After the defeat, or ‘thrashing’ India received from England in the 2022 WC semi-finals, fans worldwide were frustrated at another disappointing finish. Here are my honest thoughts for Those Who Care and Run Indian Cricket. An open letter, “Enough is enough.”
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Ranking Virat Kohli’s best innings is no easy task.
With 71 hundreds, 127 fifties, and countless other important knocks out of his 529 international innings, picking the Top 25 is a challenge. As Roman philosopher, Lucius Anneas Seneca is credited of saying,
Kohli’s consistency and the ability to rise to the top from the depth of hardship is what makes him truly great.
The winning moment at the MCG give cricket fans chills. Literal chills. This match reminded us of Virat Kohli’s eternal greatness. No man has been as dominating of a cricket player in all the three formats. Here is our Top 25 ranking of Virat Kohli’s best innings across T20I, ODI, and Test cricket.
List of Virat Kohli’s Best Innings
All the scorecards and some video highlights are linked for your reference.
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Melbourne, Australia
Context: Melbourne Cricket Ground. 90,000 crowd. T20 World Cup 2022. India 31-4. Pakistan pacers all over India. The ghost of 2021. The 71st hundred wait. Questions on his form. Mental health break. And then came that innings. Then came that shot—The Shot Heard Around the World.From 31-4 to needing 28 runs in 8 balls to winning the match on the last ball.The chase master is back.The King is back.
Context: A love story begins in Australia. The coming of age for Virat Kohli. Needing to chase 320 in 40 overs, Kohli and co did it in 36.4 overs. Malinga’s figures of 7.4-0-96-1 says it all. The way Kohli handled the pressure, accelerated…this was only the signs to come for the record chaser he was about to become.
Venue: Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali, Chandigarh India
Context: Virat Kohli Mohali innings. India vs Australia 2016 knock-out match. What an innings under pressure. Must-win game. A virtual quarter final. Australia & James Faulkner run into Virat Kohli at his absolute peak. Steady innings to begin with but flourish at the right time. The running, six hitting, and MS Dhoni, this innings had everything.
Context: A glimpse of Virat Kohli, the captain, before he was the official captain. India had never won a Test series in Australia and chasing 364 on Day 5 was unthinkable. Enter Kohli. Centuries in both innings. Aggressive approach. Got India so close, but he was caught on the boundary with sixty runs still to go. India continued their positive approach and collapsed agonizingly short.
5. 119 (181) & 96 (193) vs South Africa, India Tour of South Africa 2013-14
Opposition: South Africa
Venue: New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa
Context: One of the great Test matches of the 2010s. Will always be remembered for the Faf-De Villiers partnership as South Africa almost chasing 438 before the draw was announced eight runs short.However, the game was nicely setup by the dominance of Kohli in both innings.
6. 169 (272) vs Australia, 2013-14 Border Gavaskar Trophy
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia
Context: This match will always be remembered for THAT partnership. Virat Kohli & Ajinkya Rahane smashing Mitchell Johnson’s bouncers. The transition from the Dravid-Tendulkar-Laxman era to the Kohli-Rahane era was complete.
Context: 134 runs in 10 innings. Six single digit scores. 2 ducks. And a Jimmy Anderson. Probably the lowest point in Kohli’s career, technically and mentally. To come back in the next tour, score 593 runs, dominate Anderson, and conquer his inner demons is a life lesson for us all. It all started with this 149 in tough conditions.
Context: Some of the best shots you will ever see. Dancing down the wicket, straight over the bowlers’ head, numerous inside out shots.The series will be remembered for the emergence of Kohli-Rohit duo as the next stars of Indian cricket.
Venue: Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, Bangladesh
Context: The scorecard doesn’t tell you what we all felt that day. Pakistan 83/10 and India won by 5 wickets. Easy, right? Wrong. Due to the comeback kid, Mohammad Amir. Rohit, Rahaneweregone for ducks. Raina soon followed, India 8/3. Then came Kohli’s masterclass, one full of patience, perseverance, and maturity.
Context: Among his plethora of centuries and fifties, this one is usually forgotten. After 31-2 with both Sehwag & Sachin back in the hut, Kohli & Gambhir’s steady 83-run partnership got India back in the game. Useful, impact knock.
20. 89*(47) vs West Indies, 2016 T20 World Cup Semi-Final
Opposition: West Indies
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, India
Context: Yet another one of Kohli’s ICC men T20 World Cup classic. After Rohit-Rahane 40s provided India a decent start, Kohli took the mantle to finish the innings off. From 50*(33) to 89*(47), but it was not meant to be.
Context: A solid knock. India win against Pakistan via Kohil magic, a theme over the last decade. Better yet, India started the 2015 WC well and went onto play the semi-finals despite dismal preparations.
Context:Things have to begin somewhere, don’t they? Virat’s maiden ODI ton, including a 224-run partnership with Gautam Gambhir. Rescued India in chase of 316 after they were 23-2 after 3.4 overs.A glimpse of greatness for years ahead.
Frequently Asked Questions – Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in Each Format
Other Virat Kohli Content
What is Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in T20I Cricket?
Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in T20I cricket are as follows: 82* (52) vs Pakistan (2022 T20 World Cup), 82*(53) vs Australia (2016 T20 World Cup), 72*(44) (2014 T20 Worl Cup Semi-Final, 89* (47) vs West Indies (2016 T20 World Cup Semi-Final), and 49 (51) vs Pakistan (2016 Asia Cup).
What is Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in ODI Cricket?
Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in ODI cricket are as follows: 133*(86) vs Sri Lanka (2012), 100* (52) vs Australia (2013), 115*(66) vs Australia (2013), 160*(159) vs South Africa (2018), and 183*(146) vs Pakistan (2012).
What is Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in Test Cricket?
Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in Test cricket are as follows: 141 vs Australia (2013), 119 vs South Africa (2013), 169 vs Australia (2013), 149 vs England (2018), and 153 vs South Africa (2018).
3 Indian Cricketers Who Deserve More Chances in T20I
Despite rests for Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and injuries to Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, and Suryakumar Yadav, three players could not find a spot in the 18-man squad. It is hard for anyone to break into the Indian team these days, but team India is making a huge mistake by not giving them a chance at all.
Eight years ago, Prithvi Shaw burst onto the scene by scoring 546 (330) in a school competition. Comparisons to Sachin Tendulkar were inevitable (and even Sehwag & Lara for that matter). He then won the U-19 WC as captain and has produced runs at the domestic circuit and IPL level.
Things looked bright, but he has only played 5 Tests (1 century, 2 50s), 6 ODIs, and a sole T20I (debut golden duck by the way).
History of fitness issues has not helped advance Shaw’s case, and he has often been depicted as ‘careless’ or ‘carefree’ in his batting approach. However, this is exactly the need of the hour for Indian cricket in T20Is.
Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Shreyas Iyer, Virat Kohli, Mayank Agarwal, and even Ishan Kishan play a similar brand of cricket as openers, but Shaw is a breath of fresh air. This season he has produced knocks of
And when he has not gone big, he has knocked singles and made sure the partnership with David Warner flourishes. Prithvi Shaw might not rack up the running charts and stay till the end, but what he provides is worth much more – an impetus to the team from Ball One of the match.
The real question is, will he even get an audition for the T20 WC squad?
Rahul Tripathi was always considered one of those key Indian uncapped players who ‘punches above his weight’ and ‘provides a bit of spark and energy in the field,’ but has always been seen a level below international quality (like a Swapnil Asnodkar, Manvinder Bisla, Nitish Rana, and now Rajat Patidar).
But has Rahul Tripathi been unfairly pigeonholed? He batted with flair this year at SRH (413 Runs, 3 50s, 158.24 SR) and was the catalyst behind KKR’s run to the final last year (397 runs, 2 50s, 140.28 SR). His highest score in each of the last 6 IPLs read
93, 80*, 50, 81, 74*, 76
This means that when he is in the mood, he goes big. But more than the stats, it is Tripathi’s infectious attitude while batting. He starts hitting from ball 1, can float anywhere in the batting lineup, and adapts to any situation. Fast bowlers, spinners, doesn’t matter. 120/2 or 0/1 – he comes in with the same aggression and mindset as a modern day #3 batter should.
Mitchell Marsh, Moeen Ali, Dawid Malan, Mohammad Hafeez, and Devon Conway are the template to bat at #3 these days. Gone are the days of Steve Smith and Virat Kohli steadying the pace.
Tripathi has done all in his power to showcase his ability, but will he ever get a chance?
Sanju Samson has been the most ill-treated of them all. Samson has barely received any chances at the international level since his debut in 2015:
1 T20 Vs Zimbabwe (2015), 1 Vs SL (Jan 2020), 2 Vs NZ (Jan-Feb 2020), 3 Vs Aus (Dec 2020), 3 Vs SL (Jul 2021), 3 Vs SL (Feb 2022).
There is barely any continuity. In his last series in February,he did not bat in the first T20I and scored his personal best – a crucial 39 (25) with 2 fours & 3 sixes at #4. Yet, he has been dropped while the likes of Ishan Kishan & Venkatesh Iyer have been retained despite poor IPL form. What message are the selectors and coach sending?
In Qualifier 1 of IPL 2022, Samson gave an apt reply with the bat.
First ball he faced – SIX! What followed was carnage. His next scoring shots were 4,4,4,6,6. He scored 30 (13) before he even took a single. Now, that is T20 mentality!
That 47 (26) was a more impactful innings than Jos Buttler’s 89 (56).
Sanju Samson and the IPL Inconsistency Myth
He has been on the IPL scene since 2013 but has always carried the perception of ‘inconsistency’, ‘not enough domestic runs’, or ‘throws his wicket away.’
Let us dig a bit deeper. This may have been true from 2013-2016 (where his average hovered between 20.4-26.45 & SR between 112.35-125.15). In each of those years, he would make one or two sparkling fifties and then fall off.
However, from 2017-2022, he has scored 3 hundreds, 12 fifties, striking it between 136.72-150.36 and averaging between 30.07-40.33. Runs in these five years?
386, 441, 342, 375, 484, 421*
His numbers might not be KL Rahul-esque (659, 593, 670, 626, 616) whose SR hovers around 135. Rahul plays an opener/anchor role, while Samson is the middle order intent batter who can keep the game moving and hit spinners out of the attack.
In essence, Sanju Samson has become more consistent, more lethal, and a true match winner.
Prithvi Shaw, Rahul Tripathi, and Sanju Samson, literally the only three Indian batters with a modern day T20 batting mindset, were omitted from the South Africa squad list. Although India has about 24 T20Is to try out new players before the 2022 T20 World Cup later this year, their exclusion reveals India’s reluctance to play ultra-aggressive cricket.
Among Indian players, only Dinesh Karthik (187. 28), Rajat Patidar (156.25), Shivam Dube (156.21), Rishabh Pant (151.78) have comparable Strike Rates. Samson, Tripathi, and Shaw have taken the leap of faith with risk & reward. The real question is, will Indian selectors?
“When you’re doing a role like this. In T20s, when you are there to hit sixes…you need to have guts inside yourself, you need to be brave enough to do that role…failures will happen…If I get to play, I play. If I don’t, I don’t.”
“I am not here to score lots and lots of runs…I am here to score a small amount of runs which are very effective for the team.”
India Need to Revive the Memories of 2007
India last won a T20 World Cup way back in 2007. It was the inaugural edition, nobody knew what this beast T20 cricket would come, and the IPL had yet to be announced.
Stalwarts Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, and Sourav Ganguly stepped aside to give youngsters a chance. Robin Uthappa, Rohit Sharma, Piyush Chawla, Sreesanth, Joginder Sharma, RP Singh, and even the timeless Dinesh Karthik would make the squad. The Pathan brothers, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, and Virender Sehwag were the ‘seniors’ in the side lead under a certain captain MS Dhoni.
And guess what happened? India won—a young team with nothing to lose who just went out there, took risks, and expressed themselves.
Fast forward 15 years and 6 T20 World Cups later, India has yet to win another trophy. What’s worse? They have not even played close to their potential (Virat Kohli dragged into the finals and semi-finals of the 2014 & 2016 editions).
It might be time for a couple of seniors to step aside and give a free reign to players who can go there and play their natural, free-flowing, expressive cricket.
In IPL 2022, at least 54 players are auditioning at the moment for the Indian 2022 T20 World Cup Squad to board the flight to Australia in October.
Exactly six months to go for the World Cup. Halfway through IPL 2022.
With Dinesh Karthik asking questions and knocking the door down, Deepak Chahar’s injury cloud, and Virat Kohli- Rohit Sharma-Ishan Kishan-Venkatesh Iyer having off years, all permutations and combinations are open.
So how is this going to work? Today, YOU ARE THE SELECTOR. I am going to break up each role (opener, finisher, fast bowler, etc.) one by one and the contenders for that spot. At the end of each section, you can VOTE on your choice for the Indian 2022 T20 World Cup Squad.
Why Have India Not Won an ICC Trophy in the Last Decade?
Last time, India won a major ICC Trophy was the 2013 Champions Trophy. And 2007 for their only T20 World Cup Trophy.
Since then, India have lost 2012, 2016 (semi-finals), and 2021 T20 World Cups, 2017 Champions Trophy (finals), 2015 & 2019 ODI Cricket World Cups (semi-finals). Hindsight is 2020, but what were some of the reasons?
Constant chopping and changing in the squads & lack of clarity on player roles (“The #4 Question”)
Selecting/Mixing players for T20Is based on ODI form and vice-versa
Balance of the XI: Lack of batting allrounders in the Top 6 (too many wicketkeepers)
Vulnerability against left-arm seamers/swing bowlers in the first few overs (ex: Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Trent Boult/Matt Henry)
Wicket-taking options in the middle overs (switch from Jadeja-Ashwin to Kuldeep-Chahal and back)
Freak injuries (Shikhar Dhawan, Vijay Shankar in the 2019 CWC)
Now that we have established where things can go wrong, let us discuss how to form our XI & squad of 15.
Rather than picking the best 15 players in India, we pick out the best players for each role depending on which position they play for their IPL and domestic teams. The idea is that we should not make an opener a makeshift #5 again.
T20s are now moving to a place where a fluid batting line up is preferred. Instead of being assigned a fixed batting spot (#3,4,5, etc.), each batter has a relative batting spot (top order, accumulator, finisher) and an ‘optimal entry’ based on the overs & match situation (Ex: Send Russell after the 10th over, DK after the 16th over, etc.)
Similarly, Powerplay swing bowlers & specialist death bowlers have separate assigned roles. (Ex: David Willey’s role is bowl a couple of economical overs up front, take a wicket/set tone, and not finish his spell).
Ideal T20 XI
So, an ideal T20 XI needs the following ingredients:
The Top Order (2 aggressive & 1 accumulator who can soak pressure, but also has change of gears)
The Engine Room (3 Finishers – 1 Power hitter, 1 360-Player, 1 Calm-Head/Insurance Policy)
2-3 All-Rounders in the Top 7
Wicket-taker in the Powerplay (Swing bowler)
145 kph+ Pace Bowler
Mystery Spin optional
Who Was in India’s Latest T20I Squad?
As a quick reminder, here are the list of players and key performers from the recent T20I series against New Zealand, West Indies, and Sri Lanka.
Since the 2021 T20 World Cup, India have won all of their 9 T20I matches. In these 9 matches, India have had 8 different player of the matches and/or player of the series.
All Rounders: Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Hooda, Venkatesh Iyer, Axar Patel*, Washington Sundar*
Fast Bowlers: Jasprit Bumrah, Avesh Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Siraj, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar
Spinners: Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravi Bishnoi, Ravichandran Ashwin
Also before you check out the candidates for the Indian 2022 T20 World Cup Squad, check out BCD’s other social media pages and consider subscribing to our newsletter. It would really help support this website.
Select Your Indian 2022 T20 World Cup Squad
Next to each player, overall T20I & T20 stats will be displayed along with performance in the IPL after the covid break (IPL 2020, IPL 2021, and IPL 2022 up to the halfway mark)
Each player will also have a symbol:
🟩 Almost certainly plays the first match in the T20 World Cup
🟨 In the Probable 30, but selection in the 15 depends on the IPL and T20 bilaterals preceding the WC
🟪Wildcard Entry:Not in the current scheme of things but might come into conversation as a backup player.
🟧 Future Indian players who can occupy these roles (Lots of youngsters have come to the party in IPL 2022. I doubt they will make the Indian 2022 T20 World Cup Squad, but you never know)
Who are the Best T20 Openers for India Right Now? (Pick 3)
Who are the Best T20 Openers for India Right Now
India have 9 openers vying for 3 spots for the 2022 Indian T20 World Cup Squad. Namely, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, and Devdutt Padikkal. Rohit Sharma & KL Rahul are front runners for the T20 World Cup opening squad (if Rahul recovers from injuries), but Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, and Virat Kohli are other wildcard options.
An average of 16.28 and no fifties in 6 innings is not the best of Rohit, but remember, he was the player of the T20I series not too long ago. As long he is captain, he boards the flight to Australia as an opener.
2. KL Rahul 🟩
Current Status: Incumbent, Other Roles: Wicketkeeper
Ever since he was retained by Mumbai Indians for the mammoth price, Kishan has looked a show of himself. He has a couple of 50s and a top score of 81* but at a SR of 116.46, the Rohit-Ishan partnership is just not working for MI at the moment.
Pros ✅: Left-handed; Big match/ICC tournament player; Top form in IPL 2020/2021
Cons ❌: Poor form in IPL 2022; Out of Favor with selectors right now; Rohit-Dhawan-Kohli archaic T20 lineup
How Is He Doing in IPL 2022?
Not as dominating as before (2nd highest in IPL 2020 & 4th highest in 2021). 214 runs at 30.57 average & best of 70, the consistency is just not there this season. Only one 50 in 7 attempts and a SR of 126.62 will go against his name.
Cons ❌: Has Not Debuted in T20Is yet (inexperience)
How Is He Doing in IPL 2022?
With an average of 19.66 with best of 52, Agarwal is out of runs (and struggling on the captaincy front with PBKS as well). He was in great form in IPL 2020 but has not reached those heights since that mid-season injury.
Cons ❌: Strike Rate; Consistency; Has Not Debuted in T20Is yet (inexperience)
How Is He Doing in IPL 2022?
This might be the breakthrough season Gill was looking for. A vital cog for Gujarat Titans’ dominance. 200 runs already with best of 96. 33.33 Average and SR of 151.51. The two ducks would worry him though.
473 & 411 runs in the last two seasons, DDP has struggled a bit this time around.Best of 41, only 138 runs in 6 innings, 129.72 SR. Might be last resort, but I do not see Padikkal boarding the flight to Australia at this moment.
Other Future India Prospects: Yashashvi Jaiswal, Anuj Rawat