India’s England tour of 2018 was highly productive for Virat Kohli as an individual. He buried his demons of 2014 when he managed 134 runs across five Tests.
On of the features of that tour in 2018 was the contest between Kohli and England pace ace James Anderson. The prolific wicket-taker did come close to taking his rival’s wicket on multiple occasions but the prized scalp remained beyond his reach during the entire series.
Kohli scored 593 runs across the five Tests.
A year later, in 2019, India played their first ever day-nigh Test, against Bangladesh at the historic Eden Gardens. Kohli scored a century becoming the first ever India batter to do so in a pink-ball contest. That was in November 2019 - Kohli’s 70th international century across formats.
Cut to August 2021. Kohli’s century count? Still 70.
The prolific run-getter is undergoing a major drought as far as three-figure scores are concerned. He hasn’t recorded a century since that day-night contest at the international stage.
Post that day-nigh contest, in Test cricket, while batting in 15 innings, he has crossed fifty thrice, with a high-score of 74.
The 32-year-old’s last century in ODIs also came in the year 2019 - against West Indies at Port of Spain in August. Since then, he has crossed 50 eight times and the closest he came to ending his wait was in Sydney, scoring 89.
And Anderson, who didn’t dismiss Kohli once during the 2018 tour, has already got him once during the ongoing tour - in the series opener at Trent Bridge, removing him for a duck.
“Expectations are high," former India batter Mohammed Kaif told News18 during an interaction while responding to a query on Kohli’s wait for a century.
Kaif says scoring century in Test cricket is a tough ask but the rapid rate with which Kohli has done that has made it seem easy.
He though adds that Kohli, who has played 93 Tests and 254 ODIs, will start hitting hundreds soon enough.
“Getting hundreds in a Test is a task, a tough task. Kohli is among those (batters) who are doing it easily. The benchmark (he has set for himself) is very high. But I have got no doubts, he will come back strongly. Not that he’s not been scoring runs. He’s getting set and it’s just a matter time (before the wait ends)," Kaif said.
The second Test of the five-match series starts from Thursday at Lord’s. The contest will be telecast live on Sony Sports Network and streamed live via SonyLIV app.