0

As He Equalled Bradman, Pipped Tendulkar, Kohli Talks About 'Hard Yards'

Following his 76th international century in his 500th international match, star India batter Virat Kohli said that his century was satisfying as he had to “do the hard yards” and added that he had to be patient as the wicket was slow.  West Indies made a cautious start in reply to India’s massive first innings total of 438 runs as they lost only one wicket during the final session of the second Test at Port of Spain on Saturday. 

“I really enjoyed myself out there. I was in the rhythm I wanted to be in. Started off in challenging times. I switch on during these times. When I have something to overcome, I get charged up. I had to be patient as the outfield was slow. It was very satisfying as I had to do the hard yards,” said Virat after the day’s play. 

Virat said that milestones mean something to him when the team needs him and expressed his gratitude for being able to play 500 matches. 

“I have got 15 centuries away from home; I have got more hundreds away than at home. I have got few fifty plus scores. I just have to focus on what I have to do for the team. I try to help the team. These stats and milestones mean something to me when the team needs me. Firstly, very grateful I got to play 500 games for India. I looked after myself. Training, sleep cycle, rest and diet. Converting 1 into 2s is easy runs for me. It helps me to stay off pressure. Fitness helps me in all formats. I can field with intensity in all formats. I want to keep playing at the top of my fitness ability,” he said. 

On India and West Indies cricket relations on occasion of 100th Test, Virat said that playing this match was a “special occasion” for him. 

“Could not have asked a better beginning to the Test. There is a sense of history to this ground. The crowd loves their cricket here. Antigua and here are my two favourite venues in the Caribbean. Adelaide in Australia and The Bullring in South Africa are my favourites as well. The wicket is slow. Wickets in bunches would not come. If we can stay in the game and put the scoring rate down, hopefully we can get a few wickets,” he concluded. 

Now, after his 500 games, Virat has a record that everyone in cricketing world would envy no doubt, scoring 25,582 runs at an average of 53.63. He has scored 76 centuries and 131 half-centuries in 559 innings, with the best score of 254*. 

He became the first player ever to smash a century in his 500th international match. 

Among the ‘Fab Four’ of modern batting, he is at third, with Australia’s Steve Smith (32), England’s Joe Root (30) above him and New Zealand’s Kane Williamson (28) below him when it comes to Test hundreds. 

Among the active players, Virat has highest number of international centuries with 76, followed by Root (46), David Warner (45), Steve Smith and Rohit Sharma (44) each. 

He also became India’s highest-run-scorer in ICC World Test Championship. Ever since its inception in 2019, Virat has played 34 matches, scoring 2,063 runs at an average of 38.92. He has scored four centuries and nine fifties in 56 innings, with the best score of 254*. He is the ninth highest-scorer in WTC history, with Root (3,891 runs) at the top. 

After some underwhelming years in Tests during this decade, Virat continues his redemption in the format this year. In seven Tests this year, Virat has scored 557 runs at an average of 55.70. He has scored two centuries and a fifty, with the best score of 186 in 10 innings.

Coming to the match, India was bundled out for 438 in first innings. Virat’s century (121) and fifties by skipper Rohit Sharma (80), Yashasvi Jaiswal (57), Ravindra Jadeja (61) and Ravichandran Ashwin (56) proved to be instrumental in taking India to a massive total.

Jomel Warrican (3/89) was the pick of the bowlers for West Indies. Kemar Roach (3/104) and Jason Holder (2/57) also were among the wickets for Windies. 

WI ended the day at 86/1.

#Equalled #Bradman #Pipped #Tendulkar #Kohli #Talks #039Hard #Yards039