South Africa's triumph in their home test series against India was a tale of three pitches as the ball dominated the bat and the tourists made a statement about their ability to win in all conditions. This day will be remembered for a long time as a team.
India had already conceded the series after losing the opening two matches and Kohli lauded his team for showing character and guts and pull off a dramatic win in the third Test.
Two days out from the match, there was a generous covering of green grass on a surface baking under a hot sun, with groundsman Bethuel Buthelezi saying in a weekend newspaper interview that he was planning on preparing a "green mamba" - which South Africans understand as a green pitch offering venomous assistance to seam bowlers.
With Kohli winning the toss and electing to bat, it is now South Africa's turn to play the last innings.
He compared it to a win under Mahendra Singh Dhoni's captaincy against England at Lord's in 2014.
"Lovely. We required some character playing on a pitch that was very hard".
South Africa resumed on 17-1 in pursuit of 241, and fifties from Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla took them to 124-1.
It may not have been a century, and it may not have been a South African win, but this will surely be one of the most satisfactory knocks the 30-year-old has ever played. There, we can really express ourselves, and apart from that, nothing else really matters."The problem with life in the bubble is that you can sometimes be too close to things to have the right perspective. We took the challenge".
The home side needs another 172 runs for what would be a memorable victory on a treacherous wicket at the Wanderers in Johannesburg that has pace, prodigious bounce and lateral movement. India's captain compared the win with Lord's 2014, but insisted this was more special because he felt nobody had backed his side to go the distance.
"He really wanted Test cricket badly and has shown what a high-class bowler he is". Elgar, who carried his bat with 86 not out off 240 balls of pure grit, and Lungi Ngidi fought hard with the last-wicket stand of 16, but they were only delaying the inevitable. "And I assume that there would be a similar conversation happening there", Faf du Plessis said.
He added: "We wanted to continue, the umpires said the decision is completely up to us". When an Indian journalist asked if he and his team sometimes saw their situation as us against them [the rest of the world], Kohli tossed the question back.
"We all knew that when we come to South Africa, we will get wickets like this". Ishant started the slide by removing Amla after the batsman had a 119-run association with Elgar and Bumrah came back to dismiss AB de Villiers and Quinton de Kock in quick succession.
He was also given a fair amount of stick from the Indian fielders, but with every chirp and every blow, Elgar got mentally stronger.
The main wicket-taker was Shami (5-28), with the other five shared by Ishant Sharma (2-31), Jasprit Bumrah (2-57) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-39).
Amla's fall for 52 was crucial, out to a diving catch at short mid-wicket by Hardik Pandya off Sharma. Vijay got 25 runs, and he faced 130-140  balls.