Monday, June 17, 2024

Ahmedabad awaits another magical Kohli innings in star-studded career

On Wednesday, before India defeated New Zealand to reach the finals of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, a tale of brilliance unfolded as Virat Kohli broke legendary batter Sachin Tendulkar’s record for most ODI tons by hitting his 50th ton in the format.

Kohli scored his first ODI century in 2009 against Sri Lanka in Kolkata. At that time not many had anticipated that Kohli would go on to play the game of cricket for so long. The cricket pundits also didn’t have any idea that someone like Kohli would emulate the heroics of Tendulkar in modern-day cricket.

In 2012, Kohli had become the key cog in the Indian batting lineup but to go past the record of the master blaster was still a tedious task considering how difficult it is for athletes to keep playing all three formats.

However, Tendulkar knew that if anyone could ever close to his record it would be either Kohli or Rohit Sharma. The former Indian cricketer had predicted 11 years ago that Kohli could break his record in the future. And when Kohli did break his record on Wednesday, he bowed down to pay respect to Tendulkar at Wankhede where the Master Blaster had played cricket during his initial years.

Kohli broke another Tendulkar record as he became the highest-scoring batter in a single edition of the ODI World Cup with 701 runs so far. The right-handed batter didn’t shatter records but rewrote history as both the records were held by an Indian player only.

Following the sensational effort, Tendulkar said he couldn’t be happier that an Indian player had broken his record, and that too on the biggest stage. “I am so happy that that young boy has grown into a ‘Virat’ player. I couldn’t be happier that an Indian broke my record. And to do it on the biggest stage – in the World Cup semi-final – and at my home ground is the icing on the cake,” said Tendulkar.

From making a debut in 2008 to having been struck off the captaincy in 2022, Kohli’s journey was not without its share of challenges. Yet with each setback, Kohli emerged stronger than ever, taking India home on numerous occasions when the odds were against the Men In Blue.

Be it his ferocious knock in the 2022 T20 World Cup against Pakistan or his match-saving 104 ball 95 against New Zealand in the league match of the ongoing showpiece event, Kohli has carried the team over the line when it was much needed.

Known for the art of chasing, Kohli has smashed 27 tons while batting second. Out of his 50 ODI centuries, 42 have come in a winning cause, highlighting how he has been the mainstay in the Indian batting lineup.

Kohli’s ODI batting brilliance extends across cricketing landscapes, with standout performances against various nations. Against Sri Lanka, he has been a dominant force, amassing 10 centuries in 51 innings.

The West Indies witnessed Kohli’s prowess with 9 centuries in 41 innings, while Australia and New Zealand saw him notch 8 and 6 centuries in 46 and 31 innings, respectively.

In 2018, Kohli was in red-hot form as he amassed 6 centuries in just 14 innings. His exceptional run-scoring continued in 2019, scoring 5 centuries in 25 innings. The earlier years of his career witnessed steady growth with notable performances in 2012 (5 centuries in 17 innings), 2013 (4 centuries in 30 innings), and 2014 (4 centuries in 20 innings).

In 2011, he displayed his prowess with 4 centuries in 34 innings. The year 2023 has again seen the rise of Kohli, with the batter notching up 6 centuries in 23 innings as India bank upon his stellar show in the ongoing ICC ODI World Cup.

As this (2023 edition) has been his best World Cup run so far, would Kohli be able to make his 51st ton? Fingers crossed!



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