Can Virat Kohli replicate the form of 2016 as he starts 2023 with a bang | KingKohli

Xtra Time Web Desk: It was vintage Virat Kohli during the third ODI at Thiruvananthapuram as he smashed his 46th ODI hundred against Sri Lanka on Sunday. Kohli was at his best as he played a chanceless knock of 166 not out, belting the Lankan bowlers all across the park. The former India captain slammed 13 boundaries and 8 sixes during his knock. Virat has started the year 2023 with a bang, notching up two centuries already, raising expectations if he can go anywhere close to 2016 which was undoubtedly the best year of him as a batter.

Kohli lived up to the tag of India’s best batsman with a record-breaking year in 2016 as he averaged over 70 in all three forms of the game. He scored 2,595 runs in 41 innings in international cricket that year and also smashed a record 973 runs in IPL season 9.

Let’s break-up Virat Kohli’s figures in international cricket in 2016:

Virat ended a three-year century drought during the recently concluded ODI series against Bangladesh. He scored a hundred in the third and final ODI at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium. The star batter has not looked back since. He hit 113 in the first ODI against Sri Lanka in Guwahati. And on Sunday, Kohli smashed his way to an unbeaten 166 runs knock. It was his third ton in last four ODI innings.

Critics may argue that the Sri Lankan attack was not the best to challenge Virat on the flat decks in Assam and Thiruvanthapuram. But bigger challenges await Kohli as India take on No 1 ODI side New Zealand in a white ball series followed by the marquee series against Australia at home.

Kohli’s stunning return to form in the 50-over format of the game augurs well for India in the year in which World Cup will take place in October-November.