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Virat Kohli Sets New Historical Record During India's First Test Match Against South Africa In Centurion

Virat Kohli became the only batter in the history of cricket to score over 2000 runs in seven different years, providing a rare silver lining in India's humiliating defeat against South Africa in Centurion

Virat Kohli playing a shot in Test cricket against South Africa
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Virat Kohli became the only batter in history to cross the 2000-run mark in a calendar year for the seventh different time after crossing the threshold during India's crushing defeat by an innings and 32 runs to South Africa in Centurion. Kohli's milestone was a rare silver lining in an otherwise drab showing by the Men in Blue, who, to rub salt onto their wounds, were later docked two points in the ICC World Test Championship for failing to maintain the requisite over rate. (Scorecard | As It Happened)

Kohli scored 38 runs in India's first innings before throwing away his wicket to a wicked swing by Kagiso Rabada. The Indian batter improved his form in the second innings, finishing his team's top scorer with 76 runs in 82 balls. Kohli's effort, though, went in vain, as South Africa returned the entire Indian team to the pavilion for just 131 runs, winning the match without having to bat for a second time. 

Still, Kohli's 2023 total is short of his previous records. He had crossed the 2000-run mark in six different calendar years, with his highest total in a given year standing at 2818 in 2017. Kohli also surpassed the same total in 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2019. 

There was a lingering doubt over Kohli's availability for the first Test in Centurion after he had returned to India swiftly to deal with a family emergency. India, as it were, were struggling with player absences, with Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, and Mohammed Shami all missing out due to various afflictions. Kohli, though, returned to South Africa on time for the Boxing Day bout before assisting his team over two innings. 

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