The Virat Kohli juggernaut rolls on inexorably. A journey that started in Jamaica in 2011 is set to reach its 100th destination when Virat Kohli steps into the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali on March 4 for the first Test against Sri Lanka.
On Friday, the former captain will become the 12th Indian to reach the 100 Tests landmark. In 99 Tests, Kohli has scored 7962 runs at an average of 50.39 and 27 centuries.
One of the modern-day batting greats, Kohli is without a century for more than two years with his last coming on November 2019 against Bangladesh in Kolkata.
He could have played his 100th Test in Cape Town, South Africa, had he not missed the previous game in Johannesburg due to an upper-back spasm.
Can Kohli score a century in his 100th game? If he does, the 33-year-old Delhi batsman could become the first Indian and 10th overall to join the elite list.
As Kohli gears up for his landmark Test, let’s take a look at his top 10 centuries in Test cricket:
#1 - 254 not out Vs South Africa (Pune, 2019)
Out of Kohli’s seven Test double hundreds, the 254 against South Africa in Pune was the only time India’s then captain remained unbeaten. Coming after a huge win in the first Test in Visakhapatnam, India once again dominated the visiting bowlers with Kohli at the forefront. His knock came in 336 balls and included 33 fours and a couple of sixes as Kohli ripped apart the likes of Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje en route to India’s mammoth 601/5 declared. India won the game by an innings and 137 runs.
#2 - 153 Vs South Africa (Centurion, 2018)
On a day, when everyone failed, Virat Kohli stood tall for India. In reply to South Africa’s 335 in the first innings, India were in early trouble at 28/2 when Kohli joined forces with Murali Vijay. With wickets tumbling at the other end, Kohli saved India the blushes with 153 from 217 balls that included 15 hits to the fence. Kohli was involved in two fifty-plus stands – one with Vijay and another with Ravichandran Ashwin - as India ended at 258. During the innings, Kohli played some exquisite shots that were a treat to watch. India eventually lost the game due to a batting failure in the second innings.
#3 - 103 Vs England (Nottingham, 2018)
Having been at the receiving end in the first two Tests in the series, India were desperate for a comeback at Nottingham. They did with Virat Kohli leading from the front. The right-hander missed the elusive three-figure mark in the first innings before Hardik Pandya took a fifer to give the visitors an advantage. Kohli piled more misery for the hosts with a mesmerising 103 off 208 balls to set the base for India’s only Test win on the tour.
#4 - 235 Vs England (Mumbai, 2016)
Coming on the back of two wins in the first three Tests against England, India were aiming to seal the series in Mumbai. Batting first, Keaton Jennings’ 112 steered the visitors to an exact 400 in the first inning at the Wankhade Stadium. In reply, India were reduced to 146/2 when Virat Kohli came in at No. 4. Smashing from the word go, the Kohli masterpiece was built in 515 minutes with the help of 25 fours and a six in 340 balls as India amassed 631 that also included tons from Murali Vijay and Jayant Yadav. India won the game by an innings and 36 runs and also took the series.
#5 - 167 Vs England (Visakhapatnam, 2016)
Virat Kohli had a dream run in 2016 and his 167 against England in the second Test at Visakhapatnam was a part of that. Coming after a draw in the first game, India badly needed to win this game. Kohli came at No.4 with India reeling 22/2 and along with Cheteshwar Pujara (119) forged a 226-run stand for the third wicket and bailed the hosts out. Kohli’s 167 came off 267 balls. He also followed up his ton with a 81 in the second innings as India went on to win the game.
#6 - 169 Vs Australia (Melbourne, 2014)
Among all of Kohli’s Test tons, his 169 against a top-quality Australian pace attack at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground in Border-Gavaskar Trophy, is going to remain in the minds of cricket aficionados for years to come. Trailing 2-0 in the series, India needed something special. Kohli rose to the occasion. Batting first, Australia put 530 on board on the back of Steve Smith’s 192 in the first innings. India started well with a Murali Vijay fifty but were soon on the backfoot with top three back in the hut in a short time. In came Kohli, who showed an outstanding exhibition of batting against the likes of Mitchell Johnson and Josh Hazlewood, hitting 18 fours in 272-ball innings as India finished at 465. Kohli also scored a fifty in the second innings as the game ended in a draw.
#7 - 119 Vs South Africa (Johannesburg, 2013)
Virat Kohli’s 119 in the first innings of the first Test against South Africa in 2013 reminded Alland Donald (then South Africa bowling coach) of great Sachin Tendulkar. At a time, when no one stood up against the likes of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander, Kohli’s 119 off 181 balls was built with responsibility, confidence and courage to fight all odds. He hit 18 fours in the process as India finished with 272 with Kohli’s scoring the bulk of the runs. The game ended in a draw.
#8 - 107 Vs Australia (Chennai, 2013)
Another Virat Kohli century that is worth mentioning is his 107 against Australia in the first Test in Chennai in 2013. Although his fourth Test ton was overshadowed by MS Dhoni’s magical 224, Kohli’s knock provided his captain the much-needed support at a time when most of the players failed. Based on Kohli and Dhoni’s knocks, India piled up 572 in reply to Australia’s first innings total of 372. India won the match by eight wickets.
#9 - 116 Vs Australia in (Adelaide, 2012)
Virat Kohli’s 116 in the first innings of the fourth Test against Australia in Adelaide was the only century scored by an Indian in their tour Down Under in 2012. Having been mowed down by the mighty Aussies in the first three Tests, Kohli’s 213-ball innings was a performance of resistance that India missed on the entire Test series. It was also his debut Test hundred.
#10 - 103 Vs New Zealand (Bangalore, 2012)
Out of Kohli’s 27 Test tons, his 103 against New Zealand in Bangalore in 2012 will be the one to remember. In reply to New Zealand’s 365, India were down to 80/4 at one stage before Virat Kohli joined hands with Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni to save the blushes. He formed the core of two middle-order partnerships and ensured that the Indians kept moving ahead. His 284-ball innings included 14 fours and a six. Kohli was in action again in the second innings as his fifty steered India to a five-wicket win.