Going around the world, there aren’t quite a lot of players who don’t require any introduction when they cross the rope into the ground in every format; certainly, Virat Kohli is one of the gems of the sports that needs no mention. You don’t reach the top of the tree in a blink of an eye; it takes some time with special innings mostly when your side is under a bit of pressure and your back is on the wall.
Some players get destroyed with the craze, fantasy and reputation they received, well some wait for those situations and grab the moment with both hands. I don’t need to explain why Virat sits with the same description. On the celebration of his 33rd birthday, let’s take a look at the best innings he has played from each format. Trust me, it’s the hardest job to elect just one!!
“Let The Bat Talk”:
During the 2018-19 Australia tour, India reached Perth in the beautiful new Optus Stadium. Even though India were 1-0 upcoming into the 2nd test, the eyes and scrutinizes were so high on captain Virat Kohli. You want your best player to steal the show and in comes the day. Australia after posting runs on the board were absolutely charged up getting both the openers cheaply. The master arrives.
“You can just see his attitude.” Mr. Cricket painted out the moment with cheers all over the arena. “Look at him striding out to the crease.” I guess Nathon Lyon made a comment on him about the arrival in a documentary that when he used to look at Virat, he most of the times finds the Australian fight in him. Yes Gary!!!
Any shot you could play to get runs but the best players always try to be unique. The hardest shot on the book, the perfect on-drive, appears to be the go-to shot for the best in the business to kick off a magical innings. From pure memory, I could lay the fact that he played one such shot in the beginning of the innings against Hazlewood who departed Rahul in almost the same fashion delivery. I can bet, you will not be bored on watching the shot. Virat’s in the mood!!
Virat Leads the innings with a sensational hundred:
Just a simple gentle push with a still head and the ball was racing away to the boundary cushion; most importantly being grounded. The three Aussie quicks were bowling fast and furious which is really getting on the skins of the batsmen from the other end but not to Virat. “He just made it look like it wasn’t what it was.” Australian leader Tim Paine praised his opposite number.
At times, it becomes so tough for anyone to place a field with different game-plans which someone of that class and caliber is belting you around the park. And the wizardry moment arrived with a little punch. The celebration had his own message; “Let the Bat Talk.” The whole crowd felt an extra energy.
India went on to lose the game but the next statement from Justin Langer put the scenario of the series in a nutshell. “I thought Virat that day was getting under our skin.”
👏 23,159 international runs – seventh on the all-time list
😮 70 international 💯s – only Tendulkar and Ponting have scored more
🙌 38 Test wins as captain, the most successful for 🇮🇳#OnThisDay A happy 33rd birthday to Virat Kohli, one of the modern greats of the game 🎉 pic.twitter.com/uYAtfPAUIK
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) November 5, 2021
A Chase one can Dream of:
The connection between Virat and chasing in a one-day international is something all relationships can goal of. It doesn’t mean he is not a good player of setting a target, but when he has the number before him; the spectators on that day in the ground can enjoy full value of their money.
During the CB series 2012, India were asked to chase down 321 in 40-overs to qualify thanks to a boost of net run rate. The openers did give the blue brigade a good start but going at a run-rate of 8-rpo in a 50-over game means you can’t lose the momentum. In comes 82-matches old Virat Kohli; he commenced his round with a flick to the boundary with ease against an almost fiery yorker of Malinga. The world wasn’t ready for the next one and half hour.
The firecrackers were burning in a beautiful Hobart evening. In a blink of an eye, he reached to his half-century in just 44-deliveries. Fielders were changing positions, bowlers were bowling different lines and length changing the pace of the balls, some of the advices were coming in the face of drinks from the change-room; but nothing seemed to be stopping the Delhi boy. A same ball from alternative bowlers were hit in 5-parts of the ground. And lastly, the moment arrived.
Kohli chased the target with too mathematical calculations:
The same shot that he used to kick off his innings took him on the landmark,” A night he will never forget.”
He celebrated the milestone with two shots that caught the eyes of the man keeping behind the stumps; one over square leg for a six and the next one for covers. Meanwhile, Raina’s 40 off 24 from the other hand was making it almost possible.
Fielders were up; on the 36.4over, the future star hit the ball down the ground to seal one of the many wins for Indian Cricket. “I discussed that we need to break it down into two T-20 games and that was the first kind of revelation for chasing big totals for me.” Virat recalled during an Instagram chat with team-mate Ashwin, who himself was a part of the win.
An Evening Belongs to Kohli: –
It goes without saying that Virat loves the biggest events or the brightest incidents where people still wondering whether he can repeat the feat again and again. Here arrives India’s game against Australia during the 2016 World T20 which was basically a quarter-final. The kangaroos batting first had posted a mighty total of 160. In reply India lost an early wicket and the rescue man was being called.
“He likes a fight; he likes a scrap.” Nasser Hussain describes as the whole Mohali crowd welcomed with a huge cheer. He opened his book with beautiful shots using his hands to find the gap; the spinners were dominated as he charged down the track. Wickets were falling rom the other end but nothing could stop Virat on that night. With every shot, the sound of the roar in the stands were raising; the Indian Flag was waving high.
One shot for me was the best of the bests; he advanced Faulkner over extra-cover for a six; he dig out one ball which was almost a yorker through point for a boundary.
The best moment of the Game:
And then the moment arrived when we showed what’s the definition of ‘Mutual Respect”. One shot was hit in the 30-yard circle; Virat after one run just head down and ran with his skipper’s call; that was a special moment. India won the game almost depending on one shoulder.
I am sure, all the newspaper had their front page brighten up with Kohli sitting in the ground on his knees with a happy “Chiku” smile (sorry Virat) and the background had the mobile flashlight making it a surreal moment.
There are so many innings apart from that, Virat had given in his Cricketing life; the energy he brings to the table can light up a whole city. No one shouldn’t have the right or power to question its determination and driving for the game. Virat Kohli is the gem of the current Indian cricket; a man who inspires the whole world.
(Let’s comment on your favorite innings from each format that he has played!! We will discuss the best one in another post.)