SK Flashback: Virat Kohli bats through pain to notch up his fourth hundred of IPL 2016
Virat Kohli's commitment to the game is the reason he is amongst the most admired players.
With their backs against the wall, having to win all the remaining four games to enter the playoffs, RCB were in the face of a daunting task in IPL 2016. And then Virat Kohli happened! The RCB skipper carried his team to playoffs single-handedly, rewriting record books in the process.
It’s been exactly a year since King Kohli unleashed the superhuman in him to record the fourth hundred of IPL 2016. While the stroke-filled innings was an exhibition of batsmanship, the fact he played such a gem with multiple stitches on his left hand etched the day, May 18, in our minds for his resoluteness.
Scoring a hundred in T20 game in itself is a task not many give a thought to. But, to score four hundreds in a single tournament is something even the most imaginative person could fail to think of. But Kohli went on to achieve the unthinkable!
RCB hosted Kings XI Punjab, who were struggling at the bottom of the table, in a must win game. In a rain-truncated game, RCB put up 211 runs in just 15 overs after being put into bat first. The opening duo, Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli, wasted no time in smashing the ball to all parts of the stadium. They put on an outstanding partnership of 111 runs for the first wicket. After losing Gayle, Kohli cut loose in the most destructive way.
A watchful start
The night seemed like any other as Sandeep Sharma ran in to deliver his accurate in-swingers to a watchful Gayle in the first over of the innings. But, the last ball of the over served as an appetiser to the fans as Kohli - ever so stylishly - punched the back of length delivery through covers for four.
However, with Gayle finding his rhythm soon at the other end, Kohli looked to rotate the strike while he still put the poor balls away. As admitted in the post-match presentation by the man himself, Kohli was in significant pain in the initial stages of the innings. Thus he played the supporting role while waiting for his turn to explode.
Targeting KC Cariappa
After getting a good look in, Kohli targeted the inexperienced KC Cariappa as he smashed five sixes off his bowling. The off-spinner lost his bearings under the pressure as he dished out half-volleys which Kohli dispatched so effortlessly.
It was particularly impressive the way Kohli scored most of his runs playing with a vertical bat.
What happens when you don’t take your chances?
Just when nothing seemed to be going KXIP’s way, the RCB skipper mistimed one off Cariappa’s bowling. The ball ballooned towards deep extra cover where Farhaan Behardien looked settled to pouch the all-important catch.
But an error in judgement saw him step on the boundary cushions after taking the catch. What should have been a wicket for the bowler ended up fetching six runs for Kohli. The visitors were to rue the missed opportunity as he Kohli hammered all the bowlers.
With Kohli, there are no nervous nineties
After reaching his fifty run mark in 28 balls, Kohli changed the gears swiftly. With the way he was smacking everything off the middle of his bat, it seemed like he didn’t have to employ half of his power. And the short boundaries at the Chinnaswamy didn’t help the visitors’ cause.
After having played few special shots already, Kohli took the crowd into delirium in the 14th over the innings. He was on 99 and Sandeep Sharma was ready with the ball in hand.
Coming from around the wicket Sharma sent down a full delivery in line with the stumps. There was no room to free his arms, but when you have wrists like Kohli’s you don’t need room. A stylish, wristy flick dissected the fielders on the on-side to smash into the advertising boards.
That boundary marked history as Kohli crossed the 100 run mark for the fourth time in the season. But, the celebration from Kohli wasn’t among the ones where he fist-pumps or punches the air in delight. Rather, looking at the dug-out he pointed at his left hand to let his team know that pain shouldn’t limit them. It was a celebration that was a perfect follow up for the gritty innings he had played.
The elegance only doubled after he completed his hundred. He smacked the next ball from Sharma to the leg side sending it sailing into the crowd. And the ball that followed was greeted with a straight bat that powered the ball to the boundary ropes.
However, Kohli holed out to the fielder at long-off as he mistimed the next ball in an attempt to time it over the ropes. But the damage was done, the history was made and the game was half-won there as the scoreboard read 199 in 14 overs.