Virat Kohli becomes only second player in the history of the game after Ross Taylor to play 100 games across the formats. Virat Kohli's memorable innings and records broken in T20Is.
Playing hundred international games in any format of the game is such a huge achievement but playing hundred international games in all three formats, Tests, One Day Internationals (ODIs) and T20Is, is nothing sort of something extraordinary and special.
In the modern era where players tend to take early retirement from international cricket to being part of the leagues around the world, It takes lots of talent, longevity, versatility and spirit to be part of something phenomenal.
Virat Kohli: An all-format star joins the 100-100-100 club:
There are 72 men’s players in Tests, 272 in ODIs and 14 in T20Is who has featured in 100 games in each of the international formats. Among them, only two have made their way into the club of 100 matches in all three forms of the game.
Virat Kohli against Pakistan during the second game of the Asia Cup 2022 becomes the first Indian and just the second player overall after recently retired New Zealand batter Ross Taylor to feature in 100 international games across the three formats. Even though the scorecard would say that on a special night, Kohli had 35 in 34 balls besides his name but looking at the match situation, it was nothing sort of being a vital knock.
Reaching the feat after playing 14 years of international cricket, two years less than Ross Taylor, speaks highly about the gravity he has on his game; there have been many hills in this road but his strong mental character has driven him to the peak of success.
“I hadn’t touched a bat for a month”- Virat Kohli on his mental health:
Recently just before the start of the upcoming Asia Cup 2022 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Virat Kohli opened up about his mental condition in recent times which has led him to take a break from the game.
“For the first time in ten years, I hadn’t touched a bat for a month; I haven’t done that ever in my life and that’s when I sat down and thought that hold on… I came to the realization that I was trying to kind of fake my intensity a bit recently.” Kohli points out in an interview with Star Sports that sometimes people do begin to take those things easily and ignore that. “Mentally I am looked at as a guy who’s mentally strong, I am but everyone has a limit and you need to recognize that limit otherwise things get unhealthy for you.”
“This period actually taught me a lot of things that I was not allowing to come to the surface and when it came, I embraced it.” Added Kohli who has expressed loneliness in a room filled with his loved ones and supporters. “Trust me, faking to be strong is far worse than admitting to be weak; and it’s something I have no shame in admitting that I was mentally weak.”
Numbers and records don’t tell a lie in Kohli’s career:
He is an all-format star; someone who with all the records sits in a place that’s almost impossible to touch for others. Among all the 44 players with 1000+ runs in all three formats, Virat Kohli is the only player to have an average of 45 in all three formats.
Virat Kohli is the 14th player to reach the milestone of 100 matches in men’s T20Is and is only the second Indian after Rohit Sharma, who has played the most men’s T20Is (133). Among those 14, only four players have notched over 3000 runs in men’s T20Is; Kohli with 3343 runs is only behind Rohit Sharma (3499) & Martin Guptill (3497).
Virat Kohli has six player-of-the-series awards, which is the most in men’s T20Is while his 12 player-of-the-match-awards are second to Afghanistan’s Mohammad Nabi who has 13 in 97 matches. During chases in T20Is, Virat Kohli has scored 1824 runs at an average of 76 with a strike rate of 136.42 compared to his 1519 runs at an average of 35.32 with a strike rate of 138.09 when he has batted first in setting a target.
Thrice Virat Kohli has made three consecutive 50+ scores in men’s T20Is as he is only the second to do so after Martin Guptill. Among those who have scored a minimum of 500 runs in T20I victories while chasing, Kohli has the highest average of 97.46 whereas his average of 76 is the highest one in T20I chases among those who have registered a minimum of 500 runs. In 19 T20 World Cup innings, Kohli has secured 845 runs with 10 half-centuries; his 319 runs in 2014 were the most in a single edition while he has two player-of-the-tournament awards in 2014 and 2016.
Let's have s look at some of the Virat Kohli's memorable innings in T20Is:
72* against South Africa, Dhaka, 2014 T20 World Cup semi-final
Going in the road of the match situation, it was a semifinal, it was the T20 world cup semifinal, it was against South Africa and India was chasing 173 for a ticket to the final. The pressure was all around the park.
Kohli, who was in superb touch in the competition, came to the crease in the fourth over as India reached 77/2 at the halfway mark. Kohli displayed his usual template and began to time the ball in the gaps to take the doubles besides cracking boundaries and maximums in the middle with ease.
With a trademark flick shot in the midwicket boundary region, Kohli who remained unbeaten on 72 in 44 deliveries with five boundaries and two maximums celebrated with a thumping roar.
55* against Pakistan, 2016 T20 World Cup, Kolkata
On a cold evening but in a heated atmosphere, India was facing arch-rivals Pakistan in a rain-affected 18-over affair. After reaching 118/5, Pakistan reduced the hosts to 23/3 in the fifth over as a calm Kohli was recovering the innings against the sharp swinging opposition attack.
On a juicy track where it was so hard for the other batters to deal with the pace and sharp turn, Kohli seemed to have full control from the beginning to the end. Mostly he kept on rotating the strikes besides hitting just one boundary till the ninth over.
But he changed his gear; after a slog-sweep for six off Shoaib Malik in the 11th over, Kohli nailed two back-to-back boundaries through extra cover. The punch to the sweeper-cover followed it as Kohli recorded his fifty in just 34 balls to seal the game for India with 13 balls to spare.
82* against Australia, 2016 T20 World Cup, Mohali
“He likes a fight; he likes a scrap as well and he loves playing against Australia.” Naseer Hussain described Kohli walking at 23/1 in the fourth over chasing 161 for a spot in the semis of the 2016 T20 World Cup. 2016 was his year and Kohli started the evening in his characteristic fashion.
But the chase was getting harder with the Mohali track getting slower with time. Wickets were falling from one end but that couldn’t stop Kohli. The way he advanced James Faulkner over extra-cover for a six before digging out one near yorker ball through point for a boundary, the class was written in capital letters.
Another exciting part of the chase was how he ran a couple of expressive doubles just ticking the ball in the 30-yard circle and with four boundaries in the 19th over, Kohli stood tall in the middle with 82* in 51 deliveries thanks to nine boundaries and a couple of maximums to seal another game for India.
With the change of eras, the players are focusing more on the leagues around the world as Trent Boult recently released himself from the central New Zealand contract. For any player to play 100 T20Is will be a huge achievement in the future and to do it in all three formats will be almost second to none.
Virat Kohli is expected to play his 101st T20I when India will take on Hong Kong during the Asia Cup 2022 on August 31 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai.