Virat Kohli makes it to 100 Tests
Virat Kohli makes it to 100 Tests
On March 4th Virat Kohli, possibly the biggest name in Cricket right now, will be joining a special group of cricketers. He will be the 71st Cricketer and 12th Indian Cricketer to play 100 Tests. Playing 100 Tests is a very special moment, and players who go beyond the mark are automatically termed as legends of the game. On most occasions, the journey to a hundred takes beyond a decade. Only five active Cricketers have reached the mark off which Joe Root and Nathan Lyon are the only ones to be consistently selected for their national side.
Virat Kohli’s journey began back in 2011 against the West Indies. By the time he made his Test debut, Kohli was already a superstar in ODI Cricket, but instantly fell in love for the long format. He was first seen as an arrogant cricketer who oozed attitude and aggression. From the 4-0 drubbing in Australia to showing the middle finger to the Sydney Crowd, Virat Kohli had it very tough in his first year of Test Cricket. He did win hearts though with a century in Adelaide, which turned out to be India’s main positive in the series.
The Century sealed the deal for Virat Kohli, and ever since then the run machine never looked back. He played each game with immense passion and is a big factor behind the popularity of Test Cricket today. With Cricket moving to a shorter format, the passion shown by Kohli helps advertise the game nicely and keeps young fans engaged despite the time needed to watch a Test match.
His early days saw Kohli carry India with the bat, until a slump in England taught Virat Kohli about the challenges in Test Cricket. Kohli however showed that he is a cricketer to stay as he turned his form around brilliantly after the series. He went to Australia in 2014 and was the second highest scorer in the series in the very next overseas assignment.
The series saw Virat Kohli elevated to Test captain, and started another era which had one of the most passionate and expressive face leading a young team that rose to be the best. He led for seven years, 60 odd Tests and over the period oversaw some incredible victories for the Indian team. He started with a fighting hundred in Adelaide, which will go down in history as one of his best Test matches. The second innings century helped pave the way for a new mindset in Indian Cricket.
As a batter too, Virat Kohli dominated in 2016. He six double hundreds between 2016 and 2017, to go with a good amount of daddy hundreds in the period. On challenging overseas tours, Virat Kohli’s aggression kept India in competition through the Test series, and almost gave them series wins. His batting was on an other level, and even on a dangerous Johannesburg pitch in South Africa Virat Kohli looked comfortable and was able to score boundaries of the likes of Rabada with ease.
The biggest turn around for Virat Kohli though was during the England tour in 2018. He struggled in 2014, and opened up about mental health issues in that tour. He was tormented by James Anderson, but in 2018 Virat Kohli was a different batter. He went through the whole series without being dismissed by Anderson, finished as the leading run-scorer and dominated. The series is an example of Virat Kohli’s stature and ability to consistently improve and grow.
He went on to lead India to their first series win in Australia, a World Test Championship Final, and finally stepped down as skipper after his 99th Test. His journey has already seen a lot of ups and downs.
From starting under MS Dhoni, with legends like Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and VVS Laxman in the side, to showing his middle finger at Sydney. From being India’s best batter in an overseas tour with some legends in the side, and being criticized for his attitude, aggression and on-field presentation, Virat Kohli is now being praised for his aggression and display of passion on the field. As mentioned earlier, Virat Kohli is a key factor behind the survival of Test Cricket. He has given young fans a reason to love Test Cricket and ensured it stays alive, with him as the torchbearer for the format.
From making his debut under MS Dhoni to playing his 100th Test against Rohit Sharma, the path has been a memorable one, lasting a generation. To cap it up, Virat Kohli will be playing against Sri Lanka, a side which he played well against in his development years. His rise began in with Sri Lanka, and his run to a 100 Tests is surely a nostalgic one for many fans around the World.