Whether it is ODIs or T20Is, Indian captain Virat Kohli just loves chasing. On Friday against West Indies at Hyderabad, Kohli demonstrated yet again why he is the best chaser in limited-overs matches. Replying to a challenging target of 208, Kohli struggled initially, but played the waiting game, and exploded as only he can once he got his eye in. The skipper’s career-best of 94 not out from 50 balls led India to triumph by six wickets.
The innings at Hyderabad will go down as one of Kohli’s finest in T20I chases. Here are few other gems from Kohli’s book of chasing.
72 not out vs South Africa
This is nowhere near Kohli’s highest scores, but achieves great significance as it came in the semi-final of the 2014 World T20 at Dhaka. Courtesy South African skipper Faf du Plessis’ 58 and JP Duminy’s unbeaten 45, the Proteas finished on an impressive 172 for 4. To get to the final, India needed one big innings from the top three. Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane laid the foundation with 24 and 32 respectively, but it was Kohli’s knock that sealed the finals berth for India. His rollicking 72 came from just 44 balls, and featured five fours and two sixes. India got home by six wickets in the last over.
82 not out vs Australia
This is undoubtedly one of Kohli’s finest T20I knocks till date, as it came in the World T20 clash against Australia at Mohali in March 2016. Courtesy all-round contributions, Australia posted a challenging 160 for 6 batting first. Under pressure, India stumbled to 49 for 3 as Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina fell cheaply. However, Kohli was rock solid as ever. He eased his way to an unbeaten 82 from 51 balls, hitting nine fours and two sixes, as India clinched the contest by six wickets.
78 not out vs Pakistan
Another World T20 contest, and another special from Kohli, this time against arch-rivals Pakistan. In the marquee clash of the 2012 World T20, Pakistan managed only 128 batting first as L. Balaji turned out to be an unlikely hero with 3 for 22. India would have been under pressure though considering the magnitude of the game, and the early dismissal of Gautam Gambhir gave Pakistan hope. Kohli though shut out any miraculous comeback chances with an assured innings of 78. He slammed eight fours and two sixes as India romped home by eight wickets.
82 vs Sri Lanka
Kohli ensured victory for India in the Only T20I played at Colombo in September 2017. Dilshan Munaweera’s 29-ball 53 and Ashan Priyanjan’s unbeaten 40 lifted Sri Lanka to 170 for 7. India got off to a poor start, losing Rohit for 9 and Rahul for 24. Once again, Kohli led from the front, and made a blazing 82 from 54 balls, an innings decorated with seven fours and a six. He found good company in Manish Pandey, who made an unbeaten 51 from 36 balls, as India comprehensively won the match by seven wickets.
72 not out vs South Africa
One more unbeaten knock in a chase, this time against the Proteas at Mohali in September 2019. In the second T20I of the series, South Africa batted first and put up 149 for 5, thanks to skipper Quinton de Kock’s 52 and Temba Bavuma’s 49. India lost Rohit for 12 before Kohli and Dhawan (40) featured in a steadying partnership. After Dhawanand Rishabh Pant’s departure, Kohli ensured there were no hiccups. He eased his way to an unbeaten 72 from 52 balls as India reached the target with an over to spare.