Sourav Ganguly rates Virat Kohli's 133 against Sri Lanka at Hobart as his favourite innings
There is little questioning the fact that Virat Kohli made an impression in International cricket, first in the limited-overs format of the game and then in the longer version of the game.
Cricketers generally have a turning point in their careers, which makes them a different player and helps them understand their games better from that point on.
For Sachin Tendulkar, that moment was perhaps his century on a fast Perth pitch in 1992 against four Australian fast bowlers. For Rahul Dravid, it was perhaps the time when he made his first Test century in 1997 against South Africa in Johannesburg.
Similarly, for Kohli, one can say that in limited-overs cricket, that turning point came at the start of 2012 at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart. India were up against it, having set a target of 320 runs that needed to be achieved in under 40 overs to keep them in contention in the Tri-nation competition also involving Australia and the right-hander blazed his way to an 86-ball 133 against Sri Lanka, completing the win in 36.3 overs and that helped his stay alive in the competition.
His annihilation of Lasith Malinga that day is something that is still very fresh in the memory of every Indian fan and although eventually, India didn’t make it through to the final, Kohli had given many an Indian supporter an unforgettable moment.
Recalling that knock, former India captain Sourav Ganguly termed the innings as his favourite one of Kohli and added that his handling of Malinga made him look a totally different bowler in front of him.
"He's got so many hundreds and most have come in match-winning situations. It's tough for me to pick one. When you get 25 ODI hundreds it is very difficult to remember all of them but I think the one in Hobart against Sri Lanka was a special innings,” he told India Today.
“I saw that innings in 2013 when he was still a young batsman, it was masterful. The way he hit Lasith Malinga and the way he treated Malinga since then, he looked a completely different bowler when Virat was at the crease,” he added.
Kohli smashed Malinga for 24 runs in one over en route his innings and he eventually finished with figures of 96 runs in 8 overs, something that seemed highly impossible against the Sri Lankan, whose awkward action troubled the best in the world.
Here are the highlights from that chase: