India captain Virat Kohli’s controversial dismissal ended up grabbing headlines on Sunday in Perth but it wasn’t before he scored what will be remembered as one of his finest Test centuries.
Kohli became the second-fastest batsman to 25 Test centuries on the third day of the second Test against Australia in Perth.
Kohli fell just before the lunch break for 123 to a contentious catch by Peter Handscomb at second slip off the bowling of Pat Cummins (1/54). Handscomb dived forward and claimed the low catch after Cummins found the outside edge, but Kohli stood his ground believing the ball had touched the ground.
Replays were inconclusive and the original on-field decision stood to end a sublime innings at a crucial time in the match.
Kohli rose to the challenge after being forced to lead his team’s fightback, striding to the crease when they had slumped to 8/2 on Saturday. The 30-year-old did so in style, reaching triple figures in 310 minutes and having faced 214 balls.
He reached his ton with a classical off-drive to the boundary off the bowling of Mitchell Starc, sparking a huge roar from the strong Indian contingent in the crowd. The often expressive Kohli immediately pointed to his bat and gestured with his glove that he was letting it do the talking for him.
A couple of overs later he put an exclamation mark on his innings when he lifted paceman Josh Hazlewood over third man for six, before falling to Cummins.
A lower-order collapse handed the initiative back to Australia but Kohli’s innings was memorable for many reasons and not least for all the milestones he crossed.
- Kohli became the second-fastest batsman to 25 Test centuries in terms of innings, with 127. Sachin Tendulkar is third with 130, while Don Bradman managed it in just 68.
- It was also his sixth century in Australia, making him the only Indian to reach that tally apart from Tendulkar. It also gave him the honour of becoming the first Test centurion at the new Perth Stadium.
- Kohli also moved past Rahul Dravid in the list of leading run-getters for India in Australia. He’s only behind Tendulkar and VVS Laxman.
Indian batsmen in Australia (Tests)
|Sachin Tendulkar||20 matches / 38 innings||1809 runs / Average 53.20||6 100s / 7 50s|
|VVS Laxman||15 matches / 29 innings||1236 runs / Average 44.14||4 100s / 4 50s|
| Virat Kohli||10 matches / 19 innings||1152 runs / Average 60.63||6 100s / 2 50s|
|Rahul Dravid||15 matches / 30 innings||1143 runs / Average 43.96||1 100s / 6 50s|
|Virender Sehwag||10 matches / 20 innings||948 runs / Average 47.40||2 100s / 4 50s|
|Sunil Gavaskar||11 matches / 19 innings||920 runs / Average 51.11||5 100s / 1 50s|
- Kohli’s six Test centuries leave him only behind Jack Hobbs (9) and Walter Hammond (7) in the list of most century-makers in Australia among visiting batsmen.
- This was also Kohli’s second-slowest century in Tests.