Kohli has now registered 41 hundreds and India has won 33 of these matches. In other words, India is victorious 80.49% of the times Kohli scores a century. Only on 7 such occasions has India been defeated (and there has been one tie).
These numbers are even more staggering while chasing a target. India has won 21 of the 24 matches in which Kohli has scored a hundred (success percentage of 87.5%).
He averages a phenomenal 68.71 batting second – by far the best for any batsman in ODI history (min. 50 innings). He is followed by AB de Villiers (56.81), Michael Bevan (56.5), Michael Clarke (53.92) and Shane Watson (52.8). There is a wide gap of almost 12 runs per dismissal between him and the second-best – AB on this count – that is how good Kohli has been chasing a target.
Just for perspective – Sachin Tendulkar’s 17 hundreds (the second-highest batting second) took 232 innings. Kohli has produced 8 more in 107 less innings – that is a mind-boggling achievement!
Kohli’s average in successful chases for India is a startling 95.24 (second-highest in ODI history after MS Dhoni who averages 105.25 in such chases) – another statistic which showcases his phenomenal ability to absorb the scoreboard pressure, assess the match situation, pace and build his innings and execute the chase to perfection.
Coupled with his average is his high strike rate – 97.73 and inhuman consistency (41 fifty-plus scores in 81 successful chases for India) – all these make Kohli the greatest chaser in ODI history.
It was a classic Kohli innings in Ranchi. He came out to bat in the 4th over after another early exit by Shikhar Dhawan. India were soon reeling at 15 for 2 as Rohit Sharma too departed for just 14. The pressure and the onus was now on Kohli. And he looked focused and determined from the word go. A punch off Pat Cummins to the backward point boundary followed by an effortless drive off Jhye Richardson to the off-side boundary – and Kohli had announced himself.
Ambati Rayudu was dismissed in the 7th over but nothing could stop Kohli. He resurrected the innings with a 59-run stand with Dhoni, contributing 29 off 35 deliveries. He rotated the strike brilliantly picking a number of singles and twos. He only hit two boundaries during the partnership – his stand-alone shot being a back-foot drive through the covers off Marcus Stoinis. Kohli also brought up a mini-milestone early in his innings – scoring 4000 runs as ODI skipper – his batting average of 83.59 as ODI captain is by far the highest in the history of the format.
Kohli’s 50 came in just 52 deliveries. A flick and an exquisite cover drive off Stoinis and Kohli was soon in his seventies. He thumped Richardson through the extra-cover boundary in what was the shot of the match – the ball racing to the boundary at the rate of knots.
Kohli dominated the 5th wicket partnership (88 runs) with Kedar Jadhav scoring 56 in just 36 deliveries. He was resolved to India to a win even as wickets kept falling at the other end. He soon registered his 41st ODI hundred – off just 85 deliveries. He had raced from a fifty to a hundred in just 33 deliveries.
In Vijay Shankar he found an able partner and the pair added 45 for the sixth-wicket in quick time. Kohli seemed unstoppable at 123 off 94 deliveries and India now needed less than 100 at a very manageable required run-rate. But against the run of play a Zampa googly got through the defense of Kohli and clipped his leg-stump.
India’s chase was derailed and they ultimately fell short by 33 runs.
Kohli had produced another gem though, albeit in a losing cause. He stood out and looked in a league of his own among India’s batsmen. The second-highest scorer for India in the match was Shankar with 32 and when Kohli got out with the team score at 229, he had already contributed 56.16% of the total runs scored by India – such was his dominance and command at the crease.
Kohli now aggregates 1786 runs in 23 innings at an average of 99.22 and strike rate of 99.66, including 9 hundreds since the beginning of 2018.
These numbers are nothing short of Bradmenesque and India will be counting on this sublime run of form to continue at the World Cup.
First Published: March 8, 2019, 11:17 PM IST