Will Indian Cricketer Virat Kohli Make History in His 100th Test Match Against Sri Lanka in Mohali?

© AP Photo / Ajit SolankiIndia's Virat Kohli bats during a practice session
India's Virat Kohli bats during a practice session - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.03.2022
There are not many cricketers in the world who have played 100 Test matches for their country, and when we confine our talk to India, this list shrinks to only 11 men, including legends such as Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. On Friday, star batter Virat Kohli will become the 12th Indian to appear in a century of games in whites.
Tomorrow will be a historic day in the life of India's former cricket captain, Virat Kohli, as he's set to join an elite list of players who have taken part in 100 Test matches.
Overall, a total of 70 cricketers have played 100 games in the sport's longest format. Besides 11 Indians, this exclusive list includes 15 players from England, 13 Australians, eight South Africans, five each from Pakistan and Sri Lanka, nine West Indians, and four New Zealanders.
Though Kohli has not scored a century in the international arena since November 2019, all eyes will be on the 33-year-old cricketer during the match against Sri Lanka in the northern Indian state of Punjab.
Moreover, history will also be on the line during the five-day match as no Indian has made a century in his 100th Test in the past. Vangipurapu Venkata Sai Laxman's 64 against Australia in Nagpur in 2008 is the highest individual score by an Indian playing his 100th Test.
But Kohli has struggled for runs across formats in the past two years, and has only averaged 40.98, 44.07 and 31.39 in 2020, 2021 and 2022 respectively in Tests, well below his career average of over 50.
Moreover, during this harsh period, the Delhi-born cricketer has registered four ducks, and only exceeded 50 six times in 27 innings - a sign of his continuing poor form with the bat.
This is a worrying statistic, particularly for a batsman who was a byword for consistency until the end of 2019.
Despite this barren spell, former Indian opener, Wasim Jaffer, has backed Kohli to reach three figures and bid goodbye to his more than two-year dearth of centuries in the match against the Sri Lankans at home.
"We are all waiting to see the old Virat Kohli who keeps scoring centuries. There is no bigger occasion than your 100th Test to start doing that again so eagerly waiting for it," Jaffer told ESPNCricinfo.
This will be Kohli's first match since quitting the captaincy of the national team in January and Jaffer reckons this will have taken some of the pressure off Kohli.
"I feel that leaving the captaincy will help him," Jaffer added.
Similar sentiments were echoed by former Indian spinner, Gopal Sharma, who claimed that the star batsman feeds on challenges and this new phase of his career, where he is no longer in charge of the team, is a kind of dare for him.
"Kohli is a fierce competitor, and he would want to prove his detractors wrong with a big hundred in the match," Sharma told Sputnik.
"People are calling him a spent force, so pressure is mounting on Kohli to deliver and I believe he will deliver in Mohali," he concluded.
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