Against the West Indies at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica, Team India star striker Virat Kohli made his Test debut on this day in 2011. As a former ODI debutant, he was no stranger to international cricket. As the Delhi youngster discovered when he was dismissed for four and 15 in his first innings of Test cricket, Test cricket is a different kettle of fish altogether. A pacer Fidel Edwards bowled him in both innings and he was caught behind in both.
However, Kohli overcame a jittery start and became a run-machine in the traditional format over the next few years. With 8043 runs after 101 Tests, an average of 49.95, and 27 and 28 fifties, he now has 8043 runs to his name. It’s not just the globe he’s played in, it’s also the conditions he’s played in.
It is no secret that the 33-year-old has not run for a while now. The last international century he scored was in November 2019, so he’s hoping for a turnaround soon.
Taking a look back at five of his greatest moments in Test cricket, we look at his 11 years as a player.
#5 Career-best Test score (254*)
As part of a three-match series against South Africa, Kohli scored a career-best score of 254 in Pune, India during the second Test in October 2019. Virat Kohli led his side against top Proteas bowlers Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, and Keshav Maharaj, who were all outstanding.
With the ball, Kohli hit an unbeaten 254 off 336 deliveries, scoring at an impressive strike rate of 75.79. India was declared at 601 for five after hitting 33 fours and two sixes. A score of 137 runs separated the hosts from the visitors in the third Test.
Although the former India captain scored 138 against Bangladesh at Eden Gardens in Kolkata after this sensational knock against South Africa, the former captain has only scored one hundred in international cricket since this brilliant knock against South Africa.
#4 Hundred in each innings in Adelaide
During the first Test of the Australian tour in December 2014, Kohli led the Indian team in the absence of an unfit MS Dhoni. Kohli’s 115 kept India in contention after Australia declared 517 all out. In their first innings, the Indians responded with 444 runs led by 12 fours.
India were set a challenging target of 364 after the Aussies declared their second innings at 290 for five. With 57 for two, Australia had the upper hand after reducing the number of visitors. The hosts were caught off guard by Kohli’s splendid counterattack.
141 runs scored off 175 deliveries as Virat Kohli played fearlessly. Stand-in skipper Vijay (99) and Murali Vijay (185) put India in a position to win the match. When the stand collapsed, India was all out for 315. It was Kohli’s tandem hundreds that set the tone for the team’s future overseas triumphs despite the loss.
#3 119 & 96 – (2013 Johannesburg Test)
India has struggled with batters in South Africa. When India toured the Rainbow Nation in 2013-2014, Kohli appeared completely at ease.
India scored 280 in the first innings of the first test in Johannesburg, and he scored 119. As a result, Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn came together to bowl against a strong bowling attack.
Virat Kohli missed out on getting a second century in the Test as he was out for 96, caught by JP Duminy. Indian batters have dominated the recent cricket world with these two knocks.
While chasing a 458-run target, South Africa piled up 450 for seven to draw the match.
#2 Proving a point during the 2018 tour of England
Kohli expects to perform well in England when he visits in 2014. In five Test matches, Virat Kohli scored 134 runs, a dismal performance. Outside off stump, he regularly troubles by James Anderson.
It was therefore quite intriguing to see how the batter would do when Virat Kohli returned to England in 2008. During the test, he displayed exceptional skills. A 300-run century, three fifty-sevens and five hundred later, he answered all the critics with 593 runs in five Tests.
Even though India lost the series, Kohli ended up the leading run-getter. In terms of runs scored, Jos Buttler finished second with 349 runs. Virat Kohli is praised for overthrowing his demons in a commendable manner.
#1 Historic Test series win in Australia in 2018-19
The fact that India won the 2018-19 Test series Down Under is still significant, even if Australia were a weak side without Warner and Smith. Before Kohli’s men made history, the Indians had never won a Test series in Australia.
During a series where tempers flared numerous times, the aggressive captain returned the favor to the Aussies. Kohli was not only a successful captain but also an excellent batter. Averaging 40.28 and scoring 150 runs in four matches, Virat Kohli scored 282 runs.
Despite India’s strong performance in this series, critics will keep pointing out that Australia is weak. Kohli defeated the Australians in his first Test series as an Indian captain.