It’s been over 12 years since Virat Kohli made his debut for India in an ODI against Sri Lanka. A batting genius, Kohli has made the life of bowlers across the world miserable. With 22818 runs in international cricket so far, Kohli is only the third Indian batsman after Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid to score over 20000 runs at the highest level of the game.
After Tendulkar (100) and Ricky Ponting (71), Kohli stands third in the list of batsmen with the most centuries in international cricket, with 70 tons under his belt. While Ponting took 668 international innings to score 71 tons, Kohli scored 70 centuries in just 468 innings.
During the course of his journey in international cricket, Kohli has broken many other records too. He is the only Indian batsman to get 890 points in the ICC ODI ranking. Before him, Sachin Tendulkar got the best rating of 887 points in 1998. Kohli has also scored the highest combined international runs in a year by an Indian cricketer – 2818 international runs in 2017.
Kohli is the fastest Indian to reach 1000, 5000, 6000, 7000, 8000, 9000, and 10,000 runs in ODIs, the fastest Indian and second fastest in the world to reach 10, 15, 20, and 25 centuries in ODIs and the only batsman to average more than 50 in Tests, ODIs, and T20Is at the same time.
Virat Kohli centuries in ODI cricket
Virat made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka at Dambulla on August 18, 2008, scoring a 22-ball 12. In his debut year in international cricket, the boy from Delhi was not able to score any centuries. It was in December 2009 when he made his first international century – a 107 against Sri Lanka in Kolkata. This was followed by three centuries in 2010 and from there on, the centuries kept piling on each year. Overall, Kohli has scored 43 centuries from 254 ODIs, which makes him only second in the list of most ODI tons in International cricket. He might possibly go past Tendulkar, who leads the charts with 49 centuries in the 50-over format.
The right-hander averages an astonishing 59.07 in ODIs and his consistency and ability to perform under pressure situations has been his greatest quality. Out of 43 ODI centuries, 26 have come while chasing in the second innings, while seven centuries have come in a losing cause.
As the captain of the ODI team, he has scored 21 centuries, which is the highest among the Indian captains. He is also the first captain to hit six ODI hundreds in a calendar year.
The unbeaten 133* off 86 balls vs Sri Lanka at Hobart in 2012 is one of Kohli’s finest knocks in ODIs. Before this innings, Kohli had already piled up ten centuries in ODI cricket, but the 133* against Sri Lanka was a superior knock. Batting first, Sri Lanka posted 320 after Tilakaratne Dilshan hit 160 and Kumar Sangakkara contributed with a hundred. While chasing 321 to win, Virat hit 16 boundaries and two sixes to take India over the line in only 36.4 overs. At the receiving end was Lasith Malinga, who was taken to the cleaners.
Another memorable ODI knock by Kohli is the 183 vs Pakistan in Dhaka at the Asia Cup 2012. India were chasing 330 to win when Kohli, batting at no. 3, racked up 183 runs to help India win with two overs to spare. His knock of 183 from just 148 balls included 22 fours and a six, and it demolished some fine bowlers in the Pakistan squad.
Kohli’s 160* vs South Africa at Capetown in 2018 is another one of his great ODI knocks. India were batting first in the 3rd ODI game at Capetown when Kohli scored his 13th century in the first innings, and overall 34th ODI hundred. He scored 160 runs off 159 balls, including 12 fours and two sixes. This was his second highest score for India in ODIs, and also the second highest ODI score by an Indian batsman against South Africa.
Virat Kohli centuries in Test cricket
Kohli made his Test debut in 2011 against West Indies in Kingston. So far, he has played 91 Tests, scoring 7490 runs at an average of 52.37, including 27 centuries. In 2019, he surpassed Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag to hit most double centuries by an Indian in Test cricket.
Kohli has seven double centuries in the long format of the game, while Sachin and Sehwag have six double centuries each. He has also scored the most number of Test runs in a calendar year by an Indian batsman in 2012, 2015 and 2016. To add to the feats, Kohli scored 610 runs against Sri Lanka in 2017 which is the highest by an Indian in a three-match Test series.
He also has several feats as the captain of the Test team. Kohli has won most consecutive Test series as captain. Between 2015 and 2017, he won nine consecutive series equalling Ricky Ponting’s record of achieving the same from 2005-2008. He is also the first cricketer in the world to score three centuries in his first three innings as Test captain.
Kohli’s knock of 116 vs Australia at the Adelaide Oval in January 2012 is one of his initial best knocks in Test cricket. Double centuries from Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting helped Australia make 604 runs in their first innings. But India’s the top order, much like in the first three Tests of the series, failed to perform again. Kohli came in to bat with the score reading 87/4, and played a brilliant century with Wriddhiman Saha and Ishant Sharma giving support as the second fiddle. India lost the game by 298 runs, but Kohli’s grit was a sign of an illustrious career that was to come.
Kohli’s 141 against Australia at the Adelaide Oval in 2014 is also one of his best Test knocks. He scored two centuries in both innings of this Test match. The hosts scored 517 runs in the first innings, and in reply, Kohli answered with a knock of 115, but India were all out for 444. Captain Michael Clarke declared the second innings with the score reading 290/5, which meant India had to score 364 runs to win. Kohli was at it again, scoring a 141-run knock in 175 balls. But without much contribution from the others, India lost the match by 48 runs after putting up a good fight.
His 235 vs England at the Wankhede stadium in 2016 also deserves a special mention. India were chasing 400 runs in the first innings, but India lost four wickets for 45 runs. But Kohli and Jayant Yadav put up a 241 run-stand, which is the best 8th wicket partnership in Indian cricket. By the end of the first innings, Kohli completed a double ton, while Jayant also scored a century.
In T20 internationals, the 32-year-old has 3159 runs from 90 games at an average of 52.65 but is yet to score a century. Virat Kohli’s incredible numbers across formats echo what Brian Lara once said about him, “He is just an unbelievable batsman. No need to say more!”