For the first time in nearly six years, Virat Kohli’s 50+ average across all three formats is under serious threat. Kohli, the only batsman who has this record, must score 43 in the first innings of the second Test against Sri Lanka, to be held in Bengaluru, to maintain the unique feat.
It was his 52nd Test match when former India captain Virat Kohli’s average first touched the 50s. Since then, it has never plunged below that. But if Kohli gets out below 43 runs in the first innings in Bengaluru during India’s second and last Test match against Sri Lanka, his average, which is now 50.35, would drop below 50 for the first time in 49 Tests.
Kohli’s average in Test cricket touched 55.1 at his peak, and looked set for an upward curve, before it started going downwards. Since he struck his highest Test score of 254 not out against South Africa in October 2019, Kohli has averaged only a fraction over 30.
Notably, Kohli scored his last century back in November 2019 against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata in another Day-Night Test. Since then, his average has gone down to 28.75 in 29 innings, while until his 70th century, his average read 54.97.
Kohli became the 12th Indian to play 100 Test matches for India, after Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Ishant Sharma, during India’s first Test against Sri Lanka in Mohali. He was felicitated with a special memento by former India captain and the current head coach Rahul Dravid.
On his special landmark, he scored 45 off 76 balls, laced with five fours, before Lasith Embuldeniya cleaned him up. He did not get the chance to bat in the second innings, as India, after declaring their innings at 574/8, skittled Sri Lanka out for 174, and then 178 to register a resounding innings and 222-run victory. It was also the first win for Rohit Sharma as a captain of India in red-ball cricket.