2020 has been a year to forget, for people all over the globe as well as for Virat Kohli. This year is the first since the Indian captain’s debut year (2008) that he has failed to register a single international hundred (so far).
The rather uncharacteristic record of Virat Kohli came to light after he was dismissed for 63 in the third ODI against Australia at the Manuka Oval in Canberra on Wednesday (December 2). Incidentally, India’s last ODI of 2020 also saw Kohli become the fastest to 12,000 ODI runs – in 242 innings – beating Sachin Tendulkar by 58 outings.
To remember Virat Kohli’s last international ton, one has to go back to the historic occasion of India playing their first day-night Test match in November 2019. On what was a seam-friendly pitch at the Eden Gardens, the Indian skipper stole the show on November 23 with a scintillating 136 off 194 balls to help the team eventually win the match by an innings and 46 runs.
That knock was Virat Kohli’s 27th Test hundred and 70th in international cricket. Since then, the Delhi batsman has failed to notch up a single century.
Yes, the coronavirus-enforced lockdown meant India were deprived of international cricket for close to nine months. But the fact that Virat Kohli has made it through 2020 without a single ton hits you in the face.
Notably, the closest the Delhi lad has come to registering a century was in the first of the 3-match T20I series at home to the West Indies in December 2019. Virat Kohli smashed his highest T20I score – 94* off 50 balls – in Hyderabad on December 6.
Virat Kohli has returned modest numbers since late 2019
Virat Kohli did bag the Man of the Series award in the T20I series against the Windies late last year, in which he amassed 183 runs in the 3 games. However, the ensuing 3-match ODI series was a sorrow affair for the Indian skipper as he managed a meagre 89 runs.
The T20I series against Sri Lanka too was an average one for Virat Kohli. After a washout in Guwahati, Kohli scored 56 runs across the next two matches as India won the series 2-0.
The biggest blemish on Virat Kohli’s both batting and captaincy record was the New Zealand tour. India whitewashed the Kiwis 5-0 in the T20Is series, but the visiting skipper could only manage 105 runs at an average of 26.25. The Kane Williamson-led side paid India back in the same coin by blanking them in the ODI (0-3) and Test (0-2) series.
If ever one wants to remember Virat Kohli as the captain who led from the front, the New Zealand tour should be desperately avoided. After scoring 75 runs across the 3-match ODI series, Kohli racked up a measly 38 runs in the red-ball format with his highest score being 19.
Nonetheless, the ongoing Australia series has not been bad for Virat Kohli on the personal front as he has registered scores of 21, 89 and 63 in the three ODIs. It remains to be seen if he can inspire India to a win in the final ODI today and the following T20I series starting on Friday (December 4).