Virat Kohli is one of the most extraordinary batsmen to have graced the sport in its glorious and chequered antiquity. His fluidity, belligerence, exotic strokeplay, control over the nerves and the flair to knock around those monumental efforts are what constitute the formation of one of the world’s greatest batters ever.
With England knocking around the door and India’s incessant batting woes, a lot will rely on the broad shoulders of Virat Kohli to deliver India from the menace posed by Stuart Broad and James Anderson.
Kohli has been fairly successful against England and he will continue leading the likes of a questionable Indian batting order. In this story, we will be taking a look at five of Kohli’s best knocks against the English lions.
167 at Vishakhapatnam in 2016
2016 was a phenomenal year for the current Indian captain, may it be in Tests or IPL, and he was extremely prolific and starred in massive knocks against formidable opponents. This was the second Test match of the series and Kohli hammered an incredible 167 in the opening innings to deny an iota of space to the visitors. Known for housing the renowned defence academy, Vishakhapatnam was always glacial to any kind of foreign incursions. It was Kohli and Pujara this time who led the charge against the invading English. Coming to bat out at number four, Kohli consigned the English bowlers into every single nook and cranny of the park. He clobbered 18 fours in the span of his extraordinary knock against the visitors.
235 at Mumbai in 2016
After a rippling display in the second Test match of the series, Kohli roared even louder in the final Test match of the series. He was all over the English bowlers, hammering and consigning them to the ropes at volition. He carved a few impeccable strokes with some brilliant enthusiasm and his signature panache. England imposed a monumental 400 in the first innings, thanks to a couple of rollicking knocks from Keaton Jennings and Jos Buttler. However, India turned the game on its heels with their run-machine coming alive in the most desperate occasion. Spraying the bowlers into all corners of the park, Kohli showcased exemplary command with the willow. Pairing with Murali Vijay and Jayant Yadav, he racked up 25 boundaries and 1 six in the long haul of his double-century.
149 at Birmingham in 2018
Despite the game ending on a sour note where India couldn’t chase a modest total in the second innings, Kohli stood out amongst a slew of woeful Indian batters. In a low-scoring thriller where batters of both the teams struggled to come to terms with an excruciating surface, it needed the best to dominate the proceedings. Joe Root and Bairstow pulled off the job for England while it was our captain who spearheaded an otherwise modest Indian battery. Kohli fought until the very end that saw him garnering 149 runs with absolutely negligible support from the other end. He showed exemplary patience and only condemned the poor deliveries to the ropes. He hung in there for 222 balls and hammered 22 fours and 1 six throughout the knock. It was his 51 that came as the solitary shaft of hope for the Indians in the second innings.
103 at Nottingham in 2018
This was an emphatic knock from the Indian skipper that saw him underlining his brilliance as a batsman in the longest format of the sport. A collective showdown from Kohli and Rahane helped India to pile up a significant total of 329 in the first innings. However, the iconic knock came in the second innings where he paired very well with Cheteshwar Pujara to forge a 113 runs partnership, propelling India’s hope of chronicling a remarkable victory away from hope. He was impeccable with his strokeplay and clubbed 10 fours in this beautiful knock of him.
97 at Nottingham in 2018
It was the same match where he garnered 200 runs in total as the second innings acted at his shot at redemption after missing out on a humdinger ton in the first innings by a whisker. The surface seemed to be difficult to tread upon and yet he showed herculean resistance and played some classic strokes that included him treading down the pitch and hammering the bowlers right down the same trajectory in a couple of classic straight drives. This knock also comprised a handful of cover drives that underlined the beauty of Kohli’s cricket. He got out for 97 when Stokes pouched a safe take to remove Kohli off Rashid’s bowling. He struck 11 fours in his very calmly composed knock.