The former Indian skipper has already stamped his authority on the ongoing T20 World Cup in Australia and once again become a force to be reckoned with. Kohli has scored 220 runs in the tournament so far with 82 not out, 62 not out, 12 and an unbeaten 64.
With him turning 34 on Saturday, TimesofIndia.com here relive some of the best shots played by Kohli over the years.
141 vs Australia at Adelaide, December 2014 (Test)
If Virat Kohli is given an option to be aggressive or defensive, the latter option always takes a backseat, even when the odds are against him. And that is exactly what was on display in Kohli’s first Test as captain as Australia made the game interesting by declaring in their second innings at 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 death 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 hit-filled knock of 141 studded with 16 fours and a six. His strike rate was 80.57. India failed to cross the line, but this knock will long be remembered 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 quickly assessed the conditions and produced a masterclass against a relentless South African pace attack. He smashed an exceptional 153 off 217 balls, accounting for 50 per cent of India’s total of 307 in reply to South Africa’s first innings total of 335. His knock will go down in history as one of the best knocks played by a visiting batsman in South Africa. However, AB de Villiers’ second innings masterclass propelled the Proteas to victory.
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133* vs Sri Lanka at Hobart, February 2012 (ODI)
Chasing 300-plus scores in ODIs has become the new normal, but doing so in less than 40 overs requires special skills that Virat Kohli possesses. This may 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 tough spot. The way he slashed Lasith Malinga to all parts of the ground was one of the highlights of the knock.
183 vs Pakistan at 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 Pakistani bowling with sheer carnage. It was knocks like this that made people give him the tag of ‘chaser 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 to date – to smash a massive 330-run target with utter ease. It was also India’s biggest successful chase in ODIs at the time. This match was also Sachin Tendulkar’s last ODI.
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82* vs Australia at Mohali, March 2016 (T20I)
It was a virtual knockout for India chasing a place in the T20 World Cup semi-finals. The hosts were staring down the barrel at 49/3 in their pursuit of 161. But Kohli – the master of the chase – was about to script another memorable chase for India. He was unbeaten on 82 off 51 to send India into the semi-finals as they chased down the target of 161 with five balls to spare. Needing 39 from 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 the equation down to four off the last over. Virat took India home with 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 layoff, ‘King Kohli’ was back to doing what he does best and the way he wrested victory from the jaws of defeat against Pakistan in India’s opening match at the 2022 T20 World Cup the fans of the Virat Kohli of old remind – the champion chasing master. Pakistan were well and truly in the driver’s seat, but Virat single-handedly propelled India to an epic four-wicket win against the arch-rivals with a magnificent 53-ball 82 not out – an innings he himself called his best ever T20I knock mentioned. . Kohli lifted India from 31/4 while chasing a target of 160 in their first match, to lead the team to a memorable win and start their campaign in the current edition on a high.