6. Virat Kohli 133* v Sri Lanka, Hobart (2012)
India were woefully failing on the tour of Australia in 2011-12. They’d been whitewashed in the test series and were almost out of contention for the final of the tri series that include the hosts Australia and Sri Lanka. Two losses to the Aussies and a tie against Sri Lanka meant that they were struggling to get the spot for the finals.
The situation became even more peculiar in their last group match against Sri Lanka when they conceded 320 in the first innings. To be in contention for the finals they had to chase it in 37 overs. Given India’s form over the last two months, the target looked too big even for 50 overs.
On that day, was born Virat Kohli, the epic chaser. He started confidently and ended what turned out be one of the best second innings efforts. His 133 off just 86 balls helped India chase 321 in 36.4 overs that left the Sri Lankans wondering what had hit them. It was the day when Kohli was in such a zone that everything that came his way was dismissed with clinical precision. He found the boundary at will. In the finishing stages of the innings, he carted Malinga all over the Bellrive Oval for 24 runs in an over. It was an epochal and inspiring innings that made Kohli the confident and bold player he is today. It was an epitome of the Indian spirit of winning when least expected to.