- Cricket Winner | November 5, 2020 | 7:41 pm
Virat Kohli turns 32 today and is gearing up to play the Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2020.
Virat Kohli has been a matchwinner for India over the years.
He was the U-19 side captain, which won in 2008 and led the test side to India’s first test series win in Australia.
The Indian Captain is one of the best batsmen in the world and has set so many records for future stars to break.
Choosing five innings of Virat Kohli, which stand out, is next to impossible.
With 70 international centuries and a handful of IPL performances, we will now look at some essential and memorable knocks by Virat Kohli.
183 vs. Pakistan, Asia Cup 2012:
The Indians were facing arch-rivals Pakistan in a much win match during the 2012 Asia Cup.
A win was required to keep India’s campaign alive.
The match before had Sachin Tendulkar scoring his 100th international century against Pakistan.
The match ended in an unfortunate defeat leaving India’s final game a must-win encounter.
The Indian’s endured a tough time in the field, with Pakistan scoring 329 in their 50 overs.
India’s chase was hit early, with Gautham Gambhir dismissed for a duck.
Virat Kohli joined Sachin Tendulkar, who retired from ODI’s after this match, to rebuild the innings.
The two had an excellent partnership, with Sachin Tendulkar scoring at a perfect rate.
Virat Kohli went on to partner with his future Vice-Captain, Rohit Sharma, as the two dominated the bowlers.
Virat looked completely unstoppable throughout his innings and was dismissed for 183 with the side well in control of the match.
The victory was not enough to keep India in the tournament, unfortunately, as other results did not go India’s way, ending the campaign.
Virat’s innings against Pakistan and the 133 against Sri Lanka display his ability as a run-chase master.
35 vs. Sri Lanka, 2011 Cricket World Cup Final
When we talk about the World Cup Final, the first image that comes to mind is MS Dhoni’s six. His innings, along with Gautham Gambhir’s patient 97, are the first to be discussed.
It is easy to forget the importance of Virat Kohli’s knock in the World Cup Final.
He didn’t make a fifty or hundred and was dismissed for 35 runs. However, the 35 is a very crucial one without which India may have been in deeper trouble.
To highlight the importance of the innings, let us first look at the situation.
Sehwag was dismissed for a duck, chasing in a World Cup final.
Sachin was playing in front of his home crowd in what was his last World Cup.
Virat Kohli walked in to bat after the dismissal of Sachin Tendulkar in a ground that has gone pin-drop silence.
The situation would have been too much for a 23-year old to handle as he walked into a graveyard in which only Malinga’s screams of joy were heard.
Virat Kohli, however, showed that there is still hope after Sachin.
He played some crisp shots, ran well between the wickets, and built a brief but crucial partnership with Gautham Gambhir in a high-pressure situation.
His innings repurchased life in the chase, and while he was unfortunate to be dismissed for 35, Virat Kohli displayed immense maturity.
If it weren’t for his knock or if he fell early, the game may have been over as the pressure would have kept mounting on the batsmen.
133 vs. Sri Lanka, Hobart, Commonwealth Bank Series.
Enduring a disastrous tour of Australia, India was in the final stages of the term.
They needed a bonus-point win in their final match to stand a chance of making the finals.
India faced Sri Lanka, who batted first and made 320 in 50 overs.
The Indians needed to chase down the target in 40 overs to secure the bonus point, and the task looked highly unlikely given the team’s form.
However, Sehwag and Sachin got the side off to a flier while Gautham Gambhir and Raina contributed with crucial innings as well.
The batting side did an excellent job, but the star of the day was Virat Kohli.
He displayed his potential as a master-chaser, making 133 runs in 86 balls.
He ran well between the wickets and took apart an in-form Lasith Malinga, who gave 96 runs in 7.4 overs.
Taking apart Malinga in 2012 is no mean feat as he was in perfect form and could nail his Yorkers with ease.
The attack on Malinga was crucial as India finished the match in 36.2 overs.
It was a career-changing knock for Virat Kohli, as he was announced vice-captain shortly after the tour.
116 vs. Australia, Adelaide Test,2012
India came into the fourth test in Adelaide without a single century from their batsmen.
They were down 3-0, and the skipper MS Dhoni was suspended due to slow over-rate.
The Australian’s put up 604 in the first innings, and it looked as though the Indian team would go down without a fight again.
Kohli walked in at 4-87, with most of the experienced batsmen dismissed.
There was no fight from the Indian side, and it looked as though they were heading for a massive innings defeat.
However, Virat Kohli provided India with something to smile about as he made a terrific 116 against a potent bowling attack.
It was his first test century, and it came in a series where his teammates couldn’t manage a single century.
He was in a partnership with Saha briefly but was left with the tail for most of his innings.
He played a mature knock and showed everyone his ability in test cricket.
To stand and counter-attack a powerful Australian bowling attack when nobody else managed to do so, Virat Kohli showed his ability to be the best.
It was his first test century, and the century was also a stepping stone to many in Adelaide, which has become one of his favorite grounds.
169 vs. Australia Melbourne Test, 2014
Virat Kohli returned for the Australia series in 2014 as a complete batsman.
He gained confidence as he managed to score runs in different parts of the world, barring England.
He had a younger side on the revisit and was also the captain in the first test.
Virat Kohli was to face off against an Australian bowling attack, which has tormented batsmen over the last year.
Mitchell Johnson, in particular, was in the form of his life.
He was the leading wicket-taker in the 5-0 whitewash against England, and his short-ball was terrifying for batsmen.
Virat Kohli has already announced himself on the Australian tour with two centuries in the Adelaide Test.
He almost achieved an unlikely chase in the first test, and it was unfortunate for India to come into the third test 2-0.
The Australian side batting first put up 530 on a good batting pitch.
The Indian top-order managed to get off to starts but couldn’t convert to big innings.
India looked like they may concede a big lead, and it was Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane who changed the game.
The two of the countered the bowlers well.
They surprised the crowd, attacking the short-ball, which Mitchell Johnson used to scare many batsmen.
The innings was not short of drama as it involved an incident where Mitchell Johnson accidentally threw the ball at Virat Kohli in an attempt to run him out.
Virat was displeased as he got a little distracted and played some loose shots.
Virat Kohli was helped through the challenging period by Ajinkya Rahane, who went after the bowlers as the two dominated the bowling.
There were some exchanges between the players as the innings went on, and Virat Kohli managed to battle through them well as he finished with 169.
His innings helped India get close to Australia’s score and helped India draw the game.
The innings showed Kohli’s maturity as he had to fight with his temperament to get through a challenging period.
The above five were innings that defined Kohli’s ability as a batsman and showed his skills in challenging various matches.
Along with these, there are numerous other matches, and it is nearly impossible to choose which have been his best.
He’s had some great performances in the T20 world cup, with match-winning knocks against South Africa and Australia in 2014 and 2016.
Those two knocks were in high-pressure games, and Kohli stayed till the end to see India through.
His 143 in the first Adelaide Test in 2014 was another defining innings.
Chasing a high target, Virat Kohli and his side went for the target and came agonizingly close.
While they lost the match, it showed how Virat’s attitude is while leading games. It shows his desire to win even though there is a safe option to draw the game.
Another significant performance from Virat Kohli is his 54 and 41 against South Africa in the Johannesburg Test.
The test was played on an unplayable test against bowlers like Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada, and Vernon Philander.
The batsmen found it difficult to move the scoreboard, but in this case, Virat Kohli showed his class with a positive mindset.
He attacked the bowlers during his stay at the crease and did well to keep the scoreboard ticking.
His contribution, along with Ajinkya Rahane, was crucial in India’s win at Johannesburg.