Sunil Gavaskar believes Indian skipper Virat Kohli is due a big one, and reckons the 32-year-old will be keen to set his record straight, after failing to score a ton in the calendar year 2020. After missing three Tests in the Australia tour, Kohli was dismissed for 11 in the first innings.
The ongoing first Test between India and England marked the return of Virat Kohli to the international scene and lying ahead of the Indian skipper is a massive year. 2020 was the first calendar year of cricket in an entire decade where Kohli went the whole year without a century, across formats, and in particular, the 32-year-old endured a torrid time in the longest format. Across 6 Test innings in 2020, Kohli averaged a meagre 19.33, notching up a solitary fifty-plus score.
If India are to salvage a draw out of the ongoing Test, they would need their skipper to turn up the heat, and Sunil Gavaskar reckons that Kohli will be eager to turn his fortunes with the bat around. Gavaskar believes Kohli is ‘due a big score’ and claimed that it was bizarre to see Kohli endure a lean run in 2020.
"I just think that he is due for a big score. Last year was the first when he didn’t have a hundred, in any form of the game, which is so rare," Gavaskar said on Star Sports, reported Hindustan Times.
"For the last seven-eight years, every single year, he’s got at least five-six hundreds in all forms of the game. Last year, I knew we had the pandemic, but still very rare to see that Virat Kohli did not have a three-figure score. And 2021, he’d be hoping to change that."
Ever since making his debut, Kohli has developed a reputation of being a clutch player who stands up when the team’s back is against the wall. With India needing to bat 100-odd overs in order to save the first Test in Chennai, the side will need all of Kohli’s bottle in order to come out of the contest unscathed. Gavaskar believes pressure well and truly brings the best out of the Indian skipper.
"Pressure is what brings the best out of Virat Kohli. And we've seen that time and again over the years then when he's got his back to the wall is when he plays his best cricket. Sometimes when you're batting at No. 4 and you're 200/2 when you go in to bat, you tend to think that batting is easy. He knows now that batting is not easy and he's got to put everything out there and focus.”