Virat Kohli, one of India’s premier batters, turns 33 today. He’s played a total of 96 Tests, 254 ODIs and 93 T20Is, leading India in 207 of those. He is leading India for the last time in T20Is in the ongoing Men’s T20 World Cup.
On his birthday, let’s take a look at some of his best knocks in international cricket:
133* vs Australia, ODI 2012: India had been set 321 for a win by Sri Lanka and they had to chase it under 40 overs to have a boost to their NRR in order to be in with a chance to reach the final of the tri-series featuring Australia. India had gotten off to a flier before Kohli walked in 86/2 in the 11th over. Along with Gautam Gambhir, Kohli didn’t let the Indians lose momentum. He scored an unbeaten 133 off just 86 balls. More importantly, he smashed the likes of Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekara to all parts, including taking 24 runs in an over off the former. India chased down the total in just 36.4 overs.
82* vs Australia, T20I 2016: In Mohali against Australia in the T20 World Cup, Kohli rewrote a book on finishing cricket matches in style. India were set 161 to win and lost Shikhar Dhawan after a slowish start. Rohit Sharma, too, fell a couple of overs later as India were 37 for two at the end of the powerplay. India kept losing wickets at regular intervals with Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh also falling. With 67 needed off the last six, Kohli put on a masterclass, using his bottom hands to exploit the are through mid-wicket. James Faulkner’s penultimate over was taken for 19 with Kohli taking 16 off those. The penultimate over of the match saw Kohli belt Nathan Coulter-Nile for four fours, before hitting one off Faulkner to take India home. He struck a sublime 82 not out off just 51 balls
169 vs Australia, Test 2014: A Steve Smith masterclass 192 had kept India on the field for over one and a half days. On Day 3, India were reduced to 108/2 on the very second ball of the day. In walked a confident Kohli and looked assured against the likes of Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson as well as Nathan Lyon. The way Kohli was hitting the ball, it seemed his first Test double ton was on the way. But it wasn’t to be as he fell for 169, chasing a wide one. In reply to Australia’s 530, India made 465 and the Test was eventually drawn, with Kohli hitting 54 in the second innings as well.
153 vs South Africa, Test 2018: South Africa had posted 335 batting first and then India were reduced to 28 for two. He then added 79 with Cheteshwar Pujara, playing some wonderful strokes in the process. But after India found themselves in another muddle, he stitched a 71-run partnership with Ravichandran Ashwin for the seventh wicket. His strike rate through the knock was pretty good on a track that had uneven bounce and was the last man out with a strike rate of over 70.
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