India captain Virat Kohli on Thursday completed 1000 runs this home Tests this season to become only the third Indian batsman after Virender Sehwag and Sunil Gavaskar to achieve the feat. India had opted to bat after winning the one-off Test against Bangladesh in Hyderabad. After Murali Vijay (108) and Cheteswhar Pujara (83) set the tone for the hosts, Kohli came out all guns blazing and smashed his 15th half-century. India reached 356/3 at stumps on the first day with Kohli unbeaten on 111* (16th Test ton) along with vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane on 45*.
Legendary batsman Sehwag currently holds the record for scoring 1105 runs in 17 innings at an average of 69.06 with four hundreds and three half-centuries. The Delhi opener had achieved the feat in the 2004-05 season when India played a total of nine Test matches at home.
Kohli is now second on the list with 1075 runs and he crossed the 1000-run mark in his 15th innings at home in the ongoing one-off Test against Bangladesh in Hyderabad. Kohli was 36 runs short of the mark before this match. The 28-year-old has been batting at an average of over 83 in this home season with four hundreds and two half-centuries.
The current season has been surreal for Kohli, who scored 1215 runs in 12 Tests last year at an average of 75.93 which also included a double hundred in the West Indies and one each against New Zealand and England in Indore and Mumbai respectively.
Former England batsman Graham Gooch is third on the list with 1058 runs in 11 innings at a mind-boggling average of 96.18 with four hundreds and three half-centuries. Gooch also scored a triple hundred during this period which he scored against India at Lord’s in July 1990. Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar is next with 1027 runs from 21 innings at 51.35 with three hundreds and four fifties in the 1979-80 season. (Consistent Cheteshwar Pujara breaks 52-year-old batting record)
Kohli’s teammate Cheteshwar Pujara is close on his heels with 857 runs in 15 innings at an average of 61.21 with three hundreds and five half-centuries.
India have four more Test matches to go against Australia before they conclude the home season which includes a total of 13 matches. Kohli will get more plenty of time to surpass Sehwag’s and set yet another record in the longest format.
Meanwhile, a report from Melbourne says that batting legend Ricky Ponting feels India skipper Virat Kohli is the best one-day batsman in the world but it is not yet time to call him a great of the five-day format. “Is he the best batsman in the world? Yeah, he probably is. I thought he was six or seven months ago and he’s probably taken it to another level since then,” Ponting was quoted as saying by the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’.
Kohli had an outstanding 2016 across formats as the Test captain guided India to comprehensives wins against the West Indies,
New Zealand and England before taking over the captaincy of limited overs as well.
Ponting said captaincy in all formats would help Kohli even further.
“Is it too premature to call him the best ever? You can probably say that right now as far as his one-day cricket is concerned. His one-day record is outstanding and probably better than anybody that’s ever played the game given how many hundreds (27) he’s made but let’s give him a few years yet in the Test series side of things.
“It’s too early yet to be taking about him being one of the greats. I think the great players we always talk about – the Tendulkars, the Laras, the Kallises – those guys played 120, 130-200 Test matches. Virat’s not even half-way along that path,” he said.
Talking about the upcoming Australia tour of India, Ponting said the visitors will need to get Kohli out of his comfort zone to have any chances of doing well in the four-Test series. “The one thing about Virat Kohli is whenever there’s any confrontation, he does get a little bit outside of his comfort zone. You can see that he gets ultra-aggressive, which may be a good thing for him or maybe good for the opposition,” he said.
“We will wait and see what happens. I think he’s a similar sort of character to me as well. He wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s pretty animated. He’s a very aggressive player. “One thing I learnt about playing in India is the momentum that the home team can create, you have to try and stop that.
“Someone like Virat, you have to take his boundary-scoring areas away and make him score his runs in different areas or make him bat for a longer time to make his runs,” he added.
KOHLI SHINES ON DAY 1
Statistical highlights at the end of the opening day’s play in the one-off cricket Test between India and Bangladesh.
- Virat Kohli has at least one Test hundred against each of the seven teams he has played against (Australia, Bangladesh, England, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies). He hasn’t played against Pakistan and Zimbabwe.
- Cheteshwar Pujara (83) has posted his 12th fifty in Tests – his first vs Bangladesh.
- Pujara enjoys an impressive record in Tests at home – his tally being 2338 runs at an average of 63.18, including eight centuries and nine fifties, in 26 Tests.
- Pujara has amassed 1605 runs at an average of 89.16, including six centuries, in 21 innings, establishing an Indian record for most runs in a first-class season, held by Chandu Borde in the 1964-65 season –1604 (ave.64.16) in 28 innings, including six hundreds.
- Murali Vijay (108) has posted his ninth century in Tests – his second vs Bangladesh.
- He has recorded back to back hundreds vs Bangladesh in Tests – 150 at Fatullah in June 2015 and 108 at Hyderabad in February 2017.
- Pujara’s impressive tally of nine centuries is the jointthird most by an Indian opener in Tests next only to the 33 by Sunil Gavaskar and 22 by Virender Sehwag. Gautam Gambhir had also registered nine.
- Pujara and Vijay were involved in a stand of 178 – India’s second highest partnership for the second wicket vs Bangladesh in Tests behind the 259 between Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid at Chittagong in December 2004.
- Pujara-Vijay pair became the first Indian pair to register five century stands in a season – their aggregate being 852 runs in nine innings at an average of 94.66. Hayden and Ponting were involved in seven century stands in 2005-06 and five each by David Boon & Mark Waugh and Hayden & Justin Langer.
- Virat Kohli has recorded his 12th hundred as number four batsman in 53 innings, emulating the feat of Gundappa Viswanath (124 innings). Only Sachin Tendulkar has scored more centuries at this batting position among the Indian batsmen – 44 in 275 innings.
- Of his 16 hundreds in Tests, Kohli has registered nine in 36 innings as captain. Only Sunil Gavaskar has registered more as captain amongst the Indians – 11 in 74 innings. Azharuddin had posted 9 in 68 innings.
- Kohli’s average as captain is the best among the Indian players – his aggregate being 2222 (ave.67.33) in 23 matches.
- Kohli is the fourth batsman to manage 1000 runs in a home season in Tests – 1075 (ave.89.58) in 9 Tests. Virender Sehwag had scored 1105 in 2004-05; Graham Gooch – 1058 in 1990 and Sunil Gavaskar – 1027 in 1979-80.