Virat Kohli has pulled off many a thrilling chase over the years © Getty Images, AFP, IANS
Virat Kohli has pulled off many a thrilling chase over the years © Getty Images, AFP, IANS

1. India vs West Indies 2009, ICC Champions Trophy, Match 12 at Johannesburg, 79*: This was the first time Kohli offered the world a glimpse at what lay in store. West Indies were bowled out for 129 on a tough pitch, but Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid were out early in the chase. At 12 for 2, a 21-year-old Kohli walked in and proceeded to play his first match-winning innings in a chase. He scored 79 off 104 balls with 9 fours and 2 sixes as India chased down 130 with 7 wickets remaining. The other four Indian batsmen scored 51 among themselves. READ: Virat Kohli masterpiece takes India to semi-final of ICC T20 World Cup 2016 as hosts beat Australia by 6 wickets

2. India vs Sri Lanka 2012, Commonwealth Bank tri-series Match 11 at Hobart, 133 not out: India’s tour to Australia in 2011-12 was largely disappointing but it was also the coming-of-age tour of Kohli. The tour saw Kohli go from being a promising young batsman to the lynchpin of India’s middle order. The legend of his chasing began with the knock against Sri Lanka at Hobart. READ: Virat Kohli — sheer, sheer genius

India needed to chase down whatever Sri Lanka scored in less than 40 overs to stand a chance of qualifying for the final. Unfortunately for India, Sri Lanka ended up getting 320 for 4 courtesy of centuries from Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara. India started their chase brilliantly, with Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar batting at a superb strike rate. Gautam Gambhir came in and scored a vital half-century as well, but the star of the show was Kohli. READ: Virat Kohli vs Mohammad Aamer: Batman vs Superman in India vs Pakistan T20 World Cup 2016

In 86 balls he faced, Kohli scored 133 runs of the finest quality. He hit 16 fours and 2 sixes, and took a special liking to Lasith Malinga. Never before or since has a single batsman taken apart Malinga with such cold efficiency; Malinga ended up going for 96 runs in 7.4 overs, and Kohli alone hit 44 of those runs. India won the match well inside 40 overs, but could not make it to the final. READ: Proof that Virat Kohli is the best batsman across formats in international cricket

3. India vs Pakistan, Asia Cup 2012, Match 5 at Dhaka, 183: India did not reach the final of the tri-series in Australia, but in his very next tournament Kohli one-upped himself. Set 330 to win against Pakistan in the Asia Cup, India lost Gambhir off the second ball of their innings. Kohli and Tendulkar — playing the final match of his ODI career — went about repairing the innings. Rohit Sharma scored a crucial 68 after that as well, but it was Kohli who led India home. Kohli scored a tremendous 183 off a mere 148 balls with 22 fours and a six. READ: Virat Kohli and the art of the chase

(Interestingly, Sourav Ganguly had scored 183 before taking the reins of captaincy over. MS Dhoni had scored 183 not out as well before becoming skipper. Kohli will, in all probability, be India’s full-time captain soon. India’s 183 club seems to breed good captains. READ: Ganguly, Dhoni and Kohli — The mysterious connection of 183)

4. India vs Australia 2013, 2nd ODI at Jaipur, 100*: Australia’s top five batsmen all scored fifties on a flat Jaipur track, as India were set 360 to win in their stipulated 50 overs. India had experienced chasers in Yuvraj Singh, Dhoni, and Suresh Raina. And yet, none of those men had to bat. Rohit scored an unbeaten 141 to signify the start of his ODI resurgence while Shikhar Dhawan scored 95. But it was Kohli who killed Australia’s chances. Coming in at a comfortable 176 for 1, but with a steep chase still ahead, Kohli blasted 8 fours and 7 sixes in a 52-ball 100 not out — the fastest in ODIs for India. The Australian bowling attack was plundered and India won by 9 wickets with an insane 6.3 overs to spare! READ: Virat Kohli: Tracing the growth of a superstar

5. India vs Australia 2013, 6th ODI at Nagpur, 115*: Barely a fortnight after scoring a 52-ball 100, Kohli played another dazzling innings to guide India to yet another massive run-chase. Shane Watson and George Bailey scored centuries to take Australia to 350 for 6. Rohit (79) and Dhawan (100) again got India off to a great start, but this time neither man managed a strike rate in excess of 100. That meant that Kohli had a steep chase right from the start. He did not let that bother him, and went on to score 115 not out off 66 balls with 18 fours and a six as India managed to win in the final over of the match.

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is an animal lover and comic, film and TV geek. A fast bowler at heart, he enjoys watching a good, low-scoring game of cricket. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)