Virat Kohli was accorded the loudest cheer by a predominantly Indian crowd in Adelaide
before their crucial match against archrivals Pakistan yesterday. As expected, the 26-
year-old batsman, who arrived at the centre following the departure of Rohit Sharma in
the eighth over, dominated proceedings with relentless stroke-making and orchestrated
India’s sixth win in a trot against Pakistan in the World Cup.
Kohli reached his 22nd ODI century with a punch off Shahid Afridi towards long-on,
allowing the packed gathering at the Adelaide Oval to stand on their feet and applaud the
poster boy of Indian cricket. During his 126-ball knock, the right-handed batsman made
107 with the help of eight boundaries. Dropped by Yasir Shah off Afridi on seven and
again by wicketkeeper Umar Akmal on 76, Kohli otherwise played within himself and
gave few chances in his inning.
Undoubtedly the star player for India, Kohli did not have a great start to 2015. The Delhi
lad, however, put behind his recent disappointments and hit the ground running in the
very first match. He played aggressively, barely showed his emotions but retained his
ever-growing maturity. He once again proved himself as a big-match player, a match-
winner and a complete batsman who can adapt to different kinds of situations.
With the century, Kohli saw his name written beside Saeed Anwar, the former Pakistan
opener. Anwar was the only player to have scored a century in an India-Pakistan World
Cup match. His knock of 101 came in Centurion in 2003. However, his ton went in vain
as Pakistan lost that match by six wickets. Sachin Tendulkar’s 75-ball 98 runs in the same
match was India’s previous best individual score against Pakistan in a World Cup game.
Kohli’s 183-run knock in the 2012 Asia Cup is the best effort by an Indian batsman
against their archrivals in ODIs.
With a technique and temperament to succeed in every condition and format, Kohli
cutting loose is one of the most beautiful sights of the
Yesterday it was the Pakistan bowlers’ turn to watch helplessly. The Pakistan bowlers
had very little to offer against a rampant Kohli.
The grand and glittering strokes were sprayed all over the ground in a fascinating cocktail
of graceful dominance and silken brutality. Virat Kohli rose to the occasion and with