Virat Kohli, who turns 31 today, might be a run-machine today but guess how long he had to wait before hitting his first international century?
In terms of matches, it was his 14th. In terms of innings, 13th and in terms of time, 16 months!
Kohli made his India debut against Sri Lanka in 2008 in Dambulla and scored just 12. His first half-century came against the same opponent in the same series, 54 in Colombo.
However, he had to wait some time before hitting a maiden ton. The momentous occasion came during an ODI on December 24, 2009, against, of course, Sri Lanka, at the historic Eden Gardens in Kolkata and that too in a winning cause.
Set a tough target of 316 to chase by Sri Lanka, India had lost both their openers Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar inside four overs, leaving them in a tricky spot.
But in walked Kohli with his senior and statemate Gautam Gambhir already in the middle. And the duo repaired the damage, setting the stage for what, in the end turned out to be a relatively comfortable seven-wicket win.
Gambhir top-scored with an unbeaten 150 to see through the chase. Kohli scored 107 off 114 with 11 fours and a six.
Watch his century below:
The joy and relief of having crossed a milestone was apparent on the then 21-year-old.
That set in motion the current India captain’s epic journey as he began hitting centuries with surreal consistency, breaking records for fun. Today, in 239 ODIs, he has 43 centuries with 11520 runs so far.
He hasn’t bossed just one format. He has been equally lethal across formats. In 82 Tests, he has 7066 runs with 26 centuries while in T20Is, he has 2450 runs in 72 matches. He’s the only batsman to average at least 50 in all the three formats. Talk about consistency.
Here’s wishing Kohli a very happy birthday!