HomeSportsCricketVirat Kohli's 100th Test: Five Moments Which Defined 'King Kohli'

Virat Kohli’s 100th Test: Five Moments Which Defined ‘King Kohli’

India’s superstar cricketer Virat Kohli plays his 100th Test on Friday, but not as captain following his shock resignation from one of world sport’s top jobs in January. Leading from the front as one of the modern game’s best batters, India under Kohli became a force to be reckoned with outside the subcontinent but never won a multinational tournament. The brash social media star and advertising hot property — married to a Bollywood actress — had his share of run-ins with umpires and opponents alike along the way.

Ahead of the match against Sri Lanka, AFP picks out five key moments from the 33-year-old’s glittering but sometimes bumpy career.

– Debut Down Under -Kohli stepped up as Test captain for the first time in place of an injured MS Dhoni in Adelaide in December 2014, and made an instant impact. After scoring 115 in the first innings of the first Test, he led India’s chase of 364 with an attacking 141 although India ultimately fell short by 48 runs.

But the new skipper was lauded for his courage to go for a win, not a draw.  “I told the guys last night that whatever target it was, we were going to chase it,” he said.

– ‘You said it’ -His fiery personality was on show in a dramatic home Test series against Australia in 2017 when Kohli’s opposite number Steve Smith looked up to his dressing room for advice on a DRS call. Kohli was appalled, remonstrating with the umpires and afterwards accusing the visitors of routinely abusing the decision review system. Asked by an Australian journalist if he was implying that Smith — who pleaded a “brain fade” — was a cheat, Kohli snapped back: “I didn’t say it, you did.”

– All-conquering –Two years later Kohli led India to their first-ever Test series win in Australia after seven decades of trying — a moment he described as his “best achievement” at that point. His 82 in the first innings of the third Test in Melbourne remained instrumental in the tourists winning the match and series 2-1. Coach Ravi Shastri said Kohli’s leadership skills had “made all the difference”. India rose to top the Test rankings and stayed there for over three years, beating allcomers home and away with its swashbuckling batting and — unusually for India — its fearsome fast-bowling attack.

– Microphone talk -Kohli found himself in another controversy in his last Test as captain in South Africa when he reacted angrily to an lbw decision turned down by the third umpire. Kohli and others rushed up to the stumps and — in a scene more reminiscent of football than cricket — complained loudly into the microphone.

Pundits slammed Kohli for his on-field antics including former captain Sunil Gavaskar who said the incident was “avoidable”.

– The fall -India’s thrashing by arch rivals Pakistan in last year’s T20 World Cup and their failure to make the semi-finals seemed to be the final nail in Kohli’s tenure. His stout defence of Muslim teammate Mohammed Shami from social media attacks after the Pakistan loss saw trolls turn their hatred on Kohli instead. Meanwhile, Kohli’s batting form dipped, with his last century dating back to late 2019, and coupled with the stress of life in constant Covid bubbles he threw in the towel as T20 skipper.

He wanted to stay in charge in other formats but the BCCI cricket board had other ideas, sacking him as ODI skipper. He and BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly publicly fell out.

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