Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022
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From Kingston To Mohali, Virat Kohli All Set For A Special ‘Hundred’

During the first India vs Sri Lanka Test, Virat Kohli will be looking for his 71st century. If he scores a hundred in his 100th Test, it will be historic.

Virat Kohli is 38 runs shy of 8,000 Test runs.
Virat Kohli is 38 runs shy of 8,000 Test runs. Photo: AP-PTI

Virat Kohli has a knack of scoring hundreds, as evidenced by his tally of 70 international tons. Only Sachin Tendulkar (100) and Ricky Ponting (71) have scored more centuries than him in the annals of international cricket.

(IND vs SL Day 1 LiveMore Cricket News)

Since November 2019, though, Virat Kohli has not crossed the three-figure mark even once. However, come March 4 and he will relish a special ‘hundred’ as the former India captain is all set to become the 71st cricketer in the history of cricket to play 100 Tests. 

When Kohli takes to the field against Sri Lanka in the first Test at Mohali on Friday, he will also become only the 12th Indian to feature in 100 Tests.

No doubt, Kohli has been going through a slump in his batting form for the last two years. Yet, it should not stop anyone from celebrating his magnificent career especially at a time when he is on the cusp of achieving a huge milestone.

STELLAR STATS

Virat Kohli made his Test debut against the West Indies at Kingston in June 2011. He didn’t have the best of starts and could muster only 4 and 15 in the two innings of the match. Though by then, he had established himself as an emerging talent in the limited-overs cricket, there were question marks over his potential in the longest and toughest format of the game.

A turning point in the Delhi-born cricketer’s career came during India’s tour of Australia in 2011-12. Australia routed India 4-0 in the series, but Kohli showed a glimpse of things to come with a fighting hundred in the last match at Adelaide. Earlier in the third match of the series at Perth, Kohli had scored 44 and 75. These innings went on to enhance his reputation in the international arena.

Since then, Kohli has not looked back, scoring prolifically year after year in all the three formats of the game including Tests (2020 and 2021 can be termed as aberrations).

In fact, since his debut, only Joe Root (9600) has scored more runs than Kohli (7962) in Test cricket. During this period, Kohli has registered 27 hundreds. Barring Steve Smith, who also has as many centuries between 2011-22, no other batsmen have reached the three-figure mark that frequently. 

In terms of average, Kohli’s average of 50.39 is the third best among batsmen with at least 5,000 runs in this period behind only Smith (62.19) and Kane Williamson (54.90). All these stats underline Kohli’s stature as one of the finest Test batsmen of his generation.

Virat Kohli will hope to score his 28th Test century during the India vs Sri Lanka Test in Mohali.
Virat Kohli will hope to score his 28th Test century during the India vs Sri Lanka Test in Mohali. Photo: AP-PTI

Most runs in Tests since Virat Kohli’s debut in June 2011

Player           M     R       Avg    100s
Joe Root      114 9600 49.23    23
V Kohli         99 7962   50.39     27
D Warner      91 7584  47.40     24
S Smith         77 7525  62.19     27
K Williamson 81 6973 54.90    23

RECORDS UP FOR GRABS

In the Mohali Test, Kohli will have a number of records up for grabs. He is only 38 runs short of reaching 8,000-run mark. If he gets there, he will join a select few with 8,000 or more runs after 100 Tests. 

The record for most runs after 100 Tests is currently held by the West Indies legend Brian Lara (8,916). Among Indian cricketers, only Rahul Dravid (8553), Sunil Gavaskar (8479), Virender Sehwag (8487) and Sachin Tendulkar (8405) had 8,000-plus runs after 100 Tests.

Virat Kohli will also have a chance to end his two-year-long century drought in his special match. Though nine cricketers have so far scored a century in their 100th Test with Ricky Ponting being the only man to conjure up hundreds in both innings, not a single Indian features in the coveted club. A hundred by Kohli in his 100th Test will create a new history. 

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