Virat Kohli is undoubtedly the best batsman in the world right now. You can put him on any pitch in any given situation and he will take his team to the victory. In the final T20 International game against Australia in Sydney, Kohli proved why he is the ‘Superman’ of the Indian cricket team.
But now, the focus shifts to the four-match Test series which is scheduled to start in Adelaide from December 6th. The Test matches are going to be a different ball-game altogether. When it comes to the longer format of the game legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar still leads the pack of Indian players who have annihilated the Aussie bowlers in their own backyard.
But Kohli has an amazing chance to break one such record of Tendulkar that will bring him close to immortality in the history books.
If we take a look at the records, the ‘Master Blaster’ from Mumbai has six centuries to his name in Australia while Kohli has five hundred Down Under. Sachin started his journey in the year 1992 when he hit a marvelous hundred in the third Test match in Sydney. He played an amazing knock of 148 (not out) and helped his team to draw the match. The next ton came at fiery Perth pitch, where played a crucial inning 114 to save the match but eventually failed to do so. Many experts of the game believe that this was Tendulkar’s best three-figure innings in Test cricket.
Master Blaster’s third century against Australia came inside the iconic Melbourne ground in 1999. His knock of 116 in the first innings helped the Indians reach a fighting total but the Men in Blue lost the match and one more hundred by Tendulkar went in vain. But his most iconic century came in the year 2004 when he played one of the best Test innings of his life in Australia.
He played a brilliant knock of 241 (not out) in the first innings of the game that was being played inside Sydney Cricket Ground. Interestingly, 28 out of his 33 boundaries came on the leg side.
The last two centuries came at Sydney and Adelaide in the year 2008.
With the help of these 6 centuries and 7 half-centuries, Tendulkar amassed 1809 runs at an astonishing average of 53.20 in 20 matches that he played in Australia.
Meanwhile, Kohli struck his maiden-Test century in Australia. It was an iconic moment for a young man to score his first hundred Down Under. He played a superb knock of 116 in the fourth Test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the year 2012. His innings did little for India as the MS Dhoni-led side lost the match.
In 2014, when India toured the Australian continent, it was a different feeling for Kohli. This time he was leading the Indian side in Australia for the first time ever. The pressure was immense but he surpassed all the expectations and scored a beautiful century in the first Test of the series in 2014. He played a brilliant knock of 115 in the first innings but India lost the match.
The other three tons came on the same tour in Test matches in Melbourne and Sydney.
In 8 matches that he has played in Australia, Kohli has amassed 992 runs at an average of 62.00 with 5 centuries and 2 fifties to his name.
Currently, Kohli has the equal number of centuries as legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar and comfortably sits at 2nd position in the list of hundreds scored by an Indian batsman in Australia. The fourth Indian batsman in the list is VVS Laxman with 4 centuries.
The form he is in, Virat has a great chance to not just equal Sachin Tendulkar’s record of most centuries but also to surpass the record by a great margin.
Most centuries by Indian batsmen in Australia against Australia -
1) Sachin Tendulkar - 6 centuries in 20 matches
2) Virat Kohli - 5 centuries in 8 matches
3) Sunil Gavaskar - 5 centuries in 11 matches
4) VVS Laxman - 4 centuries in 15 matches
5) Mohinder Amarnath - 2 centuries in 8 matches
The first Test will be played between both the teams in Adelaide on December 6, followed by the second Test in Perth on December 14 and the third Test match in Melbourne on December 26. The final Test match will be played inside the Sydney Cricket Ground on January 3.
About the Author
Sports Journalist by profession, a Cricket Fanatic by passion. Aayush Sharma has been following the game of cricket since childhood and considers Sachin Tendulkar as his idol. When in free time, he loves to read books or go out and play some gully cricket with friends. For him, Tennis ace Roger Federer and F1 Legend Michael Schumacher are the only sportspersons that reach the level of Tendulkar