When Virat Kohli was at the peak of his batting powers between 2016 and 2018, he was roughly scoring a century every five innings he batted in international cricket. So, when he scored his 70th international century in the day-night Test against Bangladesh at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on 23 November 2019, it felt like the numbers would keep rising, even if not at that incredible rate.

But it is now officially two successive calendar years in international cricket completed without a Kohli century.

On Wednesday in Centurion, the century wait continued for Kohli.

Virat Kohli in international cricket

Grouping Inns batted 100s Inns taken per 100
2008 5 0 N/A
2009 8 1 8.0
2010 25 3 8.3
2011 47 4 11.8
2012 46 8 5.8
2013 43 6 7.2
2014 47 8 5.9
2015 37 4 9.3
2016 41 7 5.9
2017 52 11 4.7
2018 47 11 4.3
2019 46 7 6.6
2020 24 0 N/A
2021 30 0 N/A

Most international centuries in men's cricket

Player Total innings Most 100s
Sachin Tendulkar (INDIA) 782 100
Ricky Ponting (AUS/ICC) 668 71
Virat Kohli (INDIA) 494 70
Kumar Sangakkara (Asia/ICC/SL) 666 63
Jacques Kallis (Afr/ICC/SA) 617 62

Virat Kohli across all formats

Span Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 0 4s 6s
Overall 447 498 74 23250 254* 54.83 29357 79.19 70 118 30 2310 239
Since Nov 23 2019 52 60 7 2078 94* 39.20 2730 76.11 0 20 6 185 40

Sure, cricket is perhaps a little too obsessed with arbitrary milestones in general. Sure, at this very venue Kohli scored a 153 not so long ago and said it means nothing because the team lost the match and the series back then in 2018. Sure, he has said repeatedly that he is worried about his personal form and that winning the match is any day more important than scoring a ton.

But surely at this point, the wait has to weigh on Kohli’s mind?

We might not know the answer to that yet but what is bound to frustrate his legion of fans, apart from the wait itself, is the pattern of dismissals in Test cricket. He was once again dismissed chasing a wide one and edging one behind the stumps.

This one was perhaps a little more understandable because India had evidently decided to go for a declaration quickly, but the first innings dismissal came from a delivery that was around the 8th or 9th hypothetical stump.

Courtesy: Disney+Hotstar

Speaking on air during the course of the second innings, former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar said on a couple of occasions that the key to Kohli regaining some of his lost mojo is to find options elsewhere on the ground apart from the region between point and cover.

In the last couple of years, coinciding with the century drought, Kohli’s run-scoring has increased in percentage in that region and decreased on the onside in Tests because seamers around the world are targetting him in that channel outside off. The former India cricketer reckoned that bowlers are playing on Kohli’s patience to score runs in that channel and succeeding and that it was time for Kohli to turn it around and frustrate the bowlers enough to get straighter in their lines.

As things stand, Kohli will start the new year knowing that it has been a while since he lifted his bat and arms in celebration.

All stats for men’s international cricket and courtesy ESPNCricinfo Statsguru