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10 Best Innings by Virat Kohli’s

Zohaib Ahmed
September 14, 2021, 9:24
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10 Best Innings by Virat Kohli’s

10- 235 against England in 4th Test in Mumbai in 2016

Having seen England amass a sizable 400 in their opening innings, India had to respond with something similar, if not even bigger. The innings was going fine, with the home side 262-2 when suddenly something triggered a collapse. A few hours later, they were 364-7 and it appeared that the mighty Indian batting might not even match England’s output. Kohli had other ideas. He formed an astonishing 241-run stand with Jayant Yadav for the eighth wicket, carefully guiding the number nine batsman who also went on to score 104. Kohli finished with 235 and helped his side amass 631 – a total large enough that India did not have to bat again in the match as England lost by an innings and 36 runs.

9- 141 against Australia in 1st Test in Adelaide in 2014

A fourth-innings ton is always special but when it comes on the back of another scored in the same match, it becomes super special. Kohli pulled just that in Australia in late 2014. Set a target of 364 to win, Kohli had to join opener Murali Vijay in the middle much earlier that he’d have liked, with the run chase somewhat flailing at 57-2. Kohli stabilised the ship, absorbed all the pressure and formed a 185-run partnership with Vijay to bring India in a commanding position. It’s a pity that he perished, having made 141 off 175 balls as his side fell just 48 runs short of a historic win.

10 Best Innings by Virat Kohli’s

8- 90 not out against Australia in Adelaide in 2016

This is a rare entry on the list that did not come during a high-pressure run chase. Nonetheless, it is still a gem. Kohli was asked to join Rohit Sharm at the crease in the fifth over with the scoreboard reading 40-1. Knowing that taking the attack to the best of the Aussie bowlers in their own backyard and that too in the very first game of the series could be trouble, the genius Kohli targeted the weak links of the Aussie pace unit. He took calculated risk and ended up with an unbeaten 90 off just 55 deliveries to help his side to 188-3, which Australia couldn’t match. India drew first blood, set the tone and whitewashed Australia 3-0 in the series.

7- 153 against South Africa in 2nd Test in Centurion in 2018

Even though this South Africa side were missing their pace spearhead, Dale Steyn, scoring an attacking knock against names such as Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander, Lungi Ngidi and Morne Morkel in their own yard was still no joke. Considering that the rest of the team contributed 154 and Kohli alone scored a swashbuckling 153 puts this knock’s greatness into perspective. India still lost the match courtesy a second innings collapse but it was due to no fault of King Kohli.

10 Best Innings by Virat Kohli’s

6- 149 against England in 1st Test in Birmingham in 2018

Months after that 153 against South Africa, Kohli played an almost identical innings, saving his team singlehandedly from the 1st -innings meltdown. Called in to bat at the score of 54-2, the Indian skipper saw his teammates fall one after another but he himself stood tall as he faced a barrage of difficult spells from the likes of James Anderson, Ben Stokes and Sam Curran. He eventually fell just one shy of another one fifty, with his individual score being far more than the rest of his teammates managed (125). We rate this knock a tad above the South Africa one as here, the English had a full-strength attack and Kohli had entered the series with a reputation of struggling in England. What an emphatic answer it was to silence critics. That was the best of Kohli.

5- 169 against Australia in 3rd Test in Melbourne in 2014

India had lost both the opening Tests of this series and now ran the risk of getting whitewashed. On top of it, Australia had amassed a massive 530 in the first innings of this match. Thus, India needed something big, and who better to deliver it than Kohli, who wasn’t even the captain at that point (hello MS Dhoni!) but still led from the front as he formed a crucial 262-run stand with Ajinkya Rahane for the fourth wicket. India finished with 465. He’d bag another half-century in the second innings to force the match towards a draw.

4- 103 against England in 3rd Test in Nottingham in 2018

India had lost both the opening matches of this five-match series, and another defeat would have seen them lose the series prematurely. The occasion required someone to stand up and ensure that the series did not go dead. Having already contributed 97 in the opening innings, Kohli scored another 103 in the second innings in the face of some menacing spells by the likes of James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes. His knock helped India post a massive 521-run target for their hosts, who succumbed at just 317 as the visitors halved their deficit in the series.

10 Best Innings by Virat Kohli’s

3- 82 not out against Australia in Mohali in Super 10 match of World T20 2016

The target set by Australia for India in this match was not a massive one but the home side was languishing at 94-4 in the run chase. With just 36 more balls left, India needed 68. The new man in was MS Dhoni, the perennial finisher, so naturally everyone expected him to take the lead. However, for much of the next six overs, Dhoni was a mere spectator at the non-striker’s end as Kohli took the charge and delivered such a shellacking to the world-class Aussie pace unit that the target was achieved with almost an over to spare. India advanced to the World T20 semis and it was all down to Kohli’s brilliance.

2- 133 not out against Sri Lanka in Hobart in Commonwealth Bank Series in 2012

Set a massive 322-run target by Sri Lanka, India needed someone to play through their innings. The expectation was that either Sachin Tendulkar or Virender Sehwag would play that role. But instead, the then 23-year-old decided to play a knock wise beyond his years. He took just 86 balls for his 133 and did not get out. The Indians, under Kohli’s watchful eyes, played with such a pace that the seemingly massive total was achieved with more than 13 overs to spare (yes, you read that right!).

1- 183 against Pakistan in Dhaka in Asia Cup match in 2012

Such is the pressure of the occasion that an average knock against Pakistan is rated as good and a good one as great. But Kohli’s 183 was superb without factoring in who it was against. The tale of the match goes that Pakistan had piled up 329 in their allotted 50 overs, thanks to centuries from their opening pair of Nasir Jamshed and Mohammad Hafeez. India’s run chase got off the worst possible start when their own opener Gautham Gambhir was out the very second ball of the innings for naught. With the team on backfoot against archnemesis and qualification on the line, Kohli expanded where others shrink. The man nicknamed Chiku became ferocious and aggressive and dominated the Pakistani bowling unit featuring the likes of Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal an Wahab Riaz – the latter of whom was bled for 50 runs in just four overs. Kohli was out in the 48th over for 183 off 148 balls but by then the match was already in the bag. In our opinion, that was Virat Kohli’s best innings ever.

Stats that prove Kohli’s ability to elevate game in pressure situations

Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 0 4s 6s
Overall ODI stats 254 245 39 12169 183 59.07 13061 93.17 43 62 13 1140 125
ODI stats while chasing 140 136 31 7149 183 68.08 7568 94.46 26 33 4 718 78

 

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