India were robbed of a win in the first Test match because of rain despite dominating the contest. They were tested in the second Test at Lord’s but bounced back strongly to win the match and take a 1-0 lead. Each of the 11 players who played at the Lord’s Test contributed in their own way - which paved for India’s big win in the last hour at the Lord’s.
But the big question which bothers every Indian fan is when is Virat Kohli’s next hundred coming? The reason is that his last Test hundred came in late November in 2019 against Bangladesh at Eden Gardens. After that, the Indian captain has played 10 Tests in which he has batted for 17 innings and his highest score is 74 - which came at Adelaide in the first innings of that ill-fated match where India were bowled out for their lowest score of 36 in the second innings.
Kohli has played 94 Test matches and has 27 Test hundreds, his first one incidentally came at Adelaide way back in 2012 in his eightth Test. Till his 84th Test, Kohli had added another 26 Test centuries which meant he had been scoring a Test hundred in every third match since his debut hundred.
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It’s now 10 Test matches where he has failed to score a Test hundred - of which three have been against New Zealand, one against Australia and the rest against England - which has been in testing conditions but his earlier hundreds have also come in tougher conditions. His last ODI hundred came against the West Indies in August 2019 and after that, he has failed to get a hundred in that format in his next 15 innings. He has 43 ODI hundreds in 254 matches - which is just eight short of Sachin Tendulkar’s 49 ODI hundreds.
His first ODI hundred came in his 14th ODI and he has been scoring a ODI hundred in every five matches. So, it’s been 15 ODI innings and 20 Test innings where Kohli’s blade has not been able to get a hundred. It’s not that he looks out of form, boasts an average of 59 in ODIs, 51 in Tests and 52 in T20Is - which is phenomenal but the hundreds have dried up for far too long for his high standards.
Not only are the fans are anxious but I am sure so is Kohli himself - as it can be seen in the manner he has been trying to reach out for the balls which is way out of the off stump and it has become a pattern of his dismissals where he nicking either in the slips or to the keeper.
Golden run of 2018
Kohli had a torrid time in 2014 against James Anderson, where he managed just 131 runs without getting a fifty but he corrected himself in his next series in 2018 against the same opposition - where he scored a whopping 600 runs with two hundreds in the last series. Some pundits had said after the 2018 series that he left a lot of balls outside the off stump and kept his ego under control by not going after the balls which were to be left alone - especially in English conditions.
There is no doubt he is a champion player but if King Kohli has to get back to his hundred mode, he will have to curb his anxiousness and his ego - and the rest will automatically fall in place. Every fan feels The next hundred is round the corner - but only Kohli knows which corner he needs to tackle to get that elusive hundred.
- Cricket enthusiast and businessman Anis Sajan is Vice Chairman of Danube Group