Virat Kohli | AFP
Mohali: As India takes on Sri Lanka in the first Test of the two-match series, batter Virat Kohli will achieve the milestone of playing 100 matches in the longest format.
Kohli was slated to play his 100th Test during the South Africa series earlier this year, but as fate would have it, he will reach the milestone in India itself with a 50 per cent crowd in attendance at the PCA Stadium, Mohali.
Earlier this year, Kohli stepped down as the Test leader, but it was not before the batter left a lasting legacy as a captain in the longest format of the game.
The 33-year-old, who is responsible for creating a crop of fast-bowlers that can help the side take 20 wickets in any condition, will now be hoping to have a good run with the bat in all three formats of the game.
Kohli holds the record for most Test appearances as India Test captain (68) and he also holds the record for most Test wins by an Indian captain (40). Only Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Waugh have won more matches than Kohli as captain in Test cricket.
Kohli had first led the side in Test cricket in 2014 against Australia. His last game as captain was the Cape Town Test in South Africa, which India lost by seven wickets. Filling the shoes of MS Dhoni was not going to be easy, but Kohli quickly cemented his position as one of the best thinkers the country has seen in Test cricket.
The leadership also brought out the best in Kohli and it saw the batter register seven double-centuries in the longest format of the game. Kohli also holds the record for scoring most Test centuries (20) as India captain. It was under Kohli's leadership that India was crowned the number one Test team in the ICC Rankings for a continuous period of 42 months from October 2016 till early March 2020.
Kohli has most Test wins at home for India as captain. India's victory against New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium last year was Kohli's 24th Test win at home.
The right-handed batter had made his debut in the longest format way back in 2011 against West Indies and 11 years later, he has come a long way. 27 Test centuries later in the longest format, the batter knows how to score big and shut out the outside noise to perform better.
He had last scored a century in international cricket in 2019 against Bangladesh and since then, the entire nation is waiting eagerly for the batter to register his 71st ton.
One can just hope he registers the milestone in his 100th Test and if it does happen, it would mean that the stars truly aligned for a once in a generation batter. ANI