Senior India batsman and superstar cricketer Virat Kohli will be playing one of the most important games of his career on Wednesday when the hosts take on New Zealand in the World Cup 2023 semi-final at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai.
The 34-year-old former India skipper had had a mind-blowing ICC tournament once again. Heading into the semi-finals, Virat Kohli ended as the leading run-scorer in the league phase round.
In 9 innings, Kohli scored 594 runs at a gigantic average of 99 and a strike rate of 88. Kohli notched up 2 centuries and 5 half-centuries. His tally of 7 scores of 50+ runs is the highest in the tournament so far.
In the knockouts, Virat Kohli would be eyeing two major records: to become the first batsman to notch up 50 ODI centuries and Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 673 runs from the 2003 World Cup.
Virat Kohli stats, numbers against New Zealand in ODIs:
In 30 ODI innings against New Zealand, Virat Kohli has scored 1528 runs at a terrific average of 56. He’s hit 5 hundreds and 9 fifties against the Kiwis in ODIs. In the group-stage game in this World Cup against New Zealand in Dharamsala, Kohli anchored India’s chase of 274 with his brilliant, under-pressure knock of 95 runs in 104 balls, hitting 8 fours and 2 sixes.
He missed out on a century in Dharamsala when he was caught in the deep when trying to hit a six with the game already effectively sealed.
It’s been a long time since Kohli hit an ODI century against New Zealand, the previous century coming in 2017.
At the Wankhede, where batting becomes easier once the batters have seen off the new-ball spells, in the semi-final, Kohli will have another chance to notch up a ton, and allay the pains of the 2019 World Cup semi-final heart-breaking loss in Manchester against the same opposition.
Even as New Zealand don’t have Matt Henry this time due to injury, Virat Kohli and the Indian top-order batters will have to remain cautious against Trent Boult and Tim Southee. Boult had dismissed Kohli for only 1 run in the 2019 WC semi-final.