Kohli back with a bang

Kohli back with a bang

Skipper finds form with a fluent 103 in the first Test

Kohli back with a bang

 After going through seven Test innings without a half-century, Virat Kohli finally shed his indifferent run in the longer format with an unbeaten ton in India’s second innings of the first Test against Sri Lanka here on Saturday.

The brisk hundred that came on the early morning of fourth day’s play, helped India declare their innings with better part of last two days’ play still to go.

While Kohli’s limited-overs form hadn’t suffered a bit in the same phase, it was his batting in Tests that had been the talking point, especially after the run he had had from the West Indies series in July last year to the one-off Test against Bangladesh early this February.

In the last seven innings, stretching from the second innings of the Test against Bangladesh and through the bitterly-fought series against Australia at home early this year to the first innings of this Test, Kohli had gone without a half-century with scores of 38, 0, 13, 12, 15, 6 and 3; a sequence of scores which is hardly a patch on his performance over the previous one year or so.

Kohli had 1457 runs at an astonishing average of 80.94 over 13 Tests with five hundreds, three of them being double tons. During this period, his career average also touched 50 for the first time since his debut. His short slump had seen that average dip below 50 but his Saturday’s century has once again ensured it’s above that mark.   
             
The 28-year-old batsman, however, said he wasn’t perturbed with his form in Tests.
“I wasn’t looking at things from that point of view,” said Kohli when asked as to how satisfying was it to get a 100 after the slump. “I think people on the outside start counting the number of innings when a batsman doesn’t score well but for us as batsman or anyone playing in the 11, it’s all about what the team wants at that particular situation. And you end up scoring runs, plus you end up helping team also.

I think the second innings required us to play more positively, and I am glad I was able to do that along with Abhinav to get us enough time to get the opposition out and enough runs on the board for us to feel comfortable,” he offered.

Kohli felt thinking about which format he was not scoring was spending energy unnecessarily. “I wasn’t certainly looking at things like how many innings I haven’t scored because when you are playing all formats, you don’t think which format you have not scored runs in how many innings. You can’t utilise so much energy in that. But it always feels good to get runs when the team wins.”

The 17th career century helped him equal Dilip Vengsarkar and VVS Laxman’s tally of Test hundreds. While Vengsarkar played 116 Tests and Laxman took 134 to collect them, Kohli has managed to accomplish the feat in just 58 Tests.

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