Cricket superstar Virat Kohli marks his birthday on Tuesday. Reigning supreme as the poster boy of modern-day cricket, the Indian skipper shares a special bond with Vizag, much to the delight of the local fans. As Virat Kohli celebrates his 31st birthday, we look at 6 instances that showcase his love affair with Vizag.
#1 118 vs Australia, 2010
Chasing a daunting 290 for victory against Australian, the Indian team had its task cut out in the absence of seasoned top-order players. While Shihar Dhawan accounted for a duck on his debut, his opening partner Murali Vijay too couldn’t amount to much. The onus though was taken by a young Virat Kohli was playing his first game in Vizag. Slamming a well-compiled 118 to entertain the local crowd, Kohli essayed the centrepiece of India’s chase as the hosts won the game by 5 wickets.
#2 65 vs New Zealand, 2016
While Kohli might have missed out on adding a century to his kitty, his fluent knock of 65 helped India’s cause nonetheless. Scoring a crucial half-century on a difficult pitch against New Zealand in Vizag, Kohli had stitched important partnerships with Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni and powered India to a respectable total in the first innings.
#3 167, 81 vs England, 2016
Vizag hosted its first Test match in 2016 and lighting up the special occasion was Virat Kohli. Taking on a strong England unit, Kohli led India from the front to score a majestic 167 in the first innings. He then followed it up with 81 in the second innings to play a crucial role in defeating the visitors by a thumping margin. Sharing his special bond with Vizag in the post-match presentation, Virat Kohli said that the ground has been lucky for him.
#4 Sharing his love for Vizag, 2018
Do we need say more?
What a stunning place.? Love coming to Vizag. ?✌ pic.twitter.com/ACxmWHoBte
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) October 23, 2018
#5 157 vs West Indies, 2018
Virat Kohli continued his love affair with Vizag when India locked horns with West Indies for an ODI in 2018. Taking sublime form against the Windies bowlers, the Indian skipper looked unstoppable at the crease. Smashing the opposition to all parts of the ground, Kohli went on to slam a breathtaking 157* to help India post a mammoth total on the board. The innings also saw him surpass the 10,000 run mark in ODI cricket.
#6 Fan moments
Virat Kohli’s heroics with the bat have drawn admiration from all across the globe. Fetching plaudits for his stupendous feats, the man enjoys following from millions of fans. The fandom was once again witnessed during his recent visit to Vizag for India’s Test against South Africa. In an adorable fan moment, Virat Kohli met his special fan from Odisha. 31-year-old Pintu Behara from a village in Ganjam District of Odisha had inked 15 tattoos on his body to depict his love for the Indian superstar.
In another instance, an over-enthusiastic fan breached the cordons to intrude the field and click a selfie with Virat Kohli, during India’s first Test against South Africa. The fan’s gesture though was far from recommended.