Cricket Listicles

The Best 10 Innings of Virat Kohli in Test Cricket

Test cricket has been forever changed by the extraordinary performances of Virat Kohli, the current batting master and one of the greatest cricketers of all time. Kohli has captured the attention of cricket fans all across the world with his aggressive, determined, and elegant batting style. The former Indian captain has played several memorable innings that have cemented his place in the annals of the sport’s history since his debut.

The ability of Kohli to control and destroy even the most ferocious bowling assaults is unmatched in the world of Test cricket, where patience and skill are crucial. His persistence and mental toughness have allowed him to flourish in the most trying circumstances, making him a formidable foe in any circumstance. While Kohli has amassed several outstanding innings over the years, ten of them stand out as the height of his mastery of the game’s longest format.

In this compilation, we examine Virat Kohli’s top ten Test cricket performances, each of which exemplifies his extraordinary talent, fortitude, and will to win at the highest level.

1. 119 v South Africa, Johannesburg, 2013

Virat Kohli set the tone with a performance that, in the words of South Africa’s bowling coach at the time, Allan Donald, “reminded him of Tendulkar” in the opening Test of a 13-month run in which India would play four overseas series.

Before opening up and going after the spinners, he left balls responsibly early against Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, and Vernon Philander in seaming conditions. Before the game ended in a close draw, India had moved into a winning position thanks to his calculated inning.

2. 105* v NZ, Wellington, 2014

It appeared that India would lose this match. India appeared to be in danger of losing the Test on day five after Brendon McCullum and BJ Watling pulled a Laxman-Dravid. Instead of only spending time at the plate, Kohli displayed incredible skill all around the wicket, relieving India of pressure and securing a draw.

3. 141 v Australia, Adelaide, 2014

Kohli already had a century in the first innings of his debut Test as captain. When Australia made an aggressive declaration, leaving India 364 to chase in a single day, Indian batsman Virat Kohli decided that his team would play for a win rather than a draw and that he would be the one to show how when it came to doing so.

Kohli was sweeping from outside off, cover driving against the spin, pulling, and cutting Mitchell Johnson, while Nathan Lyon was turning the ball extremely. He had an 80.57 strike rate and had India within 60 runs of victory when he holed out at midwicket.

Also Read: In Focus: Virat Kohli Cover Drive

4. 169 v Australia, Melbourne, 2014

This was an innings of soul and substance, spectacular, gutsy, and skillful. With Ajinkya Rahane matching him, Kohli created theatre on cricket’s biggest stage by roughing up Johnson (68 off 73 balls), who had terrified England on these fields the previous season.

5. 235 v England, Mumbai, 2016

This was a masterclass in spin control on a pitch that had grown savage by day three. India were six down and 93 runs down when Kohli began to ramp it up, swiping out of the rough, driving against the turn, and lofting down the ground. When he was finished, England was finished as well.

6. 104* vs Sri Lanka, Kolkata, 2017

To help them prepare for their upcoming South Africa tour, India selected a green track, and the seamers dominated a rain-soaked Kolkata Test that turned out to be thrilling. India was dismissed for 172 in their first innings thanks to Sri Lanka’s Suranga Lakmal-led attack, which then effectively had them at 159 for 7 by the middle of day five.

With a flurry of magnificent on-the-up drives and leg-side whips, Kohli, who had previously batted with a composure that defied the circumstances, radically altered the atmosphere at Eden Gardens.

Six wickets fell for 56 runs while Kohli was at the crease, and he scored 104 from 119 balls. Sri Lanka, which was 75 for 7 in its quest for 231 when the Test was called off early because of poor lighting, welcomed the decision.

7. 153 v South Africa, Centurion, 2018

The next biggest score from his side was 46; the second innings totalled 151, and South Africa won the series despite all of India’s anticipation and build-up, but for the 379 minutes that Kohli batted, anything looked conceivable. Kohli had India within striking distance of South Africa, but an AB de Villiers masterpiece in the second innings prevented them from catching them.

8. 149 v England, Edgbaston, 2018

The England audience booed loudly as Kohli entered Edgbaston at noon on August 2, 2018, following a cruel send-off for Joe Root on the first day of the series. James Anderson of England, who bowled 15 overs before and after the lunch break to test Kohli’s defensive abilities and ego, then gave Kohli’s batting one of the most meticulous exams.

Anderson repeatedly caused outside edges. Of the 43 deliveries bowled by Anderson, Kohli scored six runs with 41 dots. Kohli was about to retreat after edging an Anderson delivery going away when Dawid Malan mishandled it at second slip.

He didn’t care that every specialist batsman for India had given up on him to help India surpass England’s 287 first-inning total. Kohli put his ego aside and let his bat do the talking, narrowing the deficit to 13 runs. When he reached three digits, Kohli emphasised temperament by pointing to his head.

Kohli scored another half-century in the second innings, but still, India lost by 31 runs. He surpassed Steve Smith to become the first Indian since Sachin Tendulkar in 2011 to hold the top spot in the ICC Test batting rankings.

9. 123 v Australia, Perth, 2018

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The ball was turning from the rough; there was uneven bounce and seam movement. This Perth pitch demanded the best batting possible.

The next highest score in the entire contest was 70. Fingers were broken, helmets were shattered, and collapses occurred, yet Kohli appeared to be batting on a different pitch in a different universe. His most impressive inning to date was 123 against Australia in Perth.

10. 74 vs Australia, Adelaide, 2020-21

Prior to 36 all out, India enjoyed a tiny advantage in the Adelaide Test in December 2020, thanks in large part to Kohli, who marked his maiden day-night Test at his preferred location with an innings of technical virtuosity.

On a spongy-bounced day-one surface, he mostly abandoned the full-blooded drive and demonstrated great balance at the crease and judgement outside off stump to build what was then his second-slowest half-century, coming off 123 balls.

The innings, together with tenacious contributions from Cheteshwar Pujara and Rahane, had India in a seemingly commanding position at 188 for 3, until a mix-up with Rahane cost Kohli his wicket and provided Australia with precisely the opening they needed to bowl India out for 244.

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