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Virat Kohli achieves unique batting feat after brilliant ton against Sri Lanka

Virat Kohli’s innings of 103 not out at Galle pushed his average in Test cricket past 50, making him the only batsman to have crossed the mark across all formats.

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Jul 30, 2017 12:00 IST
India vs Sri Lanka,Virat Kohli,Galle Test
Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli celebrates after scoring a century during the fourth day of the first Test match against Sri Lanka.(AFP)

Virat Kohli roared back to form with a splendid second-innings century against Sri Lanka in the recently-concluded first Test at Galle and in the process, managed to achieve a unique feat in the history of cricket.

Kohli’s innings of 103 not out at Galle, which propelled India to a record overseas win, pushed his average in Test cricket past 50, making him the only batsman to have crossed the mark across all formats.

Kohli now has an average of 50.03 in after 58 Tests, in which he has accumulated 4,603 runs with as many as 17 centuries and 14 fifties. His 103 not out helped Kohli move closer to Sunil Gavaskar, in terms of scoring most centuries as an Indian captain.

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In One-Day Internationals (ODIs) — wherein he holds the record of smacking most centuries while chasing — Kohli has slammed as many as 28 centuries and 43 fifties in 189 matches, averaging 54.68.

Twenty20 cricket does not provide many a batsmen to maintain a stable average, but Kohli has managed to garner 1,748 runs at 52.96 with 16 fifties.

Kohli did not have a double century in Test cricket for a very long time, but the 2016 Test at Sir Vivian Richards’ Stadium in Antigua saw him becoming the first Indian captain ever to score a double ton playing overseas. No surprises that Kohli’s 200 in India’s first innings came right after he met the West Indian batting legend, Viv Richards, in his hometown.

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Kohli went on to score three more double tons — 211 versus New Zealand at Indore, 235 versus England at Mumbai and 204 versus Bangladesh at Hyderabad — over the following months to rise quickly through the ranks in ICC Rankings for Test Batsmen. As a captain, Kohli has as many as four double centuries — most for any Indian captain — levelled with Sir Donald Bradman, Michael Clarke and Graeme Smith.

Former West Indies cricketer Brian Lara leads this list with as many as five double centuries as captain (both home and away).

The century against Sri Lanka saw Kohli putting a quick end to a rather ordinary run which had troubled him since the start of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2017-18 earlier this year.

Having scored runs in heaps in the lead-up to one of the most intense series in recent times, Kohli had suddenly hit a roadblock, managing a mere 46 runs in three Tests at an average of 9.20. A shoulder injury had prevented him to play the series decider — the fifth and final Test at Dharamsala.

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This was only the second time ever that Kohli had had such a poor run. In England in 2014, Kohli had managed just 134 runs at 13.40 in five Tests, troubled by swing and seam bowling from the English team.

In the Galle Test, Kohli also completed his 1,000 runs as an Indian captain in overseas Tests. As captain, he has scored a total of 2,505 runs — 949 behind MS Dhoni’s record of 3,454 runs for India.

In the overall list, he is the sixth Indian captain to have scored more than 1,000 runs overseas in a list topped by Sourav Ganguly (1,693 runs), followed by Dhoni (1,591 runs), Mohammad Azharuddin (1,517 runs), Rahul Dravid (1,219 runs) and Sachin Tendulkar (1,098 runs).

Graeme Smith, the former South African leader who skippered his side in 108 Tests, holds the record of scoring most overseas runs as a captain, with 5,279 runs.

First Published: Jul 30, 2017 11:33 IST