Virat Kohli Smashed his 26th ton, first against South Africa at home and 19th as captain to tie with former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting. (Photo Credit: Twitter)
Virat Kohli entering the record books and tying records is nothing new. The India vs South Africa Test in Pune witnessed a similar sight. Kohli scored his 26th century to put India on top against South Africa at the MCA stadium on Friday. This was his 19th century, putting him level with former Australia great Ricky Ponting. Graeme Smith of South Africa has the most with 25 centuries as a Test captain. The fact that Kohli achieved it in his 50th Test as captain of the Indian team shows that he is the ultimate player when it comes to achieving milestones.
Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane had weathered the storm on an overcast evening session on day 1 but Kohli showed his mettle to negotiate the bowling. He notched up his fifty with two boundaries off Vernon Philander as he remained unbeaten on 63. Resuming on day 2, Kohli had his fair share of luck. He edged a full ball from Philander but it just flew past Quinton de Kock for a boundary.
As the session progressed and the partnership went past 100, Kohli still had some luck going his way. He withstood a testing spell from Anrich Nortje who induced the outside edge yet again but the ball went past the slips. However, Rahane was looking in great touch as he smoked a couple of boundaries and neared his fifty. The Mumbai right-hander was the first to reach his fifty when he cracked a four off Keshav Maharaj and notched up his 20th fifty.
Kohli, though, had no problems negotiating the nervous 90s as he notched up a magnificent century by straight driving Philander to the long on fence for a glorious boundary. During the course of his knock, he overtook Dilip Vengsarkar's tally of runs to be seventh on the all-time list of Indian players with the most Test runs. Sachin Tendulkar leads the tally with 15921 runs in 200 Tests. Incidentally, this was his first ton against South Africa in India, having smashed 119 and 153 in the Johannesburg and Centurion Tests of 2013 and 2018.
The century in Pune was his 11th in a different venue in India, breaking the tally of 10 that was set by Sachin Tendulkar during his 24-year lating career. Thus, Kohli has broken one more record of Tendulkar and it remains to be seen how many more records will he break in his playing career. Kohli is already the most successful India captain, overtaking MS Dhoni's tally of 27 wins and with this century, he has already cemented his legacy as one of the best batsmen in Tests.