Virat Kohli is the ultimate batsman in the world when it comes to chasing a big target. His consistency and the method to his batsmanship are unprecedented. In the first ODI against England in Pune on Sunday, his first match as full-time captain across all formats, Kohli put on an exhibition as he slammed yet another century in a huge chase.
Chasing England’s 351, India were reduced to 63/4 and it was left to Kohli (122) and Kedar Jadhav (120) to revive the Indian innings. Both batsmen played aggressively and took the attack to the bowlers.
Virat Kohli notched up his 27th ODI century while Kedar Jadhav smashed his second century. Their 200-run partnership helped India chase down a total of 350-plus for the third time, all in the last three years in ODIs, and in India.
During the course of his brilliant knock, Kohli broke some records and sealed his reputation as a great chaser.
This was Kohli’s 17th century in an ODI chase, levelling Sachin Tendulkar’s mark. However, this was his 15th century in a successful run-chase, breaking Tendulkar’s record of 14. After the knock, Kohli’s average went up to an astonishing 90.9, the highest for any batsman who has scored 2,500 runs in a successful chase.
Kohli is also the fastest to reach 27 ODI centuries, beating Sachin’s mark again. He has taken 169 innings to reach the mark while Tendulkar took 254. Ricky Ponting (308) and Sanath Jayasuriya (404) are the next two in that list.
In the last couple of seasons, Kohli has been India’s prime weapon when they have wanted to chase down a big total. During the 2013 series against Australia, he slammed a 52-ball 100 to help chase down 360 in Jaipur. In the same series, in Nagpur, Kohli slammed another century (115) to help India chase down 351.
His highest score in ODIs has come while chasing. His 183 came in the Asia Cup clash against Pakistan in Mirpur when India successfully chased down 329. In fact, Kohli made his first big impression on the world stage when he smashed 133 off 86 balls in the 2012 Hobart ODI against Sri Lanka, where India chased down 321 in under 40 overs to stay in contention for the final.