Virat Kohli is arguably the greatest batsman of this era. His ODI numbers - 11,286 runs at an average of 59.4 and a strike rate of 93 - are simply mind-blowing.
With 41 centuries, Kohli is currently second in the list of players with most ODI centuries (behind Sachin Tendulkar who scored 49 centuries). But Kohli's form has fluctuated in the World Cup, and his failure in the semifinals of the recently concluded 2019 World Cup led to India's elimination from the tournament.
Let us look at how Kohli has performed in the first match of each of the three World Cups that he played.
#1 100* (83 balls) vs Bangladesh in the 2011 World Cup
In the first match of World Cup 2011, India faced Bangladesh at Mirpur. Batting first, India scored a mammoth 370 runs from 50 overs, with the help of centuries from Virat Kohli (100 runs from 83 balls) and Virender Sehwag (175 runs from 140 balls).
Bangladesh could only score 283 runs and were defeated by 87 runs. Kohli scored 8 fours and 2 sixes en route his 5th ODI hundred. But he had a lacklustre series from there on, as he could accumulate just 182 runs from the remaining 8 matches.
# 107 (126 balls) vs Pakistan in the 2015 World Cup
Much like the previous Word Cup, Kohli started off this tournament with a century. Batting first India posted 300 runs on the board with the help a fine ton from Kohli and half-centuries from Shikhar Dhawan (73 runs from 76 balls) and Suresh Raina (74 runs from 56 balls).
Pakistan were all out for 224 and India won the game by 76 runs. Kohli was adjudged Man of the Match for his century. He became the first Indian to score a hundred against Pakistan in the World Cups with this ton.
However, Kohli was not able to carry on his form to the rest of the league matches. He scored just 198 runs from the remaining 7 matches. India were eventually defeated by Australia in the semi-finals.
# 18 (34 balls) vs South Africa in the 2019 World Cup
India played their first match of the 2019 World Cup against South Africa at Southampton. Batting first, the Proteas were restricted to a below par 227 by the Indian bowlers.
Rohit Sharma's 122 from 144 balls made sure that India crossed the shores comfortably. Kohli, who came to the crease after the early departure of Dhawan, could only score 18 runs from 34 balls.
But he scored five consecutive half-centuries in his next five matches and finished the series with 443 runs from 10 matches. New Zealand defeated India in the semi-finals, but lost to England in the final.Published 25 Jul 2019, 23:32 IST