India’s Virat Kohli has ended a three-year wait for his 28th century by scoring 186 in the fourth Test against Australia.
Indian cricketer Virat Kohli has ended a three-year-century wait by scoring 186 runs in India’s first innings in their fourth Test match against Australia.
The hosts finished their first innings on 571 to better Australia’s 480 to take a first innings lead of 91 at the world’s largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
Kohli was the last man to go out after falling to Todd Murphy in the final session of play as India lost their ninth wicket and Shreyas Iyer failed to hit due to back pain.
Australia went three runs without a loss, with Travis Head getting the runs batting alongside nightwatchman Matthew Kuhnemann.
Kohli ruled the day with his 28th Testton, which he reached with a single by spinner Nathan Lyon in the second session as fans went berserk with celebration.
The long wait is finally over for Virat Kohli 🔥#WTC23 | #INDvAUS | 📝 pic.twitter.com/JGZcVsHvHj
— ICC (@ICC) March 12, 2023
The 34-year-old appeared to be tearing up, acknowledging the crowd and locker room before kissing the medallion on his gold chain as he smiled and looked up at the sky.
The former India captain now has 75 international tons in three international formats.
Dubbed “King Kohli” by his fans, the player is one of cricket’s biggest names. He admitted last year that he struggled with his mental health when his magic with the bat failed him. He also lost the Indian captain’s armband, one of the most pressured jobs in world sport.
“A 600-pound gorilla is off its back. He will get a few inches taller tonight,” cried commentator and former India coach Ravi Shastri.
Fiery and unstoppable! Congratulations to the king of the chase @imVkohli to yet another century! 💯🔥 Keep leading by example and making the nation proud.#IndVsAus2023 pic.twitter.com/Hs0bBOwUYg
— Suresh Raina🇮🇳 (@ImRaina) March 12, 2023
Australia’s deputy skipper Steve Smith applauded on the floor, and a placard in the crowd read “Here to see King Kohli reign in his kingdom,” as children in Indian shirts bowed in respect.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan tweeted: “Good to see @imVkohli score another testton .. Love watching him Bat .. Over 3 years since his last .. I guess now come by for a few.”
Good to see @imVkohli back scoring a testton .. Love watching him Bat .. Over 3 years since his last .. I guess a few are coming along now .. #INDvAUS #Kohli #100
— Michael Vaughan (@Michael Vaughan) March 12, 2023
Kohli had a tough 2021 and 2022, failing to hit triple digits in over 1,000 days.
He retired as Twenty20 skipper at the end of 2021 and in January 2022 was sacked from the one-day captaincy and also retired from leading the Test side.
But he hit his first ton after 1,020 days in the Asia Cup T20 tournament last September and hasn’t looked back since.
Kohli finished last year’s T20 World Cup in Australia as the leading runs-scorer and then hit three ODI centuries, including two – 113 and 166 not out – against Sri Lanka in January.
The New Delhi-born star is rated as one of the best batsmen of his generation in world cricket, with a test average of over 48 in 108 matches since his debut in 2011.
Kohli is now fourth in the All-time Test Century makers for India behind Sachin Tendulkar (51), Rahul Dravid (36) and Sunil Gavaskar (34).
Kohli had spoken about his mental health issues during his dry phase, including how he had been “feisty” around his Bollywood actor wife Anushka Sharma, with whom he has a young daughter.
To think people didn’t come back @imVkohli. How foolish!
— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) March 12, 2023
Pundits including former World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev even suggested Kohli should be dropped during his lean phase last year.
The former top batsman revealed during the 2022 Asia Cup that only Mahendra Singh Dhoni sent him messages of support during a tough stage of mental struggle after leaving Test captaincy.
When play resumes on the fifth day, India will need a win to clinch the series and secure a spot in the World Test Championship final in June.