Virat Kohli and Saba Karim.(BCCI/File)
Virat Kohli and Saba Karim.(BCCI/File)

Winning IPL or ending century drought? Former India wicketkeeper picks what Virat Kohli would 'want' in IPL 2021

After going 2020 without a century, Virat Kohli is yet to hit the three-figure mark despite playing a significant amount of cricket against Australia and most recently, England.
UPDATED ON APR 04, 2021 09:14 AM IST

November 23, 2019. It was the date on which Virat Kohli scored a Test century during India's inaugural Day/Night Test against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. As surprising as it may be, no one saw what was to come - over 400 days of going without a century for the India captain.

Yes, Kohli has indeed gone that long without scoring a century in competitive cricket. After going 2020 without a century, Kohli is yet to hit the three-figure mark despite playing a significant amount of cricket against Australia and most recently, England.

Also read: 'When you opened the newspaper, he was everywhere': Pathan recalls younger Kohli

But with a fresh season in IPL on the horizon and Kohli expressing his desire to open the batting for his team, the Royal Challengers Bangalore, now may be as good a time as any to get there. Kohli has five IPL centuries, but all of them date back to 2016. And while getting to three figures would be at the back of his mind somewhere, former India wicketkeeper Saba Karim reckons it would not be Kohli's priority.

Kohli, who has been captaincy RCB since 2011 is yet to win the IPL trophy for IPL and if Karim is to be believed, getting RCB their maiden IPL title would mean a lot more to Kohli than scoring a century.

"If you ask Virat Kohli about what he wants from this IPL, whether he wants to score a century or if wants RCB to be the champion, I feel Virat Kohli will definitely say that his dream is for RCB to be the champions and he has a significant contribution in that. I don't think whether he scores a century or not will make a difference to Virat Kohli's career. Yes, the difference will be made if Virat Kohli grabs the elusive IPL trophy," Karim said during a discussion on India News.

Having said that, Karim feels Kohli might find batting on spin-friendly surfaces slightly more challenging. Kohli has recently been dismissed off spinners a lot – especially off the bowling of Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid during England's long tour of England. But at the same time, the former India keeper claims Kohli would be well-equipped having taken the decision to open the batting this year.

"It (playing on spin-friendly tracks in Chennai) will definitely be challenging, but the good thing is that Virat has decided to open the batting. It will be a very big opportunity for him to post a big score," said Karim.

"I feel he has done the preparations keeping this in mind and that is why he wants to

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