It’s time to celebrate the greatest ODI batting career of all time. Virat Kohli created history on Wednesday during the 2023 World Cup semifinal between India and New Zealand, as he became the first and only batter in the 52-year-long history of the format to complete 50 ODI centuries. In 2012, the great Sachin Tendulkar set the record with 49 tons, and for the longest time, even the idea of duplicating it appeared unthinkable. But here we are, 12 years later, when Tendulkar’s heir to Indian batting, Kohli has achieved a milestone players could only dream of. As Indian cricket celebrates this momentous occasion, we are here to refresh your memory and take you down memory lane, by recapping all of Kohli’s 50 ODI centuries.
1: 107 against Sri Lanka, 2009, Eden Gardens on 24/12/2009
One year and three months after making his India debut, Kohli’s maiden ODI century came in his 14th game when he scored a brilliant hundred while chasing against Sri Lanka. It wasn’t an easy target. A sparkling 118 from Upul Tharanga and a half-century from Kumar Sangakkara had propelled Sri Lanka to 315 at the Eden Gardens. In reply, India found themselves in a spot early, losing Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag with just 23 on the board. But then came a partnership of 224 runs between former Delhi teammates Kohli and Gautam Gambhir. Kohli eventually departed for 107, having creamed 11 fours and a six, but Gambhir’s unbeaten 150 saw India over the line.
2: 102* vs Bangladesh, Mirpur on 11/01/2010
In a tri-nation tournament in Bangladesh featuring Sri Lanka, Kohli had a fine run. He notched up 91 against the hosts and followed it with an unbeaten 71 against the Lankans in back-to-back league matches. Looking set for centuries in both these innings, Kohli finally reached the three-figure mark against Bangladesh which made it four out of four wins for India. They defeated Bangladesh by six wickets chasing a target of 248 with Kohli’s unbeaten ton leading the way. Gambhir and Dinesh Karthik got starts so India needed someone to bat through. Kohli stepped up and played that role to perfection holding one and clanking 11 fours. India lost the final to Sri Lanka but Kohli shepherding India’s chase three times in a row was a sign of bigger things to come.
3: 118 vs Australia, Visakhapatnam on 20/10/2010
After going nine months without a century, Kohli produced arguably the best of his teenage career when he helped India chase down 290 against Australia. Michael Clarke’s 118, aided by half-centuries from Michael Hussey and Cameron White had powered Australia to 289. In reply, India were reduced to 35/2 when out walked Kohli. He and Yuvraj Singh added 137 runs, but when Yuvraj was dismissed with India still 118 runs adrift, Kohli hit the grittiest century of his young career. He was down with cramps and was forced to bat with a runner, but unfazed from the setback and his body wearing down, Kohli and Suresh Raina put on 84 more. Kohli eventually perished but he’d set up the victory for India.
4: 105 vs New Zealand, Guwahati on 28/11/2010
Kohli scored his first century while batting first, marking his fourth overall and achieving a second hundred on the trot as India, despite suffering a batting collapse, defeated New Zealand by 40 runs. Batting first, the entire Indian batting order failed, barring Kohli, who struck 10 fours en route to 105 off 104 balls. The Indian innings endured a collapse losing the last six wickets for 26 runs, but Kohli’s heroics, backed by Ravichandran Ashwin, S Sreesanth and Yuvraj’s three wickets each proved enough.
5: 100* vs Bangladesh, Mirpur on 19/02/2011
In February of 2011, Kohli became the first Indian batter and the 13th overall to score a century on World Cup debut. Kohli reached his century off the penultimate ball of the innings, and while it may have gotten buried under Virender Sehwag’s mountainous 175, the aptitude Kohli showed in driving the ball on a slowish surface was commendable. Getting a game ahead of Raina, Kohli’s ton against Bangladesh cemented his place for the rest of the tournament as he and Sehwag ran Shakib Al Hasan’s team ragged ensuring there wasn’t going to be a repeat of Antigua 2007.
6: 107 vs England, Cardiff on 16/09/2011
Rahul Dravid scored a cracking 69 in his final ODI for India, but it was Kohli who sizzled with his maiden century outside the subcontinent. Kohli and Dravid stitched a memorable century partnership – of 170 – which had so much significance for so many reasons. It was the highest partnership that Dravid has been involved in against England, the fourth-highest for any Indian wicket against England. Unfortunately for India though, Kohli’s century and Dravid’s swansong didn’t stand a chance against Jonny Bairstow, who blasted a match-winning century on debut.
7: 112 vs England, Delhi on 17/11/2011
Kohli exacted revenge for the Cardiff defeat two months later as he and fellow hometown boy Gautam Gambhir successfully anchored a tricky chase for India at the Ajun Jaitley Stadium (formerly Feroz Shah Kotla). Kohli plundered his 5th ODI century in five months and his unbeaten 209-run partnership with Gambhir was India’s biggest third-wicket stand against England and fourth highest against any team. While England’s 236 was a low total given the wonderful batting conditions at the Kotla, Kohli’s knock made it look even lighter.
8: 117 vs West Indies, Visakhapatnam on 02/12/2011
The first of many memorable partnerships that Kohli and Rohit Sharma had was against West Indies in Visakhapatnam. Chasing 270, India lost Parthiv Patel, Sehwag and Gambhir to be 84/3 before Kohli and Rohit added a 163-run partnership that did the job for the Men in Blue. Rohit was unlucky to miss out on his maiden century for India, but his unbeaten 90 took the team over the line. The world was beginning to take note of Kohli, who starred in another successful Indian chase.
9: 133 not out vs Sri Lanka, Hobart on 28/02/2012
Three months later, the legend of Kohli was born as he played a knock that became synonymous with his career. India, playing a tri-nation series involving hosts Australia, and Sri Lanka, found themselves in a predicament. After Sri Lanka posted a mammoth 320/4 on the back of centuries from Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan, India needed to chase it down in 40 overs to stay alive in the race for the final. Kohli instead went a step ahead, knocking them down in 36.4 overs. During his 86-ball stay, Kohli dispatched everything in his zone with disdain – this included a 24-run over off Lasith Malinga. A legend was born that evening.
10: 108 vs Sri Lanka, Mirpur on 13/03/2012
A fortnight later, Kohli dominated Sri Lanka again, this time on a very different pitch and conditions. He and Gambhir added another double-century partnership of 207 runs to take India to 304, to which Sri Lanka fell short by 50 runs. However, this wasn’t the Kohli Asia Cup hundred people would talk about.
11: 183 vs Pakistan, Mirpur on 18/03/2012
A fourth hundred for Kohli at this venue would also prove to be a turning point in his career at the 2012 Asia Cup. Having been beaten by Bangladesh in a match in which Tendulkar scored his 100th international century, the pressure was firmly on India as old adversary Pakistan came up next. Having been set a mammoth target of 330 in their allotted 50 overs, Kohli walked in to join Tendulkar with score 0/1. What followed was something truly remarkable. Kohli added 133 runs for the second wicket with Sachin and then put on 172 runs for the third wicket with Rohit. His knock included 22 boundaries and two sixes, and thanks to him India were always in control. Kohli finally got out with India 13 short of the target, a task easily completed by the batters after him. Unfortunately, India eventually failed to make the semis, bowing out to Bangladesh on head to head.
12: 106 vs Sri Lanka, Hambantota on 21/07/2012
Riding on the high of his career-best innings against Pakistan, Kohli had a disappointing IPL by his standards scoring 364 runs. What happened after is the stuff of legends. Kohli gave up his shoddy lifestyle and embarked on a fitness journey that till date is setting benchmarks. The first innings Kohli played since the beginning of his transformation, he smashed a century against a team he had started to love feasting on. Kohli, along with Sehwag’s 96 and Raina’s 50 hammered 314, and although Sri Lanka came close, they lost by 21 runs.
13: 128* vs Sri Lanka, Colombo on 31/07/2012
Three ODIs later, Kohli did it again, once again orchestrating a triumphant chase that gave India an unassailable 4-1 lead and sealed the series. It was Kohli’s 8th century in chase, and Raina’s third fifty of the series. With a then impressive average of 61.02, Kohli led the pack among batters who amassed 1000-plus runs in ODI chases. Also, the partnership of 146 runs between Kohli and Raina marked the third-highest fifth-wicket stand for India against Sri Lanka. Remarkably, they maintained a scoring rate of 7.82 runs per over during their innings.
14: 102 vs West Indies, Antigua on 5/07/2013
Kohli went almost a year without a century, but broke the deadlock against West Indies at Port of Spain as he and India’s newly-flourishing opening pair of Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan lifted India to 311/7. After being blown away from Sri Lanka in the tri-series earlier, Kohli’s blistering ton had done enough to reduce the rain-affected game to a no-contest as India took the match convincingly by 102 runs (DLS) method.
15: 115 vs Zimbabwe, Harare on 23/07/2013
The world got a glimpse of Kohli the captain for the first time in 2013, when with MS Dhoni rested, Virat led India for the first time and immediately made a mark with a century. Fittingly, it was another hundred in a chase and although the opponent wasn’t a strong one, as India chased down 229 in 44.5 overs with Ambati Rayudu striking a fifty and adding 159 with his skipper. This was a sneak peak of what Team India would go on to look like under Kohli.
16: 100 not out vs Australia, Jaipur on 16/10/2013
The Kohli century that doesn’t get talked of as much as it should have. The 133 and 183 were epic no doubt but Kohli’s hundred against the Australians was a display of pure annihilation. 359 was a number that had haunted every Indian cricket fan since the 2003 World Cup final and 10 years later, Kohli eased some of the pain from that final in Johannesburg. He blasted the fastest century by an Indian on ODIs off 52 balls, ensuring that the tempo set by Dhawan’s 95 and Rohit’s 141 en route to a 176-run stand in just 26 overs, did not go wasted. As many as six Aussie batters scored half-centuries, but it was eclipsed by Kohli as India made a mockery of the target, reaching there in 43.3 overs. Carnage!
17: 115* vs Australia, Nagpur on 30/10/2013
Kohli’s onslaught against Australia didn’t stop in Jaipur. A couple of weeks later, he carted his third ODI century against the Aussies in the sixth ODI of the series which proved to be a repeat of the madness that ensued at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. This time the target was 351, and Kohli finished with 115 off 66 balls bludgeoning 18 fours and a six along the way. George Bailey with 156 played the best innings of his life, but it was reduced to a mere afterthought as hundreds of Kohli and Dhawan mowed down 350 again. It was Kohli’s 11th hundred in 64 chases.
18: 123 vs New Zealand, Napier on 22/01/2014
One of the rare Kohli hundreds that ended in a defeat for India but the 24-year-old completed centuries in eight countries he had played in by then. If India stayed alive in their chase of 292, it was because of Kohli. With the entire Indian batting line-up crumbling, Kohli waged a lone battle, and a rather authoritative one at that, hitting 11 fours and two sixes at the McLean Park. India fell short by 24 runs, but Kohli continued piling crazy numbers.
19: 136 vs Bangladesh, Fatullah on 26/02/2014
Bangladesh have never been pushovers on their own turf, and India would have learnt it the hard way had it not been for another successful Kohli chase. They were set 280 to get, courtesy a solid hundred from captain Mushfiqur Rahim. And once India were 54/2 with both openers gone, Kohli steadied the ship with a masterful knock. He and Ajinkya Rahane – who hit a crisp fifty – put on 213 and India on course for victory. Kohli maintained his pace remarkably throughout his innings, reaching a fifty off 48 balls in the 25th over, and hundred off 95 balls in the 38th.
20: 127 vs West Indies, Dharamsala on 17/10/2014
Between February and October of 2014, Kohli underwent his first slump in international cricket. The nightmare that was India’s tour of England had dented his confidence severely, so when Kohli finally scored his first international century in six months, although the celebrations were subdued, the importance of the knock could not be undermined. On his return to No. 3, Kohli hit 13 fours and three sixes; put on 72 with Rahane and almost doubled it with Raina to take India to 330. Marlon Samuels’ 112 wasn’t enough and West Indies fell short by 59 runs in what turned out to be their last match of the tour as the remainder of it was scrapped following a pay dispute between players and the board.
21: 139* vs Sri Lanka, Ranchi on 16/11/2014
Ahead of the 2015 World Cup, it was important for India that Kohli got some form and confidence, and he took another step towards the same by dominating Sri Lanka single-handedly. When Rayudu’s 136 run stand with Kohli ended, India still needed another 155, so Kohli took it upon himself to pull off… well, a Kohli special. Four Indian batters had hit centuries in this series, all barring Kohli until the fifth and final ODI. It was a sublime knock that gave Kohli just the boost he needed, outdoing Angelo Mathews’ 139.
22: 107 vs Pakistan, Adelaide on 15/02/2015
The second Kohli hundred in a World Cup, and it couldn’t have been written better than getting it against Pakistan at the Adelaide Oval, a team Kohli fancied batting against at a venue he loved scoring at. Kohli’s hundred, along with supporting hands from Dhawan and Raina propelled India to 300. Kohli was on 3 when Yasir Shah dropped him at deep midwicket and 76 when Umar Akmal put him down. Coming off a poor series against Australia and England in the tri-series, failing to go past 20 even once, he began India’s World Cup campaign with a bang, pushing the winning streak against Pakistan to 6-0.
23: 138 vs South Africa, Chennai on 22/10/2015
Another unusually long Kohli century drought back in the day, he went six more months without hitting the three-digit mark in ODIs, but couldn’t have chosen another attritional knock to end the barren run. In the hot, humid and sweltering conditions of Chepauk, Kohli stood tall against an attack featuring Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Chris Morris. It was his first ODI century in 14 innings, and even though India missed 300 by a run, it was enough to topple South Africa, who fell to the spin trio of Harbhajan Singh, Axar Patel and Amit Mishra, after Bhuvneshwar Kumar had picked three to lose by 35 runs.
24: 117 vs Australia, Melbourne on 17/01/2016
2016 is to Kohli was 1998 was to Tendulkar, and what a way to begin the year for Kohli than extend his juggernaut against Australia. Kohli played anchor during his knock; his 119-run stand with Dhawan and 109 with Rahane were hard work. Only 40 runs of Kohli’s 117 runs came in boundaries as he played through trying to ensure the wheels didn’t come off. India finished with 295/6 but half-centuries from Shaun Marsh and Glenn Maxwell knocked off the target.
25: 106 vs Australia, Canberra on 20/01/2016
Three days later, another Kohli century but another defeat, with India failing to chase 349 set by Australia after Aaron Finch’s 107, David Warner’s 93 and Steve Smith’s 51. Kohli wasn’t the only centurion for India; Dhawan’s 126 and their partnership of 212 at one stage put India on course for their second-highest successful ODI chase of all time, but once the stand was broken and the two set batters fell in a gap of two overs and two runs, it was curtains for India. From 277/1, needing just 72 off 75 balls, India imploded to lose nine wickets for 61 with Kane Richardson spoiling the party with a dramatic five-wicket-haul.
26: 154* vs New Zealand, Mohali on 26/10/2016
Between January and October, Kohli did not play a single ODI. During his manic 973-run season in the IPL, Kohli damaged his webbing which put him on the shelf for a while. Immediately upon his return to the ODI set-up, Kohli scored an unbeaten 85 against New Zealand at home and followed it with a 154 – his then second-highest score in the format a week later. With his captain Dhoni, Kohli stitched a 151-run partnership hitting 16 fours and a six to take India home. Dhoni promoted himself at No. 4, and Kohli was dropped on six. It was all the luck VK needed.
27: 122 vs England, Pune on 15/01/2017
2017 began the way 2016 ended for Kohli, on a rampaging note as he and Kedar Jadhav chased down a target of 351 set by England. All hopes seemed lost for India, when they were 4 down for 63, but Kohli and Jadhav’s unbelievable partnership of 200 put India back in contention. Kohli was exhibiting a class in power hitting, smoking 5 sixes; Jadhav wasn’t behind either with four sixes en route to a career-best 120 off just 76 balls. Even though both were dismissed with 59 still to get, Hardik Pandya’s stunning 40 not out off 37 balls gave India their joint second-highest successful chase.
28: 111 vs West Indies, Jamaica on 6/07/2017
Kohli wasn’t troubled, rushed or hurried in India’s chase of 206 as they comfortably got there inside 37 overs. However, that Kohli had to break no sweat cannot be any farther than the truth. He ended his second-guessing against the short ball and looked a lot more in control of his shot selection. It was Kohli’s 18th century in chase, the most by any, overtaking Tendulkar’s 17, which sealed the series 3-1 for India.
29: 131 vs Sri Lanka, Colombo on 31/08/2017
After choosing to bat only for the second time in his captaincy career, Kohli flayed the Sri Lankan attack and giving him company was Rohit, as the two forged a dominating 219-run partnership off just 165 balls. Kohli scored his runs off 96 balls and Rohit from 88. At one stage it looked as if both would knock the stuffing out of Lanka with a double century each and India would register the highest total of all time, but Lasith Malinga’s 300 wicket triggered a mini-collapse which saw them lose 4 wickets for 49 runs. Still, the pace at which Kohli and Rohit scored their runs was such that Dhoni and Manish Pandey were involved in a century partnership of their own starting the 39th over. After India smashed their way to 375, the game was reduced to a no-contest with Sri Lanka getting bowled out for 207 and losing by 168 runs.
30: 110* vs Sri Lanka, Colombo on 3/09/2017
Kohli equalled Ricky Ponting for the second-most ODI centuries – he got there 79 innings quicker – and soared past 1000 runs in the calendar year as India completed a 5-0 whitewash against Sri Lanka. Easily one of the least challenging Kohli centuries, this one was for the statisticians. Kohli’s ton was as important as Bhuvneshwar’s maiden five-wicket-haul. His 99-run stand with Panday and 109 with Jadhav made short work of Sri Lanka’s target of 239.
31: 121 vs New Zealand, Wankhede on 22/10/2017
In his 200th ODI, Kohli could not have lit up the occasion any further than playing one of his best innings in India. In the energy-sapping heat of Mumbai, Kohli pushed his body to score a brilliant hundred but was let down by the rest of his fellow batters. The second-best score after Kohli’s 122 was Dinesh Karthik’s 37, which took some of the shine off his century. India posted 280, which Tom Latham’s hundred and a classy 93 from Ross Taylor helped New Zealand chase it down by six wickets and with one over to go.
32: 113 vs New Zealand, Kanpur on 29/10/2017
Two ODIs later, Kohli once again starred with a bat as he and Rohit smashed respective centuries and a partnership worth 230 – this was their fourth double century stand in 50-overs. During his innings, Kohli also became the fastest to 9000 ODI runs and while he started off with a bang, Virat was happy to play second fiddle once Rohit switched gears. New Zealand kept fighting though, but that no one played a big one and till the end, meant that they came extremely close – just 6 runs short – but India recorded their 7th straight bilateral ODI series win,
33: 112 vs South Africa, Durban on 1/02/2018
Having lost the Test series 1-2, Kohli operated on beast mode in the ODI leg of the tour. He steamrolled South Africa in this rarest of rare six-game ODI square-off, beginning with a hundred in the first ODI itself. Kohli’s 112 against a South African pace attack featuring Morne Morkel, Rabada pipped Faf du Plessis’ 120. A difficult chase made to look pretty usual, Kohli’s 100 gave him a pretty freak stat – he had scored his centuries every five innings over the last five years. With this, Kohli completed an ODI hundred in all nine countries he had played in. Rahane chipped in with 79 off 86 balls but Kohli’s innings was something pretty spectacular.
34: 160 vs South Africa, Cape Town on 7/02/2018
If Durban was classy, Cape Town was even more astonishing. Kohli walked out in the first over and batted till the last en route to his then second-highest individual score in ODIs. Kohli was once again merciless, larruping 12 fours and two sixes. It was Kohli’s second hundred in three games and the third of the tour, and one that prevented a series defeat for India. Kohli’s assault was backed perfectly by Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal as the ‘Kucha’ duo scalped 4 wickets each to guide India to a big 124-run win.
35: 129* vs South Africa, Centurion on 16/02/2018
Kohli ended South Africa’s misery with a third century of the series, leading a rather comfortable chase of 206. By then, the Proteas were mentally and physically down and out, and it reflected on their batting as they were bowled out for 204 with Shardul Thakur leading the way with a 4-wicket haul. India lost Rohit early, but Kohli’s 61-run partnership with Dhawan and then another 126-run unbeaten stand with Rahane completed India’s 6-1 rout of South Africa.
36: 140 vs West Indies, Gwalior on 21/10/2018
On a flat Gwalior deck, West Indies piled 322 for 8 with Shimron Hetmyer registering his third ODI century, but it was little consolation for the Windies as their bowlers ran into another Kohli-Rohit epic. A fifty double-century stand between the two stalwarts of Indian cricket got the team to overhaul the target with 47 balls remaining. Rohit looked set for a fourth ODI double but fell for 152, after which Kohli left WI clueless with his stunning array of strokeplay. He struck 21 fours, enjoyed his time in the middle as India ran West Indies ragged by 8 wickets.
37: 157 vs West Indies, Visakhapatnam on 24/10/2018
Kohli’s penchant for daddy hundreds continued in the very next game as he followed his 140 in the previous game with another 150-plus score. He celebrated the occasion by going past 10000 ODI runs but was almost relieved after West Indies almost pulled off India’s target of 322. Kohli and Rayudu added 159 for the third wicket that set the stage for India to go past 300. But Shai Hope’s dazzling century matched Kohli’s in terms of calibre and domination, supported brilliantly by Hetmyer’s 94. In the end, West Indies’ disappointment overshadowed India’s narrow escape in a thrilling tie.
Century No.38: 107 vs West Indies, Pune on 29/10/2018
Kohli had scored back-to-back hundreds on several previous occasions but this time, he peeled off a trifecta of centuries for the very first time in his career. Kohli’s personal high was overshadowed by India’s defeat as the West Indies finally managed to get one past the hosts. As long as Kohli was batting in India’s chase of 283, India’s chances were bright. That is until Jason Holder delivered the knockout blow in the 42nd over. With Kohli gone and another 64 needed, the lower order was left with too much to get, allowing West Indies to draw level.
39: 104 vs Australia, Adelaide on 15/01/2019
Needing to stay alive in the series, Kohli’s calm and composed knock set the platform for India’s chase of 299 before Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik’s finishing touches forced the series into the decider. Kohli batted with fluency, playing caution when needed and upping the ante in the nick of time. Kohli added vital partnerships all through – 54 with Rohit, 59 with Rayudu and 82 more with Dhoni. He fell to a flick straight to the fielder in the deep with India still 47 adrift but Dhoni and DK’s unbeaten stand made it 1-1.
40: 116 vs Australia, Nagpur on 5/03/2019
A man of the big occasions, Kohli was once again the star in India’s 500th ODI win, setting up the game with a crisp 116 that took India to 250. It wasn’t the most emphatic batting by the Indians as Kohli’s century and Vijay Shankar’s 46 off 41 balls were the only two significant contributions, but Kuldeep and Jasprit Bumrah-led clinical bowling performance made India’s total look like 300. Marcus Stoinis and Peter Handscomb were threatening to take the game away before Shankar’s bowling came to India’s rescue. Besides his knock with the bat, Shankar’s two wickets gave India a close 8-run win.
41: 123 vs Australia, Ranchi on 8/03/2019
Kohli stood as a lone warrior in this big missed opportunity for India. Usman Khawaja’s 104 trumped Kohli’s 123 as Australia posted 313 but India fell short by 32 runs. After Kohli, the second-best score was Shankar’s 32, chipping in with form before the 2019 World Cup. Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson and Adam Zampa punctured the Indian batting, which crumbled after Kohli and Jadhav’s 88-run partnership. India, who were ahead 2-0, ended up losing the final three ODIs of the series to go down 2-3.
42: 120 vs West Indies, Port of Spain on 11/08/2019
After going century-less at the World Cup, where India crashed out in the semifinal, Kohli vented his frustration on a rudderless West Indies, hitting 120. He spoiled the celebrations around Chris Gayle’s 300th ODI as India clinched victory by 59 runs (DLS method) in a rain-affected clash. After Kohli’s ton and Shreyas Iyer’s 71 got India to 279, Bhuvneshwar’s four-wicket haul shot Windies out for 210 in their revised chase of 270 from 46 overs to give India a 1-0 lead.
43: 114 vs West Indies, Port of Spain on 14/08/2019
Three days later, Kohli and Iyer scripted a similar narrative, the captain scoring a century and the youngster delivering a fifty. Kohli and Iyer’s rocket of a 120-run partnership saw them score at 7.5 runs an over as India chased down 255 with relative ease. Kohli, dropped on 11, would go on to make the Windies pay. He was spotless in his approach ever since. Gayle and Evin Lewis’ half-centuries propelled West Indies to 240 after rain had reduced the game to a 35-overs-per side contest. India, set a revised target of 256, reached there in just 32.2 overs. As it turns out, this would be Kohli’s last ODI century for a long time.
44: 113 vs Bangladesh, Chattogram on 10/12/2022
After breaking his three-year-long century drought in international cricket during the 2022 Asia Cup, Kohli finally shook off the monkey on his back in ODIs. He achieved this by smashing his very first century in the format after a dry spell spanning 25 innings and 1214 days. The wait ended in the third and final ODI against Bangladesh, where Kohli’s century was a pivotal moment. This landmark knock followed Ishan Kishan’s phenomenal and record-breaking innings of 210 runs.
Kishan’s blazing performance not only secured him the status of the fourth Indian batter to score a double century but also made him the fastest batter ever to reach 200 in an ODI innings. The duo of Kohli and Kishan contributed significantly to India’s success, with their second-wicket partnership reaching an impressive 290 runs, setting the stage for India’s commanding total of 409/8, thus paving the way for a resounding 227-run victory.
45: 113 vs Sri Lanka, Guwahati on 10/01/2023
Kohli’s ton vs Bangladesh opened the floodgates as he went on to score five more hundreds over the next 11 months in 2023. The first of those was against a team Kohli has always loved batting against – Sri Lanka. India’s top order made merry with Rohit and Shubman Gill smoking quickfire fifties, but Kohli, dropped twice – once on 52 and then again on 81, stayed till almost the very end to ensure Sri Lanka were set a huge total of 274. It wasn’t the Kohli of old – he couldn’t quite take off in the death overs like he did earlier, or so it seemed – but it was enough to give India 70 runs in the last nine overs. Sri Lanka fought back strongly with 306 riding on captain Dasun Shanaka’s 108 but it was a bridge too far to cross.
46: 166 vs Sri Lanka, Thiruvananthapuram on 15/01/2023
From going three years without a single century, to notching up three in 45 days, Kohli was back, and he once again chose Sri Lanka to inflict violence on with a tsunami of a knock that included 8 sixes, the most Kohli had hit in a single ODI innings. Gill set the tempo with an entertaining 116, but Kohli remained not out to set Sri Lanka a mountain of a target – 391. What made this innings from Kohli stand out is that the pitch was slow in the first dig. And still from 82 off 76, Kohli motored to score 84 off the last 34 balls he faced. Even when Kohli faced the last ball of the innings, he was fresh as if he’d just walked out to bat.
47: 122 vs Pakistan, Colombo on 10/09/2023
Kohli continued his golden run of form against Pakistan with an astonishing century at the Asia Cup just a couple of months ago. With rain abandoning play on the scheduled date, Kohli and KL Rahul picked up proceedings on reserve day and triggered fireworks with a herculean partnership of 233 runs. Given a lifeline on 60, Kohli switched on GOD mode, and along with Rahul, rocketed India to 356/2 – their highest ODI total against Pakistan. Kohli finished the innings with a flurry, 4, 4, 6 and also became the fastest to 13,000 runs in the process. Pakistan’s meek surrender by 228 runs was orchestrated by Kuldeep’s five-wicket haul that saw Babar Azam’s team get bowled out for 128.
48: 103* vs Bangladesh, Pune on 19/10/2023
Eight years removed from his first World Cup century in 2015, Kohli recorded his career’s second in the tournament against Bangladesh, guiding India in a comfortable chase of 257. For the first time in his star-studded and record-tumbling career, the world saw Kohli give importance to his personal milestone, but importantly, it didn’t come at the cost of anything. India were operating in cruise control towards the total, so when Kohli was shy of his century by 20 runs, with India 20 away from victory, the decision was made. Kohli took 19 deliveries, refused three singles, and with just one run needed off the last ball for three consecutive overs, he finally clinched a six to mark his 48th ODI century. This achievement placed him just one step away from Tendulkar’s world record of 49 centuries.
49: 101 vs South Africa, Kolkata on 5/11/2023
Another day, another Kohli masterclass. It was undoubtedly a remarkable achievement in its own merit, yet the frequency with which Kohli orchestrates such innings no longer comes as a surprise. Perhaps, therein lies the true greatness of the man. Kohli, celebrating his 35th birthday, was the showstopper yet again, as he scripted the perfect fairytale and reached a record-equalling 49th century during the 2023 World Cup match against South Africa. Only Tendulkar had as many tons in ODIs. Kohli’s knock gave India their 8th straight win and a 243-run pounding of the Proteas.
50: Today vs New Zealand, Mumbai on 15/11/2023
Leading up to the 2023 World Cup semifinal against New Zealand, Kohli had an ODI knockout record to be too proud of. He had scored 9 against Pakistan in the 2011 semis, 1 against Australia in 2015 semis and 1 against New Zealand in England in 2019. On a day the entire nation was worried about India’s chances against their bogey team, Kohli ended his semi-final curse with a bang. With a century against the BlackCaps, Kohli broke Tendulkar’s record of 49 ODI tons, becoming the first man ever to reach a half-century of hundreds in ODIs. Along the way, Kohli also pipped Tendulkar’s 20-year-old record of most runs scored in a single edition of the World Cup.