Flashback first! When iconic cricketer Virat Kohli walked into Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium on August 18, 2008, against Sri Lanka, no one thought that the then 20-year-old Delhi boy would go on to become a legend killer.
Flashback first! When iconic cricketer Virat Kohli walked into Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium on August 18, 2008, against Sri Lanka, no one thought that the then 20-year-old Delhi boy would go on to become a legend killer. That perception changed soon enough! Now, the 29-year-old, who has been on a mission to hunt down records set by former cricket greats and break them, has taken yet another achievement and made it almost his own – he as equalled it. The most recent legend who fell prey to the right-handed batsman’s skills is none other that former Indian captain and opener Sunil Gavaskar. Kohli scored his 18th Test century today! No, that is not how he equalled Sunny record! Kohli notched up his 11th hundred in the long-format as a skipper and thereby he equaled the ‘Little Master’s’ tally. Apart from this, another feather in his cap that came courtesy today’s performance was that he slammed his 50th international ton. The Delhi batsman achieved the feat on Day 5 of the first Test match against Sri Lanka and became the second cricketer to score the 50th international century.
Kohli had walked into the crease with India in a comfortable position, but that rapidly spiraled down thanks to a superb triple strike from Suranga Lakmal. India resumed after lunch at 251 for 5, not entirely safe but not really neck deep in trouble either. However, R Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha fell to Dasun Shanaka for single-digit scores to draw worry lines for India. India’s lead was just over 150, and Sri Lanka would have fancied their chances if they could have sent the rest of the line-up back for another 10-15 runs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave his captain vital company as Kohli took over and got the scorecard ticking with some affirmative strokeplay. He took on Lakmal and hit four fours in the space of two overs.
Shanaka was meted out harsher treatment as Kohli quickly made India forget the trouble they were in. India’s lead had gotten past 200, and a declaration was imminent. Kohli, batting in the 90s, opted to get to his hundred before declaring the innings. He slammed two sixes off Lakmal to bring up his 50th international hundred. India immediately declared after Kohli’s hundred, setting Sri Lanka a target of 231. In reply, at Tea, Sri Lanka were 8 for 2, possibly wondering how much longer it’ll take for bad light to intervene, while India will want to rattle the visitors further with some more hostile bowling.