Happy Birthday King Kohli: Batting maestro turns 34


Guwahati: India batting icon Virat Kohli celebrates his 34th birthday today, November 5.

Regarding one of India’s most incredible contemporary batters in international cricket across formats, Virat Kohli might be the first name that would strike one’s mind. The former Indian skipper and top-order batter has been dominating headlines for nearly the last three years, but on a negative note, struggling with form and was without an international century during this time. However, it all changed during the 2022 Asia Cup a couple of months back with a Twenty20 International (T20I) ton, and he has been India’s star performer with the bat in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup in Australia. At this time, he also celebrates his 34th birthday on Saturday, while we look at his best T20I knocks until now.

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Unbeaten 94 vs Windies (2019)
It happens to be Kohli’s second-best T20I knock to date and his best until a couple of months back. While India was handed a mammoth target of 208, the early departure of Rohit Sharma forced Kohli to run a ball. After reaching 20 off 20, he decided to go for the charge, with 119 more needed. He collected 74 from the following 30 deliveries, plundering six fours and sixes, respectively, and took India home with eight balls to spare.

Unbeaten 82 vs Australia (2016)
In a clash for the semis berth in the Super 10, Australia handed India a par target of 161. However, the Aussies struck early and left the Indians reeling at 49/3, whereon Kohli took charge and lifted the side, as the equation came down to 38 off the final three overs. His magical hitting and hammering pacers James Faulkner and Nathan Coulter-Nile, all across and out of the park, ousted the Kangaroos from the tournament.

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Unbeaten 82 vs Pakistan (2022)
A knock after supposedly bouncing back to form, Kohli’s real test came during the ongoing T20WC opener against arch-rival Pakistan. It was another chase for India, with Pakistan setting up a target of 160. However, the Men in Blue struggled at 31/4 as Kohli and Hardik Pandya joined forces.

While Kohli reached 50 off 43, he began to bat like a man possessed, with 48 needed off the last three overs. He hammered pacers Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf all over the park, including towering sixes. As 16 were required off the final six balls, the Pakistan bowlers made some bowling errors, thanks to no-balls and wides, as Kohli finished off in the final delivery.

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Unbeaten 70 vs Windies (2019)
Just four days after 94-run magic, Kohli was at it again. While Rohit and KL Rahul propelled India to 135, Kohli walked in in the 12th over and struck a 21-ball 50, his fastest T20I half-century, besides hitting seven sixes to finish unbeaten on 70 off 29, as India posted a humongous total of 240/3, which it later won by 67 runs.

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122 vs Afghanistan (2022)
Although this game was not so relevant for India, it was for Kohli, as it appeared to be his final bid to bounce back and seal his place in the T20WC side. With a mediocre opposition ahead, Kohli utilised the opportunity to the fullest, scoring 122 off 61, which happened to be his maiden T20I ton, which included 12 fours and six sixes. As India towered a total of 212/2, it got the job done effortlessly by 101 runs.