Home > Features >

Virat Kohli’s three away Test tons are testament to his growth as a batsman

Virat Kohli has scored three Test tons in his last three away tours for India © Getty Images
Virat Kohli has scored three Test tons in his last three away tours for India © Getty Images

Virat Kohli has now scored an international ton in every country he has played in, plus three Test hundreds on his last three overseas tours. Nishad Pai Vaidya writes about Kohli’s growth as a batsman.

Virat Kohli has been India’s best batsman across formats in the aftermath of the ICC World Cup 2011. Even as the Indian team witnessed a transition, with the baton passing to the younger lot, Kohli held firm and weathered through a tough time for his side. Throughout, he looked assured and confident — working on his shortcomings along the way to become India’s biggest hope in the batting. His recent ton in New Zealand is further proof of the figure he has become for the Indian team.

India have been beaten in their last four Test series away from home. Kohli has been a part of the last three tours, but has grown during each campaign. On the tour to Australia in 2011-12, he started off a little slow, but as the tour progressed, he was India’s best batsman. An assured half-century at Perth was followed by a maiden Test ton at Adelaide in the fourth match of the series. By then, India had lost the series, but Kohli had a lot to prove. What was impressive then was that he batted through despite wickets falling at the other end.

Back then, India still had its old guard in Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid. Kohli was the youngest in the lot and yet turned out the clear winner. He stood rock solid, battled with the Australian bowlers and resisted them. There were words exchanged, but he did manage to keep his composure while facing testing deliveries. The signs were good, but one knew that there were a few wrinkles that needed an iron.

Fast forward to December 2013. By then, Kohli was an established Test batsman with a good run at home in the format.  Tendulkar’s retirement thrust him into the No 4 spot as he seemed to be the best candidate. In his maiden outing at that spot, he didn’t disappoint and duly hit a ton against the likes of South Africa‘s Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander at Johannesburg. What’s more is that he went onto get a ninety in the second essay. Brett Schultz, the former South African fast bowler told CricketCountry after Kohli’s ton in the first innings, “The wicket looked quick and bouncy. He was able to leave balls on length and hit the bad balls for boundaries — which means his feet where not stuck in the crease due to the bounce.”

But, a more telling comment from Schultz was, “Playing well at the Wanderers means he can play well on most wickets in South Africa and Australia.”

With that experience, Kohli did come into New Zealand with confidence. There was always going to be that pressure of performing. He does have Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajikya Rahane, men who have shaped up very well in Test cricket. But, that No 4 spot seems something great, historically at least. Kohli has to maintain that level of consistency and be the fulcrum of the batting. And, he did respond with a good innings on the final day.

India were all but out of the game, but still needed to ensure a draw. Kohli made a statement along the way and took India to safety. His ton is perhaps the only saving grace for India on the last two days of the tour.

Thus, Kohli has registered a Test ton in each of his last three overseas tours. What is interesting is that they have come in contrasting situations. The one at Adelaide was when the team was losing and there was no one but him. At Johannesburg, it was about setting the tone for the series. And, finally he was made to save a game for India. All through, his temperament has been tested and India would be happy that he has come through with flying colours.

Century in each country he has played

The other interesting fact is that Kohli now has an international ton in each country he has played. Irrespective of the conditions, he has this insatiable hunger. In One-Day Internationals (ODIs), he is already one of the best in the world and is gradually getting there in Tests. Here is a look at his international tons’ count:

Country

M*

100s

India

70

10

Bangladesh

9

4

Australia

14

2

New Zealand

7

2

Sri Lanka

24

2

England

11

1

South Africa

15

1

West Indies

14

1

Zimbabwe

11

1

*includes Tests, ODIs and T20 Internationals.

At the age of 25, Kohli has truly asserted himself as a giant. With each passing year, he gets better and better. That is the hallmark of a champion player!

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014 (08:50 IST)   at Sydney

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Chittagong

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

More

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 87 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Melbourne

Australia won by 3 wkts

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 20, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled(Match rescheduled to 21/11/2014)

Photos

Australia vs South Africa, 3rd ODI at Canberra

Videos

SL vs Eng: Buttler practices wicketkeeping in nets

Live Cricket Score Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2nd ODI at Chittagong: Bangladesh make steady start

Live Cricket Score Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15 Odisha vs Punjab Semi-Final 2: Odisha fight to post respectable total

Live Cricket Score Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15 Bengal vs Karnataka Semi-Final 1: Karnataka post challenging target

Live Cricket Score Australia vs South Africa 2014, 5th ODI at Sydney: Farhaan Behardien cameo guides SA to 280/6 after 50 overs

India vs Australia 2014: How crucial are India’s practice games ahead of the first Test?

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand tour of UAE 2014 New Zealand vs Pakistan New Zealand vs Pakistan 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs New Zealand Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014 Zimbabwe

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014: Bangladesh stable at 56/0 after 15 overs

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014: Bangladesh 42/0 after 10 overs

VIjay Hazare Trophy 2014: Karnataka set Bengal 269-run target

South Africa set a target of 281 for Australia in 5th ODI at Sydney Cricket Ground

Australia vs South Africa 2014: Farhaan Behardien scores his 2nd ODI half-century

ICC World Cup 2015: Australia in risk of overkill

Is Dhawal Kulkarni a contender for India’s ICC World Cup 2015 squad?

World Cup 1992: Arjuna Ranatunga masterminds first ever 300-plus ODI chase

India vs Australia 2014: How crucial are India’s practice games ahead of the first Test?

Rohit Sharma: India are serious contenders

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

Watch Free Live Streaming & Telecast of Indian Super League (ISL) 2014 Football 37th Match between Kerala Blasters FC vs Atletico de Kolkata

PK Tharki Chokro making: Rancho aka Aamir Khan and Munna Bhai aka Sanjay Dutt shake legs to this folk number

Simbu-Hansika’s Vaalu slated for Christmas release!

Yeh Hai Mohabbatein: Will Raman and Ishita help Mihika with her plans?

Alibaba to launch its Taobao marketplace in international markets: Reuters

8 reasons to add rosemary to your diet

eBay India ‘Black Friday’ sale kicks off today

How many calories do bananas have?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here