Virat Kohli handed fresh expectations by Sunil Gavaskar after IPL strike-rate row: 'Join me and Alastair Cook' | Crickit

Virat Kohli handed fresh expectations by Sunil Gavaskar after IPL strike-rate row: 'Join me and Alastair Cook'

May 30, 2024 10:23 PM IST

Sunil Gavaskar has a wish that only Virat Kohli can fulfil when India tour Australia later this year for the five-Test Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

With the dust settled over the strike-rate fiasco that broke out during the IPL 2024, Sunil Gavaskar has a fresh set of expectations from Virat Kohli when India tour Australia for the five-Test series of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy later this year. Gavaskar, the former India captain, was critical of the fact that Kohli hit out at those questioning his strike-rate and asked, 'Why reply if you don't care about outside noise?'. But the entire Kohli fanbase turned against Gavaskar, although the India legend did not flinch or budge from his stance.

Sunil Gavaskar wants Virat Kohli to replicate his achievement in Australia(AFP-ANI)
Sunil Gavaskar wants Virat Kohli to replicate his achievement in Australia(AFP-ANI)

Now, with six months to go for the all-important BGT, Gavaskar wants Kohli to do what very limited travelling batters have done – score a century in all five Test venues in Australia. Kohli has at least one century in Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne, but the only one missing is The Gabba, where India created history the last time they played a Test match there. Unfortunately, Kohli wasn't present when 'Fortress Gabba' was conquered, and hence, Gavaskar has his expectations pretty clear from India's star batter on his fifth tour Down Under.

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"On an individual level, [my wish] maybe for Virat Kohli is that he becomes the third overseas player who's scored a Test century in all the Australian venues. I think he doesn't have one at the Gabba, so if he gets a century at The Gabba, that means he joins me and Alastair Cook," Gavaskar said on Wednesday, during the launch of the Australia-India Summer of Cricket, organised by the Australian Consulate in partnership with Cricket Australia.

Gavaskar became the first overseas batter to peel off centuries at all five Australia Test venues. His highest Test score of 172 came in Sydney in 1986 followed by a knock of 166 at Adelaide in the same series. Four years ago, in 1981, Gavaskar scored 118 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, while the other two centuries – 127 in Perth and 113 in Brisbane were in the 1977 tour.

Meanwhile, Cook, England's second-most successful Test captain behind Joe Root, scored 148 at Adelaide in 2010, an unbeaten 244 at the MCG in 2017, 116 at Perth in 2006, 235 not out at the Gabba in 2010 and 189 at the SCG in 2011… most of them being day hundreds.

Kohli ahead of Cook and Gavaskar

And as Gavaskar pointed out, Kohli isn't too far behind. In fact, Kohli is the most dominating of the three when it comes to scoring centuries. He has three in Adelaide, two in Perth, and one each in Sydney and Melbourne. And with this BGT possibly being Kohli's last tour down under, Kohli could well fulfil Gavaskar's wish.

Besides his expectations from Kohli, Gavaskar also expressed his desire to see India continue their winning streak in Australia. The Border-Gavaskar Trophy has stayed with India since 2017, with the Men in Blue registering iconic Test series wins in 2019/19 and 2020/21. Six years ago, under Kohli, India celebrated their maiden Test series win in Australia, and two years later, with stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane in charge, India, playing with a depleted squad, completed a very famous come-from-behind series win.

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