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India vs South Africa: Virat Kohli returns to form with 26th Test century

With the century, Virat Kohli surpassed the legendary Sunil Gavaskar to become fourth-fastest to score 26 Test tons.

Aditya Maheshwari Aditya Maheshwari @aditya7696
New Delhi Updated on: October 11, 2019 12:24 IST
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Virat Kohli returns to form with 26th Test century

Virat Kohli and centuries go hand-in-hand and on Friday, the Indian skipper shut down the criticism with another Test hundred after an average show against West Indies in red-ball cricket. Kohli slammed his 26th Test century against South Africa on Day 2 of the second Test in Pune.

Nobody has doubts regarding Kohli's abilities but sometimes when he doesn't score centuries in 4-5 matches, there is extra scrutiny regarding his form -- such is the stature of Kohli's greatness in modern-day cricket. Kohli's last century was in 2018 against Australia in Perth. Since then, India have played 6 Tests matches but Kohli was unable to breach the three-figure-mark until Friday.

Kohli took 173 balls to reach his 26th century in red-ball cricket before Lunch on Day 2. The 32-year-old hit 16 fours in his innings so far.

It might be considered as one of the most important centuries in Kohli's decorated career as he recently lost the top spot in ICC Test Rankings to Steve Smith. An average performance in first match of the series cost him more points as he fell below 900 points in ratings. The Proteas bowlers also made things a bit complicated for Kohli with their short pitch bowling. From Kagiso Rabada to Anrich Nortje it was pretty evident on Day 1 and 2 that the pacers were going for the kill against Kohli with quick bouncers, but he stood strong as a warrior and counter attacked the seamers the best way possible.

Resuming his innings from 63* on Day 2, Kohli shared a --- run stand with his deputy Ajinkya Rahane to take Team India to a solid position on Day 2.

Kohli was a controlled freak throughout the innings whether the ball was swinging or bouncing above his shoulders. He took pressure away from Rahane on Day 1 when the Mumbai-born batsman was struggling to rotate the strike and adjust against Proteas bowlers.

With the century, Kohli surpassed legendary Sunil Gavaskar to become fourth-fastest to score 26 Test tons. Sir Don Bradman tops the elite list with 69 innings followed by Steve Smith (121) and Sachin Tendulkar (136).

During the course of the innings, he also moved into 7th spot in the list of most runs for India in Test cricket. Kohli overtook Dilip Vengsarkar, who has 6868 runs to his name.

Earlier in the match, Kohli also became the second Indian skipper to captain the Indian team in 50 Tests surpassing Sourav Ganguly. Above Kohli on the list is his former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has captained the Indian team in 59 Tests.   

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