Why Virat Kohli considers Adelaide second innings hundred his best
Many consider Virat Kohli's 149 in the recent Edgbaston Test his best test hundred. Kohli scored those runs in difficult conditions where the ball was swinging for the most part of the match. What makes the innings special, was that none of the other Indian batsmen could score a half-century in the whole match.
Another unique thing about Kohli's innings was that his score of 149 was more runs than he got in the entire five-match Test series against England in 2014. I talked about the change in strategy that Kohli brought in the Edgbaston Test match in my article England vs India: What Virat Kohli did differently in the first Test.
However, Kohli does not consider the Edgbaston hundred as the best one; he still rates the second-innings Adelaide hundred that he scored during the 2014 Australian tour as the best one. Let's analyze why Kohli thinks so.
Australia won the toss and elected to bat first at Adelaide. They scored 517/7 declared in their first innings. India responded with 444 all out in their first innings, with Kohli's 115 the highlight.
In the second innings, Australia scored 290/5 declared, setting India a target of 364 runs.
India didn't start well their second innings and lost two wickets for 57 runs. Nathan Lyon was bowling magnificently and was making life difficult for the Indian batsmen with his off-spin, having already taken a five-for in the first innings.
Kohli came to the middle after the fall of two wickets and started counter-attacking. Against Lyon, he swept the balls that were full and pulled the balls that were bowled short.
It was a difficult pitch to bat on, with some uneven bounce off the pitch. However, Kohli's partnership with Murali Vijay blossomed. Vijay got a few reprieves but still managed 99 runs, he and Kohli adding 185 runs for the third wicket.
After Vijay got out, the procession of wickets started. Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma got out cheaply, but Kohli kept looking for runs. He was looking to win the match.
364 runs was a big target, and most captains would have looked to draw the game instead of going for a win. But this was Kohli, who didn't drop his guard even once during the whole innings.
India had every chance of winning that game while Kohli was at the crease. He scored 141 runs, and once he was out, the other batsmen followed soon.
India lost that match by 48 runs, but Kohli won a lot of hearts with his brave innings under those circumstances.