Virat Kohli gave the cricketing world yet another display of his brilliance by smashing his 25th century on day 3 of the Perth Test against Australia on Sunday. The Indian skipper reached the landmark with a straight drive off Mitchell Starc to the long off fence. Following his milestone, he gestured to the crowd that his bat does all the talking as India continued to make good progress against Australia on a wicket still offering assistance to the bowlers. However, this was Kohli’s sixth century in Australia, equalling the mark set by Sachin Tendulkar. While Tendulkar took 38 innings to achieve this feat, Kohli has done it in just 19 innings.
During the Adelaide Test, he became the fourth Indian batsman after Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid to score 1000 runs in Tests in Australia, getting there in just nine Tests. The knock also ended a rather lean run against the Australians, where he had managed scores of just 0,13,12,15,6,3 and 34 in the last four Tests. Among Indian batsmen, Kohli now stands third in the all-time list of centuries in Tests against Australia, behind Tendulkar’s 11 and Sunil Gavaskar’s mark of eight centuries.
The Indian skipper had signalled his intent on day 2 itself when he came out to bat after India were wobbling at 8/2. He displayed compact defence and got off the mark in style when he drove Josh Hazlewood straight down the ground for a magnificent boundary. He continued to target Hazlewood by slamming three boundaries in one over off Hazlewood. When the Australian bowlers bowled immaculate lines and lengths and dried up the scoring, Kohli displayed tremendous patience and discipline as he made steady progress and shared partnerships with Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara.
When it comes to centuries in the SENA countries (South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia), Kohli has the second-most number of Test centuries with 11, behind Tendulkar’s tally of 17. However, what makes Kohli stand-out is that the current Indian skipper has hit these centuries in just 27 games while Tendulkar took 63 innings.
Kohli has always enjoyed himself in Tests in Australia. In the 2011/12 series, Kohli was the only batsman to hit a century when he smashed 116 in the fourth and final Test in Adelaide. In the 2014/15 series, Kohli smashed four centuries, including two in both innings of the Adelaide Test as he ended the series with 692 runs at an average of 86. However, this century has put India on the cusp of something special as they look to break their Test jinx against Australia.