Virat Kohli and the Adelaide Oval: A cricketing love affair based on jaw-dropping numbers
India’s talisman gushed about his love of the Adelaide venue after producing a Player of the Match performance in the win over Bangladesh earlier in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup, and will return to the venue for Thursday's semi-final.
Kohli’s brilliant and unbeaten 64 against the Tigers came from 44 balls and anchored an India innings that threatened to slip away after a lightning start – set up by KL Rahul, Kohli himself and the new top-ranked T20I batter Suryakumar Yadav.
And Kohli revealed that he rarely feels as at home as he does when playing at the Adelaide Oval.
“I absolutely love playing in this ground. Right from the nets at the back, as soon as I enter, it makes me feel at home," he said.
“That knock at MCG was meant to be, but when I come here, it's like I'm meant to come to Adelaide and enjoy my batting.”
Kohli's eye-watering Adelaide record
When you look at the numbers it is hardly surprising that Kohli loves the ground.
Across his 14 international innings at the Oval in all formats, Kohli has hit 907 runs at an average of 75.58.
In Test cricket he has hit three centuries and a fifty in four matches at the ground since 2012, scoring 509 runs in total at an average of 63.62 (with no not-outs boosting that number).
In One Day Internationals his record is also extraordinary, with four visits to the crease yielding two centuries. And those hundreds came in each of his last two visits to Adelaide.
And now in T20Is he has amassed 154 runs at a strike rate of 155.55 in two innings, with his unbeaten 64 following a 90 not out back in 2016.
When Kohli plays in Adelaide, runs flow.
Why Kohli excels in Australia
Although Kohli’s record in Adelaide is particularly eye-catching, his form in Australian conditions is strong pretty much across the board.
The style of the pitches seems to dovetail perfectly with his style of play, with Kohli revealing that he knew he was in for a good tournament the moment the host nation was confirmed.
“As soon as I knew the WC was in Australia, I was grinning from ear to ear,” Kohli said immediately after the win over Bangladesh.
“I knew good cricketing shots would be the key.
“I knew the kind of experience and game awareness of having played in Australia will come in handy for the team.”
And those overall numbers in Australia?
3350 runs in 68 innings at an average of 56.77 across formats.
Six Test centuries and four fifties in 13 matches, and an extraordinary 1327 runs in 29 ODIs including five hundreds and six half-centuries.
And, most-impressively, 671 runs in 14 T20I innings. That’s an average of 83.87 with a strike rate of 144.61 - considerably higher than his overall T20I strike rate.
Away from home conditions, Kohli is never as good as he has been in Australian conditions. That’s not to belittle his record elsewhere, with his numbers in all other countries still extremely strong.
But outside of India he has scored more runs in Australia than anywhere else, with five more centuries in Australian conditions than in any other away destination.
England should beware. Kohli in Australia, and Adelaide in particular, is a special beast.
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