Will Motera witness the end of Virat Kohli's unusual century drought in Tests?
- India vs England: One of the biggest hallmark of his international career has been his ability to convert 50s into 100s and that is what has taken him so close to Sachin Tendulkar's unbelievable record of 100 international centuries so quickly in his career.
Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli often pays the price for his own brilliance. Such has been his consistency with the bat across formats that even a small dip in run scoring starts to stick out like a sore thumb.
Often considered the best in the business in limited overs cricket, Kohli started amassing huge runs in Test cricket since taking over as India's captain in 2015. He scored runs both at home and away and put some of his demons to rest to become the best all format batsman in the world.
He ruled the roost at home in 2016 and 2017, and then gave a great account of himself on the tough away tours of South Africa, England and Australia in 2018. He finished 2019 with a massive 254 not out against the Proteas at home and then scored 136 against Bangladesh in India's maiden pink ball Test on home soil in Kolkata.
Kohli was expected to carry the same form to New Zealand in early 2020 but scores of 2,19, 3 and 14 brought an end to a disappointing tour for both Kohli and India.
The Covid-19 pandemic ensured India next played a Test match in December, which was the pink ball Test against Australia. Kohli was to play only one Test down under and he looked in supreme touch at Adelaide, one of his favourite hunting grounds away from home, as he made his way to 74 in the first innings and threatened to take the match away from the hosts.
But just at that moment he was run out, due to an error in judgement from Ajinkya Rahane. Kohli would score just 4 runs in the second innings as India were bowled out for their lowest Test score. He missed the next three Tests in Australia while being on paternity leave and returned for the home series against England, in which he has scored two half-centuries, both coming in the second innings.
Kohli is not out of form. He has just been unlucky. But a gap of 10 innings without a century means he is on the verge of equalling an unwanted mark. If the Indian captain does not score a century in the first innings of the upcoming day-night Test against England in Ahmedabad, then he will equal his second longest run without a century in Tests.
In the beginning of his career, Kohli went on a run of 13 innings without a century followed by a barren run of 11 innings in 2015.
One of the biggest hallmark of his international career has been his ability to convert 50s into 100s and that is what has taken him so close to Sachin Tendulkar's unbelievable record of 100 international centuries so quickly in his career.
But Kohli's conversion rate in Test cricket has tumbled since 2019. Not only that, his average in Tests too has taken a beating since 2019, because of this unusually quiet period.
Indian cricket fans would want this run to end soon and so would Kohli. India needs to win the series against England by a margin of 2-1 or more and if Kohli gets going in these two matches at Ahmedabad, then Team India will be rest assured of playing the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in June this year.
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