Virat Kohli is charting a very special career for himself. He has been branded as the next “Sachin Tendulkar” for a better part of his career; it took a lot of runs and centuries to get rid of that tag, to make a name for himself, to be the first “Virat Kohli”. Virat Kohli is the polar opposite of a typical Indian cricketer, he is aggressive on field, he does not mind sledging or getting in an argument on the field, he wears emotions on his sleeve and is not afraid to show it.
His list of landmarks is getting longer day by day. He has been India’s most important player in the last 5 years. He is producing game changing performances consistently in every format and in every country. Recently, Virat kohli became the fastest batsman to score 7000 runs and the quickest 25 ODI centuries. It has been a beautiful journey filled with ups and down till now, let’s have a look at his seven best centuries.
- England v India at Cardiff, Sep 16, 2011
Virat kohli was the only bright side for India’s disastrous tour of England 2011. After losing the test series and odi series india was facing England in the dead rubber 5th ODI. Virat kohli was already seen as next big thing in Indian cricket but there was still a big question mark on his performance out of Asia. But with this 107 run inning off 93 balls Kohli shuts up his critics in glorious fashion. Kohli was India’s only centurion in whole tour.
- India v Sri Lanka at Kolkata, Dec 24, 2009 – 107(114)
Kohli’s first century in a chase came in kolkata against Sri Lanka.Prior to his turn the score was 23 for 2, he played a supporting role to Gautam Gambhir, who scored an unbeaten 150 off 137 as India chased down 316 with seven wickets and 11 balls to spare. That was Kohli’s first century in ODIs, in his 13th innings and gave a glimpse of player he would be in future. He was acclaimed highly for India’s win against Sri Lanka.
- India v New Zealand at Guwahati, Nov 28, 2010
The Guwahati pitch had little of the early-morning demons it is famous for, and all the Indian batsmen got starts. Kohli wasn’t as flashy as the others, but only he was able to convert the start. It was Virat Kohli’s first century batting first, his fourth overall and second in a row, set an eventually comfortable win for India. The celebration upon reaching the century was representative of the growth of Kohli, the batsman. There was no anger in his reaction on making the landmark, unlike in the past. He celebrated the victory with merely a smile, feeling confident of his place.
- India v Australia at Jaipur, Oct 16, 2013 – 100*(52)
Australia, already one up in the series posted a gigantic total of 359 in the 2nd ODI at Jaipur. The pitch was an absolute belter to bat on but target was too huge to be taken lightly, thus, something special was required. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma did just that and gave India’s reply the perfect start by taking Australia’s bowlers to the cleaners all around the park. By the time Dhawan departed for 95, the stage was set for Kohli to demolish the Aussies and he did it with a whole lot of swag. It was a reminder of the Great Sir Viv Richards smashing India’s fastest ODI hundred in just 52 balls. There was no stopping him and the ball went off his bat like a tracer bullet all night as India chased down the target with 39 balls to spare.
- India v Pakistan at Adelaide, Feb 15, 2015 – 107(126)
TheIndia–Pakistancricket rivalry is one of the most intense sports rivalries in the world. In the opening match of world cup 2015 India takes on Pakistan. With emotions roaring high and fans of both teams not ready to accept anything less than a win, Kohli’s century was like a cherry on top or as Sidhu Pajji would have said ‘lassi ke upar malai”. India’s first wicket fell early but Dhawan, Suresh Raina and Virat kohli made sure India crosses 300. India won the match by 76 runs and extended their World Cup run against Pakistan.
- India v Pakistan at Dhaka, Mar 18, 2012 – 183*(148)
The stage for Kohli’s highest ODI score was the 2012 Asia Cup and it was the mother of all matches with India taking on Pakistan. Banking on the centuries of Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed, Pakistan set India a target of 330.
India needed their highest successful run chase at the time to gain victory. After losing Gambhir in just the second ball of the Indian innings, Kohli came in and showed the world that India had found the answer to winning without solely relying on Sachin Tendulkar. The master did chip in with a 48-ball 52 but it was Kohli’s knock of 183 from 148 balls that won the match for India, thus giving them an outside chace to qualify for the final.
- India v Sri Lanka at Hobart, Feb 28, 2012 – 133*(86)
When India faced Sri Lanka during the Commonwealth Bank series in 2012, India were required to chase down Sri Lanka’s total in 40 overs in order to gain a bonus point and thus stay in contention in the series. Centuries by Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara powered Sri Lanka to 320 and India looked down and out in the tournament.
But as they say cricket is a very unpredictable game, India chased down the total in just 36.4 overs. Kohli’s innings made a mockery of an imposing score and kept India’s final hopes alive. Though, it proved to be insufficient to be qualified for finals. This inning remains his best till now and it will be very hard for him to better that. This inning marked the beginning of transformation of Kohli from a young budding cricketer to one of the best ODI players ever.