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On This Day: Virat Kohli Converted From Rising Star To Chase Master In Hobart
By CricShots - Feb 28, 2024 6:34 pm
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On a bright Hobart afternoon in February 2012, a young Virat Kohli announced himself to the world with a knock that would forever be etched in Indian cricket history. While he had already established himself as a promising talent with over 3000 runs in 81 ODIs, including eight centuries, this innings was destined to outshine them all.

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Virat Kohli scored his 9th ODI century in Hobart

Chasing a mammoth 321 set by Sri Lanka, thanks to Dilshan’s 160 and Sangakkara’s 100, India’s chase started well with Sehwag and Tendulkar putting up 54 runs. However, their dismissals brought Kohli to the crease, tasked with a seemingly impossible chase alongside Gautam Gambhir.

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The challenge was immense. Sri Lanka boasted a fearsome bowling attack with Malinga, Kulasekara, Mahroof, and Herath. But Kohli was undeterred. He started aggressively, even dispatching Malinga’s yorker for a boundary early on. His strategy was clear: keep the scoreboard ticking and seize every scoring opportunity.

 

The partnership with Gambhir flourished, reaching a century stand before Gambhir departed. The pressure mounted, with India needing 121 runs in just 76 balls. But Kohli, now joined by Raina, unleashed a display of pure brilliance.

 

The turning point came in the 35th over, bowled by Malinga. Kohli took him apart, hammering 24 runs – a sequence of 2, 6, 4, 4, 4, 4 – leaving everyone speechless. This pivotal moment solidified India’s chase.

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Kohli’s unbeaten 133 off 86 balls, a masterclass in controlled aggression, sealed a remarkable victory for India in just 36.4 overs. This iconic knock not only cemented his place among the greats but also displayed his remarkable ability to thrive under pressure.

Since then, Kohli has gone on to become a modern-day legend, even surpassing his idol Sachin Tendulkar’s record for most ODI centuries at the 2023 World Cup. But the Hobart knock remains a defining moment in his career, a testament to his exceptional talent and unwavering spirit.