Virender Sehwag’s tweet, praising India batting mainstay Virat Kohli for scoring his 75th international century against Australia in Ahmedabad, went viral on the microblogging platform.
“Class is permanent. This is an exceptional innings from Virat. Faith in the almighty, tremendous belief in himself. A special 75th international hundred for the King,” Virender Sehwag tweeted.
Virender Sehwag’s special message for Virat Kohli came after he broke a series of records en route to his 28th Test century against Australia on Day 4 of the fourth Test in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
Among the multiple feats Virat Kohli achieved in Ahmedabad was becoming the quickest to complete 11,000 international runs at home.
Virat Kohli also matched former India captain Sunil Gavaskar’s landmark the legendary batsman achieved four decades ago.
Virat Kohli was playing in his 50th Test on home soil, and he celebrated the occasion with a hundred. In 1983, Sunil Gavaskar made a century when he featured in his 50th Test match in Indian conditions against West Indies at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi.
The ton against Australia in Ahmedabad was his 8th hundred in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, joint-second most by any batter from the two countries. While Sachin Tendulkar has nine centuries, Ricky Ponting and Steve Smith have scored eight centuries each.
It was Virat Kohli’s first Test hundred since November 2019, thus ending a 1,204 days wait for a century in the five-day format of the sport.
Moreover, it was his first century in red-ball cricket after 41 innings – his longest drought in Test matches. During this phase, Virat Kohli went without a ton in 23 games.
It was also his second Test hundred against Australia at home, following his 107 in Chennai in 2013.
Throughout his knock, Virat Kohli looked in complete command – at the start of his innings, the 34-year-old was solid in defense and milked the Australian bowlers for ones and twos.
Virat Kohli, the aggressive shotmaker, turned into a grinder as the Delhi-born cricketer struck only five boundaries during his first hundred runs at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
After bringing up his 75th century in Gujarat during the weekend, he raised the level of his game and was looking good for a double-hundred. But Kohli lost his wicket while attempting an attacking shot off Todd Murphy.
Virat Kohli was the last Indian batter to get out for a score of 186, with the hosts putting 571/9 on the board. Shreyas Iyer didn’t bat in India’s first innings due to back spasms and underwent scans in the hospital.
Virat Kohli’s splendid knock earned him rave reviews from many cricket pundits, including Parthiv Patel, Dinesh Karthik, and Harbhajan Singh.
“Kohli’s body language is like he is batting in the nets. He is hitting the ball where he wants. He only hit five boundaries while getting to his hundred, scoring all the other runs through singles and doubles,” Parthiv Patel said on Cricbuzz.
“He knows that Nathan Lyon is attacking the off-stump line and he is not playing any strokes on that line, and playing the left-armer with the spin. If anyone wants to see how to play spin then Kohli’s innings is the perfect template,” Parthiv Patel added.
“He has been playing out such innings since a very long time. This isn’t the first time that we’re seeing Kohli play the way he is. A player becomes great when they have performed at the highest level for a long period of time. We know the range of shots that Kohli has and how he can absorb the pressure and play even if it is for a draw,” the former India wicketkeeper stated.
“I’m not surprised at all by how Kohli has batted in this series. Today he has made runs but he has looked in control throughout the series against Australia,” Parthiv Patel elaborated.
Meanwhile, Virat Kohli said he needed to justify his presence in the playing XI because he did not want to become a liability or a burden for the team.
“I am not in a space now where I will go out and prove someone wrong. I also need to justify why I am there on the field. When I was 60 not out, we decided to play positively. But we lost Shreyas (Iyer) thanks to injury. So, we decided to play time. They were good with the ball and placed some good fields. We got a bit of a lead and gave ourselves some sort of a chance,” Virat Kohli told the host broadcaster in the post-match presentation ceremony.
“To be honest, the expectations I have from myself as a player is more to important to me. I felt I was batting well from the first innings at Nagpur. We focussed on batting for long. I did that to an extent but not to the capability that I have done in the past…. I was a little disappointed for that. Relief from the point of view that I could play the way I wanted to play,” Virat Kohli opined.
On the other hand, as per the legendary Sunil Gavaskar, Virat Kohli never looked out of touch. The only thing wrong with the talisman India batter was his inability to convert starts into a big score.
“Every great batter thinks about a hundred. A century is the minimum price he keeps for his wicket. The way Kohli was batting in the last two-and-a-half years when he didn’t score a century, he was batting well, scored seven or eight fifties. So it never seemed that he was out of form. The only thing that was happening was that he was getting out on his first mistake,” Sunil Gavaskar said on Star Sports.
“It was like how a Test match century should be constructed. He started slightly slowly, where he was trying to figure out the pitch and the bowling. Then he played a few shots after getting set and tried to play even more shots after he had scored a century. It shows how determined he was,” Sunil Gavaskar added.
“He knew that India were quite far behind Australia, who had scored a mountain of runs. He had seen that Usman Khawaja played a 180-run knock and Cameron Green scored a century for Australia, and Shubman Gill played a 128-run knock. This was a good opportunity for him to play a big knock so that the Indian team reaches close to 480,” the former India captain signed off.