After a wait of 1205 days, Virat Kohli finally registered a Test century, bringing up three figures on day four of the fourth Test against Australia in Ahmedabad.
Kohli brought up Test century No.28 after flicking Nathan Lyon for a single and helping India push towards a crucial first-innings lead. There was a gap of 41 innings between his last century and this one, with the previous one coming over three years ago against Bangladesh in November 2019.
Kohli scored a sublime 136 in India’s only innings at the Eden Gardens and helped his team secure innings and 46-run victory.
“600kg Gorilla off his back,” Ravi Shastri boomed on commentary as Kohli raised his bat, then removed his helmet with a smile and kissed his necklace in relief to a standing ovation from the Ahmedabad crowd.
He now has eight Test hundreds against Australia, second-most, on par with Sunil Gavaskar on a list that is topped by Sachin Tendulkar, who has 11.
His 28th Test ton is also his 75th international hundred.
Respect and admiration: Australian skipper Steve Smith congratulates Virat Kohli after a marathon century in the fourth Test
After being dismissed by spinner Todd Murphy, Virat was lauded by Steve on his way back to the pavilion. Steve shook his hand and patted the batter on his back. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) posted the picture on Twitter acknowledging Smith’s gesture.
“Respect and admiration,” said BCCI in their tweet.
Smith and Kohli are part of this generation’s ‘Fab Four’ batters along with New Zealand’s Kane Williamson and England’s Joe Root.
Both batters have had a storied career in Test cricket as batters.
In 108 matches and 183 innings, Virat has scored 8.416 runs at an average of 48.93. He has scored 28 centuries and an equal number of half-centuries, with the best individual score of 254*.
On the other hand, Smith has represented Australia in 96 Tests, in which he has scored 8,782 runs at an average of 59.74. He has scored 30 centuries and 37 fifties in the format, with the best individual score of 239*.
The former India skipper brought up his much-needed hundred in 241 balls. It was the most-awaited ton as his last century came against Bangladesh in November 2019. With this century, he took his international century tally to 75. Kohli’s hundred has chipped off a chunk of Australia’s lead as India looks to press home the advantage
The cricketing fraternity took to social media after Virat Kohli ended his Test century drought.
Legendary Indian opener Virender Sehwag, with whom Sachin Tendulkar opened the batting for years, congratulated Virat, saying that “class is permanent”.
Indian pace legend Jhulan Goswami congratulated Virat for his “iconic innings”.
Former Indian pacer Venkatesh Prasad also lauded this “special innings from a special player” and called his comeback to form an “inspiration”
Australian veteran opener also lauded Virat’s innings on Instagram, warning to not ” write off champions”.
Former England batter Kevin Pietersen also lauded Virat for his knock on Twitter.