Virat Kohli: Top 5 Match-Winning Knocks of the Chase Master in ICC Tournaments

Virat Kohli has been India’s backbone for a decade. Since making his debut in 2008 he was regarded as someone who has a lot of talent but his behavior on the field was questioned by former cricketers as he was not ready to back down or get intimidated by opposition players. One of the most controversial banter Virat has had on the field was with his Delhi and Indian teammate Gautam Gambhir twice during IPL 2013 and 2023 when both players came face to face against each other during and after the match.

 Since he became the full-time captain in 2017 Kohli’s run-scoring reached another level when he was scoring centuries in almost every match till 2019 when he scored a century in India’s first-ever pink ball test. Then came that period when the modern master was scoring fifties but was not able to convert those into hundred as a result of which he couldn’t score a century till September 2022.

Gambhir praises Kohli

 Speaking to Star Sports after India's impressive win over Pat Cummins' men, former India opener 

Gambhir opined that Kohli served youngsters a valuable lesson on how to absorb pressure by inspiring India to a comfortable win. 

“Imagine when you're 2 or 3 down for two. You can't go out there and hit a long ball. You will still need to be able to absorb the pressure and try and rotate those strikes. And I'm sure these young cricketers coming through will learn from Virat Kohli. That is very important and that is why he's so consistent,” Gambhir said. 

"And I'm sure I think a lot of these young cricketers in the dressing room will learn the importance of fitness, the importance of running between the wicket, and the importance of how to rotate strike in the middle as well, because with this new format with T20 cricket, a lot of these new guys want to keep hitting the ball out of the ground," Gambhir added. 

Records Broken by Kohli

Kohli became the highest run scorer in ODI cricket while chasing. The right-hander has now scored 5517 ODI runs while chasing 

Virat broke Tendulkar’s record of India’s highest run scorer in white ball ICC tournaments

Kohli also shattered Sri Lanka legend Sangakkara’s record for the highest fifty-plus scores by a non-opener in ODI cricket. The Indian run machine has crossed the 50-run mark a staggering 113 times in 263 innings in ODIs, most by any batter in the world. 

Kohli became the first Indian batter to complete 11,000 runs batting at no.3 in ODIs. He is the fastest batter to achieve the elusive feat.

Kohli in ICC Tournaments

When it comes to the ICC tournaments Virat’s hunger for runs has been unmatchable. Here is a look at five memorable knocks played by Virat Kohli in ICC tournaments

82* v Pakistan T20 WC 2022

There are certain knocks that can’t be explained in words Kohli’s knock against Pakistan at MCG in the 2022 T20 WC was one of them. Walking in when India was reeling at 10-3 which soon became 31-4. The pressure was on Kohli to bail the team out of trouble. He did so in the company of Hardik Pandya who provided him much needed support to do the unthinkable.

 One of the most iconic moments of Kohli’s match-winning inning was his six on the fourth ball of the 19th over against Haris Rauf

"It's a surreal atmosphere, I have no words, no idea how that happened. I am really lost for words," Kohli said in the moments after. "The calculation was simple. Nawaz had one over to bowl, so if I could take Haris down, they would panic. From 28 in 8, it came down to 16 to 6. I tried to stick to my instincts. The first one was the back of a hand slower ball (the one over long-on)."

"Standing here I just feel like it was meant to be. Till today Mohali was my best innings against Australia. Today I will count this one higher."

82* v Australia T20 WC 2016

Kohli and pressure are synonyms of each other. The right-hander enjoys batting in pressure situations. One such inning from the bat of the chase master came against Australia in a match which was a virtual quarterfinal. Chasing a target of 161 India was 96-4 and was in desperate need of a partnership, That is when Dhoni and Kohli started scripting a masterclass on chasing a target. with the required rate in the chase climbing over 10, and eventually close to 12 with four overs left. Kohli timed his run to perfection though, taking 19 runs off the 18th over from James Faulkner, and 16 of Nathan Coulter-Nile. Faulkner returned, though Kohli clubbed him into the leg-side to tie a bow on his 11-boundary performance. 

"You need challengers every game, they improve you as a cricketer," Kohli said. "This innings has to be in my top three, perhaps the top right now because I am a bit emotional." 

107 v Pakistan ODI WC 2015

India faced arch-rivals Pakistan in their opening match of the 2015 ODI WC. Batting first India lost Shikhar Dhawan early. As Pakistan was celebrating with joy walked in Kohli who had other plans. He took the bowlers to the cleaners and became the first Indian batter to score a century against Pakistan in the World Cup

55* v Pakistan T20 WC 2016

India played Pakistan on a turning wicket at Eden Garden in Kolkata. The ball was turning square and the batting was visibly difficult. Chasing a target of less than 125 India lost three wickets and the onus was on Kohli to take the team over the line. Kohli took everything in from Pakistan’s 18 overs, with the match impeded by the weather. Shoaib Malik’s 26 (16) was the best from the opposition, and alongside Kohli, Yuvraj’s 24 kept him company. 

“It was a challenging wicket, that’s what you want as a cricketer - new challenges to play,” he said. “But getting the team out of trouble gives me pleasure. The focus becomes much more on such wickets. I think the score on the board makes me a better chaser.”

72* v South Africa T20 WC 2014

Chasing a target of 171 in the semi-final against South Africa even the pessimistic Proteas fans may have thought they’d finally broken their well-documented curse at ICC events. Kohli had other ideas, and the master went to work in the middle overs. Manipulating the field, the right-hander’s 72* from 44 balls is all the more remarkable given the fact he hit just 32 runs in boundaries.

Image Credit: IndiaToday

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