Virat Kohli is arguably the best batsman in the second innings of ODIs ever in the history of the format. The Indian skipper started off as an uber-talented youngster and has grown into not just the most popular face in the game, but also the most consistent batsman in ODI history. His purple patch - that is basically his whole career - has seen some extraordinary knocks in run-chases. Here are four of the best.
133* (86) vs Sri Lanka - Hobart - 2012
In a must-win game of a tri-series involving India, Sri Lanka and Australia, Lanka piled on 320 buoyed by centuries from Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara. With India needing 321 in 40 overs to stay alive in the series, Kohli took centre stage against an attack featuring Lasith Malinga and Rangana Herath. In imperious form, Kohli blazed his way to a century and stepped it up a notch to help India gun down the target in just 36.4 overs. His 133* came in just 86 balls and included 16 fours and two sixes.
183 (148) vs Pakistan - Dhaka - 2012
The joint second-best score in ODI run-chases, Virat Kohli hit 183 in 148 balls against arch-rivals Pakistan at Dhaka in 2012 in the Asia Cup. Chasing 330 for a win after centuries from Nasir Jamshed and Mohammad Hafeez, Kohli walked in after Gautam Gambhir's dismissal. He did find able support from Sachin Tendulkar and later Rohit Sharma, but it was all his brilliance that blasted the Pakistan attack to all corners of Dhaka. His 183 spanned 22 fours and a six and was mostly risk-free. He fell in the 48th over with India just 12 runs away from a win.
139 (126) vs Sri Lanka - Ranchi - 2014
At Ranchi in the final ODI of a bilateral series between India and Sri Lanka, Virat Kohli hit a blistering century to take India to a fantastic win. Chasing 287 to win after an Angelo Mathews century, Kohli hit 139 in 126 balls after walking in to bat at no.4. He walked in at 14/2 and stitched a 136-run stand with Ambati Rayudu. Kohli was unstoppable from thereon as he raced to a century and remained unbeaten as India gunned down the target in the penultimate over. India kept losing wickets along the way and at 231/7, seemed out of the game. Axar Patel made 17 in 14 balls and gave Kohli company as he made 40 of the 57 runs in the eighth wicket stand.
140 (107) vs West Indies - Guwahati - 2018
In Guwahati in 2018, West Indies put up a daunting total of 322 in the first ODI of the series against India buoyed by a century from Shimron Hetmyer. The run-chase was all about Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli as the two put on a defining stand of 246 for the second wicket. Rohit made 152 in 117 balls and Kohli matched up to him with 140 of his own in 107 balls. The skipper was the aggressor-in-chief in the stand and made 140 of the 246 runs in the partnership to give India's innings a considerable boost. Rohit was on 107 in 87 balls when Kohli was dismissed for 140. Rohit finished off the game in 43 overs but the run-chase wouldn't have quite been this easy had it not been for Kohli's outrageous knock.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Sajjad Hussain