He lost his top rank in Test batsmanship to old rival Steve Smith only recently. The three Tests that India played after the World Cup didn’t see him hitting a single three-figure knock. But India captain Virat Kohli hates to stay away from runs and proved it in Pune on Friday by smashing an unbeaten 254 in 336 balls to take his team in a strong position in the game and series.
The hosts, who ended Day 1 at 273 for 3 after Kohli won the toss and elected to bat, amassed 601 for 5 on Day 2 before declaring. The Proteas were in trouble in reply as they were reduced to 32 for 3 at stumps. Kohli’s double century registered a number of records. It was not only his first 250-plus innings that bettered his previous highest score of 243 in the format but also was the 19th ton as the captain.
Overall, it was Virat Kohli’s 26th Test hundred and the 69th overall. The special occasion came in his 50th Test as captain and he also surpassed Sir Donald Bradman’s tally of 6,996 runs besides bettering the Australian legend’s record of the most number of 150-plus scores. The ace batsman now has nine 150-plus scores as against Bradman’s eight.
Among Indians, Virat Kohli became the second-fastest batsman to reach 26 Test centuries taking 138 innings, two more than the fastest – Sachin Tendulkar. Overall, he is the fourth fastest to reach the milestone with Bradman being the fastest who made it in just 69 innings. In the second spot is Steve Smith who took 121 innings to make it to the special club.
As captain, Kohli’s 19 Test hundreds equalise Ricky Ponting
The 19th Test century as the captain also puts Virat Kohli at par with former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting. The lot is led by former South Africa captain Graeme Smith who hit 25 tons as the captain in the longer format. In terms of conversation rate, however, Kohli is the second-best now (54.2%) among those batsmen who have scored a minimum of 15 centuries. Again, Bradman, with a conversion rate of 69%, is at the peak.
The Indian skipper also had a chance to get to the triple hundred but he put the team ahead of the personal milestone declaring the innings after Ravindra Jadeja got out on 91.
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