Virat Kohli's Top 3 ODI Knocks Against Pakistan

image-lkwk76q9Virat Kohli's form against Pakistan has been superb (Twitter)

Indian batter Virat Kohli's One Day International (ODI) record is nothing short of extraordinary. The Indian batting maestro has piled on runs against every opponent he's faced in this format. But there's something magical about his performances when it comes to facing India's arch-rivals, Pakistan.

In the historic rivalry between India and Pakistan, Kohli has emerged as a force to be reckoned with. He combines a competitive intensity with a voracious desire for runs, consistently proving to be a proverbial thorn in Pakistan's side. His versatility on the pitch, whether leading high-stakes chases or delivering commanding innings, has repeatedly underlined his calibre against the Men in Green.

Political tensions have caused a drought of bilateral cricket between the two nations, confining their contests to ICC tournaments and continental events. Yet, even in this restricted number of matches, Kohli's batting shines bright against Pakistan. His track record gleams with brilliance: in the 13 encounters against Pakistan, he's scored 536 runs at an average of 48.73 and a strike rate of 96.23, along with two half-centuries and a pair of centuries.

With the World Cup 2023 rapidly approaching, Kohli will have another chance to bolster his ODI record against Pakistan. The Indian team will face off against their perennial rivals in October at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

As Kohli prepares for the high-voltage face-off, here's a look at his top 3 batting knocks vs Pakistan in ODIs.

3. 77 at Old Trafford, Manchester in ICC World Cup 2019

India's ICC World Cup 2019 clash with Pakistan was a nerve-wracking encounter marked by immense expectations. Amid the tension, Kohli, the then-India captain, assumed the burden of setting a challenging score. Kohli was instantly aggressive, coming in at number three following a robust 136-run opening stand by Rohit and KL Rahul. 

His batting display, consisting of fluent shots, quick runs, sublime cover drives, and stylish flicks, left the Pakistani bowlers at a loss. He carved out a masterful 77 runs off 65 balls, his innings decorated with seven boundaries.

image-lkjw6abfVirat Kohli celebrates after his fifty in World Cup 2019 (Twitter)

What stood out was Kohli's maturity and strategic play under pressure. He recognized the necessity of a competitive total against Pakistan's powerful batting unit and delivered. 

Kohli's crucial 77-run contribution, paired with Rohit's 140, set India to a robust total of 336/5. Faced with a huge chase, Pakistan managed only 212/6 in a rain-affected match, resulting in an 89-run victory for India by the DLS method. 

The Indian stalwart's extraordinary performance under pressure, although not a century, played a crucial role in India's victory and was highly applauded.

2. 107 at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide in ICC World Cup 2015

India faced arch-rivals Pakistan in their World Cup opener. Winning the toss, India decided to bat first. Openers Rohit and Dhawan gave India a steady start. After Rohit's dismissal, Kohli came to the crease at number 3. 

The Kohli-Dhawan duo executed a remarkable 129-run partnership, providing a solid platform. The right-hander demonstrated a superb balance of aggressive and calculated gameplay, showcasing his extensive batting range.

image-lkjw7m0jVirat Kohli soaks in the applause at Adelaide (Twitter)

His half-century came off 60 balls, but he didn't stop there. Kohli's impeccable innings culminated in a glorious century - 107 off 126 balls, becoming the first Indian to score a hundred against Pakistan in a World Cup match. 

Despite his eventual dismissal by Sohail Khan, Kohli's contribution was crucial in setting a challenging target of 301. Pakistan's attempt to chase the score fell flat, with the team losing wickets consistently. Ultimately, they were all out for 224, resulting in India's 76-run victory largely due to Kohli's significant performance.

1. 183 at Sher-E-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Dhaka in Asia Cup 2012

Pakistan set a massive target of 330 runs, riding on centuries by Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed in this pivotal Asia Cup clash. Chasing the mammoth total, India lost Gautam Gambhir early, but Kohli stepped up. He built partnerships with Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma with precise strokes, dominating the Pakistani bowlers.

image-lkjw5i4jVirat Kohli scored his highest ODI score against Pakistan in 2012 (Twitter)

Kohli's brilliant century off 97 balls and his blistering 150 off 131 balls left Pakistan in despair. He scored a sensational 183 (highest ODI score), studded with 22 fours and two sixes before being dismissed, and guided India to a comfortable victory with 13 balls to spare. 

Kohli's aggressive yet controlled batting at a strike rate of 123.65 made this one of his most memorable innings in an Asia Cup match.