Indian skipper Virat Kohli is celebrating his 30th birthday today. The right-hand batsman is currently at number one in ICC’s ODI and Test batting ranking and is miles ahead of his peers with his staggering numbers.
In his decade long cricket career, Kohli has produced several astonishing knocks and picking the best of them is a daunting task. Nevertheless we recall the three innings that stamped Kohl’s dominance in world cricket.
In 2012, Kohli had already stunned Sri Lanka with a sensational century in Australia but when he met Pakistan in Asia Cup the stakes were higher and the pressure at the peak.
However nothing fazed Kohli as he reduced Pakistan to a pulp while chasing 330 nonchalantly. This knock proved that the inning against Sri Lanka wasn’t a fluke and by the time Kohli finished his innings on 183, a chase master had officially emerged in ODI cricket.
This was unreal. This was beyond magnificent. If the six over third-man is the symbol of Sachin’s assault against Pakistan in 2003, then the six over covers against Mitchell Johnson is symbol of Kohli’s utter brilliance against Australia at Jaipur in 2013.
India were chasing 360 runs and when Kohli came to the crease they needed 184 off 143 balls. And then Kohli happened. He disdainfully brushed aside the Johnsons, Mckays and Dohertys to score the quickest hundred by an Indian and the chase got over with eight overs remaining.
On a flat patch, runs were scored through Tsunamis so the numbers didn’t matter but what remains still fresh is Kohli dancing down the track and punching Johnson on the up over covers for a six.
His dominance in chases is established but little is known about his surgical batting while setting a target. Against South Africa in 2018, the Indian batsman weaved magic that reflected his stunning planning, his unmatched fitness and complete commitment to his art.
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Barring Shikhar Dhawan no other Indian scored more than 20 runs but the Indian skipper managed to get 160 runs. He scampered, he struggled, he fought Tahir, Ngidi and Rabada and when he walked back not out after fifty overs, India had 303 runs on the board and everyone was at their feet applauding the genius.