Virat Kohli has batted at number three in most of his IPL innings. To be precise, he has batted at number three in 85 matches, aggregating 2,696 runs at a strike rate of 123.84. His highest score at this position is 99, while his batting average has been 36.93.
These numbers increase significantly when Virat Kohli opens in the IPL. In 61 innings as an opener, Kohli has scored 2,345 runs at a phenomenal average of 47.86. He has five IPL centuries to his name, and his strike rate rises to 140.17.
With Virat Kohli set to open the innings again for the Royal Challengers Bangalore this year, here's a look at the three best knocks played by him as an opening batter.
3. 108* vs. Rising Pune Supergiant, IPL 2016
Royal Challengers Bangalore struggled in the initial phases of IPL 2016. Even Virat Kohli's maiden IPL hundred was not enough to give RCB a win against the Gujarat Lions in Rajkot. However, Kohli continued his magnificent form in the game versus the Rising Pune Supergiant.
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Kohli won the toss and invited MS Dhoni's team to bat first in Bengaluru. Half-centuries from Ajinkya Rahane and Saurabh Tiwary guided Pune to 191/6 in their 20 overs. Chasing 192, RCB got off to a great start thanks to Virat and KL Rahul's 94-run opening partnership.
But Pune came back into the contest by taking three wickets in five overs. Virat Kohli then switched gears and hit Adam Zampa for two sixes and a four. He took RP Singh to the cleaners before finishing things off in style with a boundary off Ashok Dinda's bowling.
Kohli finished with 108 runs off 58 deliveries. He smashed eight fours and seven sixes in his incredible knock that helped RCB win by seven wickets.
2. 109 vs. Gujarat Lions, IPL 2016
As mentioned ahead, Virat Kohli's first century versus the Gujarat Lions could not help his team win. So, he teamed up with AB de Villiers to blow away the Rajkot-based franchise in Bengaluru.
Kohli and de Villiers had a monumental partnership of 229 runs to guide the Royal Challengers to 248/3 in their 20 overs. While de Villiers remained unbeaten on 129, Virat smashed 109 runs from 55 deliveries. His knock featured five fours and eight sixes.
Fans should note that the Gujarat Lions dominated the initial phases of the game. Praveen Kumar bowled a maiden over to Chris Gayle and then Dhawal Kulkarni rattled the Universe Boss' stumps.
However, Kohli and De Villiers showed great character and fought back in style to set up a memorable 144-run victory for their side.
1. Virat Kohli's best knock in the IPL - 113 vs. Punjab Kings, IPL 2016
Virat Kohli's century against the Punjab Kings during the 2016 season was perhaps one of the most outstanding individual performances in IPL history.
Kohli had nine stitches on his left hand when he came out to bat for RCB at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium versus Punjab.
Courtesy of a rain interruption, the match was reduced to 15-overs-a-side. However, that did not stop Virat Kohli from scoring his fourth century of IPL 2016. The RCB skipper blasted a 50-ball 113 in Bengaluru to keep his team alive in the race to the playoffs.
His 12 fours and eight sixes guided the Royal Challengers to 211/3 in 15 overs. The home side won the match by 82 runs, and Virat Kohli was rightfully adjudged the Player of the Match.