3 Iconic Test innings overseas by an Indian captain
The essence of the "The Gentleman's game" can truly be found in the Test matches--as a Test match demands discipline, focus, patience, planning, and tenaciousness in its highest form.
Albeit, the advent of shorter game formats have reduced the old one's majestic popularity, but in terms of pure quality analysis of both the players and teams--Test matches are still the best litmus 'tests' (pun intended).
The beauty of the Test match lies in a number of factors which are corporeal in nature such as pitch condition, weather, wind speed; and also spirited, such as trash talk, motivational speeches positively influencing the whole team, etc. Things get even more interesting when both teams have not one but two different opportunities in a match, to outperform their opponents...and guess what, this is not all there is to a Test match!
Apart from that, the right tactical decision of calling a night watchman, inviting the opponents to play after the tea break, maneuvering the bowlers as per the ground conditions are enough to make a match-winning impact. Unlike an ODI or a T20 which have only have two possible outcomes, a Test match has another aspect of drawing a match without a tie-inducing moment--which too, can be envisaged as a victory for the underdog team or vice-versa by a heavily favored team.
Conditions in a Test match keep changing as there is a lot of time to be spent on the ground and if players on a given team are unfit, it is incredibly tough for them to optimally perform over the 5 days of a Test. The whole team has to play as a single entity, tirelessly, without any weak link in the chain in order to win a Test match.
The difference between winning a T20 and a Test match is like the difference between winning a battle and a full-scale war.
Crucial decisions and performance put forth by the captain mirror the capabilities of the team. So, today, we shall talk about the 3 best test innings by an Indian captain, which will be discussed for decades to come--
#3 Virat Kohli (141 at Adelaide)
This match was supposed to start on December 4th, but was delayed due to the unfortunate death of cricket prodigy Phillip Hughes. Team Australia named Phillip as 13th man in the team as an honor to him. Match started on December 9th on one of the flattest pitches of all time, with Australia choosing to bat after winning the toss.
Australia declared at 517-7, India were all out at 444 with the highest contribution of Virat Kohli (115). Rain on Day 2 also colluded with the Australians and shortening play by 32 overs. The target was 364 to the Indians on the fifth day, leaving only two choices--either to go safely drawing the match or go on and win the match.
A day before, Kohli addressed the whole team in the dressing room and convinced them to believe that they can win. Dhawan and Pujara were back to the pavilion with scores of just 9 and 21 respectively.
Then came a gritty Kohli, forging a partnership burgeoned for 185 runs, perpetuating dark clouds over the Australians' expectations.
Murali gave 99 run contribution to a total of 315 falling short by 48 runs. The knock of 141 by Virat Kohli came at a very tough time. Besides, this match was also rejuvenated the game approach of erstwhile captain Sourav Ganguly.
Kohli still ranks his Adelaide 141 as his most memorable match performance, even after a heartbreaking loss. Surely, his new approach paved a new line of thought which encourages choosing an alternative approach over the conventional safety-first approach, from time to time.
This heart-winning performance also broke the Australian jinx and implanted the new idea of the willingness of taking calculated risks in order to win.