When you talk about best of Virat Kohli in T20Is, there are plenty of knocks that can be included in the knock. Kohli has been a revelation for India, having played endless match-winning knocks for his team in the shortest format.
Virat Kohli became the first batter to score 4000 runs in T20Is before New Zealand Women's all-rounder Suzie Bates joined him in the elite list of batters.
Kohli hasn't played for India in T20Is since their defeat to England in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup at the Adelaide Oval. However, Kohli made his comeback into the Indian team.
Kohli is set to lock horns with Afghanistan in a bilateral T20I series. Before the upcoming T20 World Cup to be held later this year in the West Indies and the USA, Kohli needed to return playing in T20Is for the Indian team.
Even into his mid-30s, Kohli, also one of the 4 Indians with more than 3000 runs in T20Is, has plenty of cricket left in him.
Let us look at 5 knocks that can be counted among the best of Virat Kohli in T20Is
1.72 against South Africa, 2014
Back in the 2014 T20 World Cup semi-final, Virat Kohli played a gem of a knock against Faf du Plessis’ South Africa at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. The knock features in the best of Virat Kohli in the shortest format.
Kohli helped India beat the Proteas by six wickets after chasing down 173 with five balls to spare. The right-handed batter whipped Dale Steyn for a four through mid-wicket to take India past the finish line.
Kohli scored an unbeaten 72 runs off 44 balls with five fours and two sixes. Kohli came to bat after Rohit Sharma took India off to a flying start and from there on, he did not look back and came back only after taking his team through to the final.
He also put on a handy partnership of 56 runs with Yuvraj Singh for the third wicket after India lost both their opening batters. Kohli won the Player of the Match award and it remains one of his best knocks.
Scorecard of India vs South Africa Semifinal match in 2014 T20 World Cup. Virat Kohli scored magnificent 72*(44). pic.twitter.com/QbI7KCEb87— CricketMAN2 (@ImTanujSingh) November 3, 2021
2. 94 against West Indies, 2019
The best of Virat Kohli includes his knock from 2019 against the West Indies in the first game of the 3-match T20I series at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. Kohli scored an unbeaten 94 runs off 50 balls with the help of 6 fours and as many sixes.
On the back of his knock, India chased down a mammoth target of 208 with 8 balls left in their innings. Kohli had a massive task in hand as he came to bat after left-arm spinner Khary Pierre dismissed Rohit Sharma early.
Despite the required run-rate climbing all the time, Kohli did not lose his calm by any means. Instead, he started cautiously to absorb the initial pressure after which he stepped on the gas at the right time to take India past the finish line.
Kohli was severe on Kesrick Williams, who leaked 60 runs in 3.4 overs. Kohli also won the Player of the Match award after India took a 1-0.
3. 55 against Pakistan, 2016
The knock Kohli played in the 2016 T20 World Cup should be a part of best of Virat Kohli in the 20-over format. Although it is not among his most fluent knocks, it was about how he held his nerve after Pakistan put the Men in Blue under immense pressure in the match at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
After opting to field first in the match, curtailed to 18 overs per side due to rain, India restricted Shahid Africa and Co to 118 for five. The run-chase was expected to be straightforward for the hosts, but it didn't turn out that way as Pakistan came out firing on all cylinders.
Defending a small score, Pakistan reduced India to 23 for 3 in 4.4 overs. From there on, Kohli scored an unbeaten 55 off 37 balls with 7 fours and a six as India chased down the target with 13 balls to spare. Kohli was also involved in a partnership of 61 runs for the fourth wicket with Yuvraj Singh.
4. 82 against Pakistan, 2022
The best of Virat Kohli includes the masterful knock that he played against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup 2022 match in front of a packed house at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground. The knock was an example for youngsters how to keep one’s composure under extreme pressure.
With India needing 28 runs off eight balls, Pakistan seemed to be in complete command. But then Kohli hit Haris Rauf for two sixes to keep India in the game. Kohli stayed until the very end as the Men in Blue won the match after chasing down 16 off the last over bowled by Mohammad Nawaz.
Kohli stayed not out on 82 runs off 53 balls with six fours and four sixes as India tracked down 160 off the last ball in the thrilling contest at the MCG. He won the Player of the Match award after India won the match by four wickets.
82 against Australia, 2016
The knock that he played against Australia in the 2016 T20 World Cup at the PCA Stadium in Mohali should be a part of the best of Virat Kohli in T20Is. In the Super 10 match, Kohli scores an unbeaten 82 off 51 balls with 9 fours and 2 sixes.
On the back of his knock, India chased down a target of 161 with five balls to spare. Kohli came to bat after India found themselves in a bit of trouble. The Men in Blue lost Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina early before Kohli held the fort for his team.
After India lost Yuvraj Singh in the 14th over, they still needed 67 runs off their last 6 overs with six wickets in hand. Kohli and MS Dhoni put on 67 runs for the 6th wicket to take their team home.