Fifteen years ago on this day, a gifted and audacious batter hailing from Delhi, Virat Kohli nonchalantly took to the Dambulla field, embarking on his long-awaited journey onto the international stage. Even prior to this momentous occasion, his name had been reverberating through the corridors of Indian cricket, as his resolute leadership propelled the Indian U-19 team to a stunning World Cup victory in 2008.
Rife with expectation, this precocious young talent’s inaugural outing, alas, did not unfold as anticipated. His nimble bat surrendered after mere twelve runs, a deceptively deflating first impression. Yet, Kohli gracefully upheld his mettle and finished the series with over 150 runs. Thus commenced an extraordinary and enchanting odyssey, a career that would etch itself indelibly into the annals of the sport.
Thanks to his incredibly consistent 2010 season where he notched up three centuries, Kohli became an instrumental asset to the ODI squad, and played his part in the triumphant campaign of the 2011 World Cup. As he completes 15 years in international cricket, we relive some of his most memorable, odd-defying innings.
133* runs against Sri Lanka (2012)
In the a tri-series match against Sri Lanka in 2012, Virat Kohli played a sensational unbeaten knock, scoring 133 runs off just 86 balls. This innings included 16 boundaries and two sixes. It was a masterclass in chasing a challenging target of 321 runs, and Kohli’s fierce approach, especially against Lasith Malinga, and masterful stroke play led India to a comfortable victory with almost fourteen overs to spare. This is the innings that catapulted Kohli to stardom, compelling fans and experts to take him seriously.
183 runs against Pakistan (2012)
Virat Kohli played a spectacular innings In the Asia Cup match against Pakistan in 2012 scoring 183 runs off just 148 balls at a strike rate of 123. He displayed his impeccable batting skills and held the innings together as India chased down a target of 330 runs. Kohli’s innings comprised 22 fours and a six. This innings showcased Kohli’s ability to step up under pressure and his exceptional fortitude when it came to chasing down big targets.
141 runs against Australia (2014)
During the first Test match of India’s tour of Australia in 2014, Kohli played a crucial innings of 141 runs off 175 balls. It was an outstanding display of batting against a quality pace attack in tough Australian conditions. His innings helped India set a competitive target of 364 runs, and eventually resulted in a historic victory for India at Adelaide Oval.
82 runs against Australia (2016)
During the World T20 2016, Kohli played a match-winning innings of 82 runs off just 51 balls in the virtual quarterfinal against Australia. In a high-pressure knockout game, he batted with incredible composure, showcasing his ability to perform under immense pressure. His knock helped India chase down a target of 161 runs and secure a spot in the semifinals.
154* runs against New Zealand (2016)
Virat Kohli’s unbeaten innings of 154 runs off 134 balls against New Zealand during an ODI in 2016 is another remarkable performance. He displayed his artistry in chasing down targets, as he single-handedly guided India to victory while chasing a total of 286 runs. This innings showcased Kohli’s temperament and his ability to anchor the innings until the end, paving the way for yet another memorable victory.
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