as a formidable opponent. With innings of 82 not out, 62 not out, 12, and an undefeated 64, Kohli has amassed 220 runs thus far in the competition.

Below recaps some of Kohli’s finest innings throughout the years as he approaches his 34th birthday on Saturday.

141 vs. Australia in Adelaide, December 2014 (Test)

Virat Kohli always chooses to be defensive when given the choice between being aggressive and aggressive, even when the odds are against him. And precisely that was on display in Kohli’s maiden Test as captain when Australia made the game intriguing by declaring their second innings on 290/5, giving India 364 to chase on the penultimate day. In the second innings of the game, Kohli, who had already scored a century, chose to go for the kill rather than attempt to force a draw. On a field where Nathan Lyon was creating havoc, he charged in with all of his might. In contrast, Kohli scored 141 runs in a stroke-filled inning that included 16 fours and a six. He had an 80.57 strikeout rate. Although India was unable to win, this innings will go down in Test cricket history as one of the best counterattacking ones ever.

153 vs. South Africa in Centurion, January 2018 (Test)

When India’s chances seemed bleak at 28/2, Virat Kohli came out to bat. In response to a merciless South African pace onslaught, he swiftly analysed the situation and created a masterwork. In response to South Africa’s first innings total of 335 runs, India scored 307 runs on the strength of his outstanding 153 off 217 balls, which accounted for 50% of India’s total. He will go down in history as having one of the best performances by a visiting batsman in South Africa. But the Proteas won thanks to AB de Villiers’ outstanding second innings performance.

133* vs Sri Lanka in Hobart, February 2012 (ODI)

In ODIs, chasing 300+ runs has now become the norm, but doing so in less than 40 overs demands particular abilities, which Virat Kohli possesses. This may qualify as Kohli’s best ODI inning to date. He helped India stay in the tri-series in Australia as they chased down 321 in only 36.4 overs thanks to an unbeaten 133 off just 86 against Sri Lanka. After India got themselves into trouble, Kohli formed a partnership with Gautam Gambhir. One of the highlights of the knock was how he decimated Lasith Malinga in all parts of the field.

183 vs. Pakistan in Dhaka, March 2012 (ODI)

When playing Pakistan in the 2012 Asia Cup at Mirpur in Dhaka, Virat Kohli was at his most destructive. With some absolute carnage, he made a joke of Pakistan’s bowling. He became one of the most accomplished ODI batsmen in the world thanks to performances like this one, which earned him the nickname “chase master.” His greatest ODI score to date of 183 off just 148 balls allowed him to easily defeat a daunting 330-run target. Additionally, at the time, it was India’s most successful chase in ODIs. In addition, Sachin Tendulkar played his final ODI in this game.

82* vs Australia in Mohali, March 2016 (T20I)

India’s quest for a place in the T20 World Cup semifinal was practically over after this game. In their quest of 161, the hosts were looking directly at 49/3. However, Kohli, the king of the chase, was waiting to pen another thrilling chase for India. With five balls left to complete the 161-run mark, he was unbeaten at 82 off 51 to lead India into the semifinals. In the 19th over, Kohli struck Nathan Coulter-Nile for four boundaries to reduce the equation to four off the last over after needing 39 off 18 balls. James Faulkner had previously scored two fours and a six. India won by six wickets with Virat’s help.

82* vs. Pakistan in Melbourne, October 2022 (T20I)

One more pursuit, one more unbeaten 82, one more significant T20 World Cup stage. After a protracted absence, “King Kohli” was back to doing what he does best, and the way he saved India from a crushing loss against Pakistan in the inaugural T20 World Cup match of 2022 brought back memories for his fans of the champion chaser Virat Kohli of old. Virat bowled a stunning 53-ball 82 not out to lead India to a thrilling four-wicket victory against their arch-rivals despite the fact that Pakistan was clearly in the driving seat. He referred to this innings as his best T20I knock ever. To lead the squad to a spectacular victory and start their campaign in the current edition on a high, Kohli rallied India from 31/4 as they were chasing a target of 160 in their opening game.

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