5 times Virat Kohli destroyed Sri Lanka in ODIs
Virat Kohli seems to have a special liking for his neighbouring island country. A record-breaking 29th ODI century, his seventh against the Lankans, was in stark contrast to his debut against the same opposition nine ago, reaffirming his reputation as the modern game's best batsman.
Since that day in 2008, Kohli has evolved into a complete batsman, scoring runs across the world. Here are some of his best knocks against the Lankans in ODIs:
107 off 114 balls, Kolkata (2009)
After Sri Lanka had compiled the highest score at the Eden Gardens (315), the Indian batsmen knew a quick start was needed. Virender Sehwag started in typical fashion with a flurry of boundaries, but was undone by a Suranga Lakmal delivery that got extra lift off the pitch.
Gautam Gambhir entered the scene, but was left in the dark when Sachin Tendulkar perished looking for quick runs. In came Kohli, and the Delhi boys took no time to get down to business.
Lakmal was breathing fire, testing Kohli with some extra pace and bounce.
Kohli’s first scoring shot came with a trademark whip that flew to the mid-wicket boundary, a shot he has perfected now. Lakmal continued his barrage of bouncers, but Kohli was unmoved. Thisara Perera followed suit, but this time, Kohli rose up to the challenge, pulling the ball with a horizontal bat down to widish long on to get going.
He tore Malinga apart in the ninth over with four consecutive boundaries, hitting shots on all sides of the park. The partnership reached its first fifty in just 34 balls.
In his second spell, Malinga lost his bearings completely, hurling short of a length deliveries outside the off stump that were slashed away by a red-hot Kohli. On 88, he was got a reprieve when Sangakkara dropped a sharp chance behind the stumps.
Nevertheless, a star was born and was here to stay.