Even though Virat Kohli did not score a double century on the fourth day of the fourth Test match being played against Australia at the Narendra Modi Stadium, his innings can be compared to Sachin Tendulkar’s double century in 2004. Actually, greatness is seen in different forms and only those who are geniuses are successful in convincing their greatness not in just one but in different ways. Tendulkar, who played 200 Tests and scored 51 centuries, was unique, but he also showed many times in his career that even greatness often has to pass through the phase of mortality. And when the spirit of moving forward while facing the era of mortality with seriousness remains intact, then your greatness attains the status of permanence in history forever. This century of Kohli can be seen in the same perspective.
If Sachin Tendulkar didn’t play his favorite shot cover drive till he completed his double century in Sydney Test, Virat Kohli showed similar control over himself till he completed his century in Ahmedabad on the fourth day. He was a great example of how to discipline himself. Kohli changed gears as soon as he scored a century and returned to the rhythm that he used to show often during his might. If the only regret is that Shreyas Iyer did not come to bat due to being unfit, otherwise Kohli would have scored a double century on this ground and could have remained not out.
If you think that what is the importance of not out, then Kohli needs to play a big innings not out only then he can again cross his test average of 50. In 2016, Kohli touched an average of 50 for the first time in his career and after that he remained between 51 and 55 for the next four years. But, due to not playing big innings in Test cricket in the last three years, Kohli’s average has gone below 50. Kohli knows that like his idol Tendulkar, he must achieve this goal if he is to go down in history as greatness as only two other Indian batsmen apart from Tendulkar have won Test cricket with an average above 50. Have said goodbye. Sunil Gavaskar and Rahul Dravid. Incidentally, both the former captains are also included in the 10,000 club which will be Kohli’s next target.
However, at present, many experts are surprised that the player who did not have to wait so long (it took 13 innings) for his first Test century, after scoring 27 centuries It took 42 innings to reach 28th. It was not that Kohli was going through a very bad phase, but his familiar aggression and settled strokeplay were less visible in his batting. When the whole world is waiting for your next century continuously for three years, even if you are Virat Kohli, the pressure starts showing on you too. Kohli was going close to scoring a century during the Cape Town Test last year but eventually fell short. The good thing is that now the discussion about Kohli’s century will stop and when Team India will face the Australian team for the World Test Championship at The Oval in the first week of June, the Kangaroos will have to be more alert. They now realize that Virat Kohli, a big match-winner in this team, has come in form.
One more thing which probably Kohli will accept in future. After leaving the captaincy, he was not able to play openly for the first few months. Perhaps he was pained that Indian cricket could have been saved by the manner in which the episode of his captaincy being taken away from him under the chairmanship of former captain Sourav Ganguly came before the whole world. As a captain, Kohli brought revolutionary changes in the thinking of the Test team, which may also prove to be his biggest legacy. But, now after giving up the captaincy, Kohli knows that for the next 3-4 years, he has a chance to carve himself into a new Test batsman. It requires a reliable and big innings, initially. Daddy Hundred to Kohli in Ahmedabad might witness the same beginning.
While walking, I would like to say one more thing that after the end of the fourth day’s play in Ahmedabad, when all the journalists were waiting for Kohli for the press conference, seeing the commotion and enthusiasm among the local journalists, an Australian journalist joked with this writer. Said in style that- It seems that we will not get a chance to question King Kohli. Not only this, the media manager of the Australian team hurriedly ended Alex Carey’s press conference as he did not want to keep the legend waiting. This sentence of his created laughter in the entire press conference, but it was only a matter of a few seconds. Because immediately the BCCI media manager made it clear that it was not Kohli but Akshar Patel who was coming for the press conference. Everyone took a deep breath together. Well, that was the only disappointing moment after watching Kohli’s hundred all day!
Former Sports Editor of News18 India Vimal Kumar has been in sports journalism for almost 2 decades. Vimal, who is active on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) as @Vimalwa, has also covered 4 Cricket World Cups and Rio Olympics.