India vs West Indies 2018, 1st Test: No adjective seems enough to justify the class of a modern day legend like – Virat Kohli, who rakes up centuries for fun and hardly put a foot wrong when he’s standing on the pristine 22-yard strip with a wielding willow in his hand. Watching Kohli bat is simply equivalent to watching an ultimate professional going about his job who never lets his guard down, regardless of the opposition or the condition. Also Read - India vs England, 4th Test: Axar, Ashwin Share Seven Wickets to Give Hosts The Upper Hand
When Virat takes his time off from cricket, one may see him enjoying his life with friends and family, as any individual is entitled to do. But once on the cricket field, one can rest assured he is going to give his absolute best – whether it is in the swinging conditions of Edgbaston where almost all other batsmen struggle to survive or the batting paradise of Rajkot where young guns like Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant pulverize the opposition. Also Read - Match Highlights India vs England 2021 4th Test Day 1: IND 24/1 at Stumps After Bowling Out ENG For 205
On Friday, the Indian captain breezed to a 24th Test hundred as the hosts amassed 506 for five at lunch on day two of the series opener against the West Indies in Rajkot. Kohli became the fastest to reach 24 Test centuries since Australia’s Sir Don Bradman, who reached the mark in 66 innings. The Delhi-born batter took 123 innings to scale the feat, while the former India legend Sachin Tendulkar had taken 125 innings to score 24 Test centuries, while the original ‘little master’ Sunil Gavaskar reached the landmarks in 128 innings.
Kohli, who was 72 not out overnight, took time to knock off the 28 runs needed for yet another hundred while his partner Rishabh Pant (92 off 84), who resumed at 17, went all guns blazing. Kohli (120 not out) had the company of Ravindra Jadeja (19 not out off 33) when lunch was taken. India, aiming to bat only once in the game, scored 142 runs in 29 overs bowled in the session.
Fewest innings to 24 Test 100s:
66 D Bradman
123 VIRAT KOHLI
125 S Tendulkar
128 S Gavaskar
132 M Hayden
With Pant picking boundaries at will, Kohli was in no hurry get to the three-figure mark. The ton in Rajkot was also Kohli’s 17th Test hundred as the captain, the stat puts him third on the list of captain’s with the most hundreds in Test cricket behind Graeme Smith and Ricky Ponting.
Most Test 100s as captain:
25 Graeme Smith
19 R Ponting
17 VIRAT KOHLI
A second Test hundred in his fourth Test was for the taking but Pant, attempting another six over mid-wicket, failed to pick the googly and top-edged it for a simple catch to Keemo Paul at backward point. His entertaining innings was laced with eight fours and four sixes. Pant, who made memorable in his debut series in England, played his usual attacking game from ball one, flicking it nonchalantly through square leg to get going.
100s/50s among the modern day ‘Fab Four’
24/19 Virat Kohli
23/24 Steve Smith
18/26 Kane Williamson
14/41 Joe Root
Kohli enjoyed his teammates’ fluent strokeplay from the other end as Pant raced to his half century with a four and six off pacer Paul. He used his strong wrists to get to the desired elevation and distance. It was a sheer display of brute power.
The way Pant was plundering the bowlers, it seemed he would get to three figures before his skipper. But that did not happen as Kohli completed his century with a flick off his pads towards fine leg. Pant was on 87 when Kohli raised his bat but the wicket-keeper batsmen ended up throwing it away as he went for another six.