It was on 20 June 2011, when one of the greatest batsmen of the cricket world made his Test debut and the rest is history. Virat Kohli is his name and he established himself as the legend he is today through a lot of grit and hard work. Virat Kohli's test career is mostly a fairytale with a few ups and downs. SportzPoint.com takes you on a tour of Kohli's test career from the beginning to the ongoing test of India vs England.
The first test match of Virat Kohli's test career was against West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. His first match was a bit disheartening as he scored only 19 runs. In the first innings, he got out for 4 runs and in the second innings, he managed to hit 15 runs in 54 balls. Fidel Edwards managed to send him away back to the pavilion in both the innings.
In the entire year, he got the chance to play in 5 matches; 4 against West Indies and 1 against Australia. He hit 2 half-centuries and made a total of 202 runs with an average of 22.44 and a strike rate of 42.71
The first century of Virat Kohli's test career was against Australia hosted in the Oval. In the fourth Test match of India vs Australia, he smashed 116 runs in 213 balls and registered his first test century. In 2012, he got the opportunity to play in 9 test matches against 3 countries.
The 1st three matches were against Australia, the next two were against New Zealand and the last four were against England. Kohli smashed 1 century against all these 3 countries in 2012. In the second test match against New Zealand, Kohli scored 103 runs. Also, in the 4th test match against England, he hit 103 runs. Furthermore, he also registered 3 half-centuries under his name in 2012.
In the entire year, Kohli aggregated 689 runs with an average of 49.21 and a strike rate of 46.74.
This was the time when the king of cricket was flourishing and prospering for a great future ahead. His overall performance in 2013 has been exceptional with an average of 56.00 and a strike rate of 54.66.
2013 witnessed one of his best knocks in India tour of South Africa in a 2 test series. On the first match in Johannesburg, Kohli created a storm on the field and scored 119 runs in 181 balls. This was his second overseas test century.
Even after batting against legends like Jacques Kallis, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander, and Imran Tahir, he remained positive and focused from the beginning and helped the team to draw the match at the end. Without this century, India could have lost the match.
During this time Virat Kohli has already established himself as a prominent member of the Indian cricket team by his previous performances and stats. He played in 10 test matches against 3 countries in 2014.
The first 2 test matches were against New Zealand where Kohli scored a half-century in the first match and a century in the second match.
After a gap of about 5 months, India went on a tour to England and played 5 test matches. In the later future, Kohli revealed that the 2014 England tour was the lowest point of his career. After waking up, he had thoughts of feeling and getting out in the series. The England series was a disaster for him as his highest score in that series was 39 only. With runs of 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0,7, 6, and 20 in the five tests of the England Tour 2014, he averaged 13.50 in the series.
But in the end, he made a huge comeback as always. In the India tour of Australia, he smashed 2 centuries in both the innings of the 1st match and another century in the third match. This entire tour is probably one of his most memorable performances. He kept faith in himself and played immensely well and made this tour one of the most remarkable one. Also, he became the captain of the team after MS Dhoni's retirement. Overall 2014 was a good year for him as he could make a comeback and aggregated a total of 847 runs in with an average of 44.58 and a strike rate of 60.54.
Virat started his 2015 Test journey with a bang and made a century in the 1st innings of 2015's 1st Test match. In Sydney Cricket Ground, he hit 147 runs against Australia. With an average of 42.67 and a strike rate of 54.05, he aggregated 640 runs.
He hit 2 half-centuries and 2 centuries in the 9 test matches of 2015. His 2nd century was against Sri Lanka hosted in Galle International Stadium. He made 103 in the 1st test match against Si Lanka.
The King of Cricket started 2016 as a king with a double century in the 1st test match. With his highest average of 75.94, 2016 was a year with 3 double centuries, 1 century, and 2 half-centuries.
In the first test match of the year against the West Indies, Kohli hit his 1st double century of 200. His next double century of 211 was against New Zealand in the Holkar Cricket Stadium. And finally, the 3rd double ton of 235 was against England in the Wankhede stadium.
2016 is hands-off one of his most successful years across all formats. With double tons of 200, 211, and 235, he aggregated 1215 runs (his then highest total) with a strike rate of 60.42.
2017 continued to be a great year like 2016 for the captain. This year witnessed 3 double centuries, 2 centuries, and 2 half-centuries in 16 innings. Firstly he began the first test of 2015 with his first double century at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium. The match was against Australia where the captain thrashed the bowlers to score 204 runs.
Secondly, he scored 2 centuries in the first 4 matches against Sri Lanka. Lastly, he ended the series in the best possible way with 2 double tons in the last 2 matches of the same series against Sri Lanka.
These were the years where Kohli proved his skills, caliber, and worth each and every time possible.
In 2018 the Indian captain scored his highest total in Tests in a single year. With an average of 55.08, he aggregated 1322 runs in 13 matches. His total runs include 5 centuries and 5 half-centuries as well. The cricket fans witnessed some of his most brilliant knocks in which year.
His first century of the year was against South Africa in the second match hosted in the SuperSport Park.
After a horrid tour of England in 2014, this was the first time he was facing England in the land of England. He registered centuries in the top test-playing countries except for England. He changed it by scoring 149 runs in Birmingham in the first innings of the 1st test match. India lost the first 2 test matches of this tour, and the captain himself turned the 3rd match in the visitor's favor by scoring 97 in the first innings and 103 runs in the second innings to score a total of 521 runs in the scoreboard. Though the team lost the series 1-4, the captain's 593 runs in 10 innings in the tour established him as one of the greatest legends of the sport.
The next country India faced was the West Indies where the captain once again scored a century and made 139 runs in the first innings of the first test.
Lastly in the India tour of Australia, he scored 123 runs in the Perth stadium. This series is memorable in so many ways as it was the first time India won at a series down under.
The Indian team faced Australia and West Indies first and then moved on to witness some incredible knocks of the captain.
South Africa's 2019 tour of India is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable achievements of the captain's career. He registered his highest test score in this series hosted in the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
In the 2nd test match, Kohli thrashed the bowlers and smashed 254*; his highest test score. Apart from his triumphant achievement, the other reason behind an incredible series is the 3-0 win.
After a successful series, the Indian team moved on with their third test series against Bangladesh. In the 2nd match of the series, the captain once again smashed a century and made 136 runs. This is very disappointing to hear that it was his last century yet.
The entire world came to a pause after the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in 2020. The pandemic put a stop to everything in the world. Therefore the Indian team could play only 3 test matches. The first two test matches were before the outbreak of covid-19 against New Zealand and the last match of 2020 was against Australia.
2020 was a hard year for Kohli in the sport. In 3 matches, he scored only 1 half-century and his highest score was 74. He scored a total of 116 runs with an average of 19.33 and a strike rate of 40.99. This average is his career's least of all time.
2021 is not going great for the captain as it has been 459 days since he scored an international century. In 8 matches so far, he managed to hit only 2 half-centuries. Both the half-centuries were against England hosted in India.
The Indian fans are anticipating a path-breaking performance from the captain for very long. None of us literally can wait anymore to see the captain roaring with his bat once again.