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A statistical analysis of Virat Kohli's 50 international tons

4.00K   //    23 Nov 2017, 00:07 IST

On his way to greatness

It is entrenched in the cricket annals by now that Virat Kohli is a modern-day great. Recently touching the 50 International tons mark, it is a mere statistical validation to what we have all known all this while. He is genuinely in legendary company, with the likes of only Brian Lara, Jacques Kallis, Kumar Sangakkara, Ricky Ponting, and Sachin Tendulkar ahead of him in this list. With at least half of his career left in front of him, and accounting for a slump in form, it is a safe bet to assume that he will finish at least in second place on this elite list.

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The Century Machines

Such milestones are special. What makes them distinct and noteworthy is to understand the circumstances under which these runs were scored and to analyse how it helped the team. Here’s a statistical analysis of Kohli’s tons and a look at how impactful they have been.


A bonafide ODI legend
A bonafide ODI legend

It is no secret that ODIs are Kohli’s bread and butter. He thrives in this format and would already be among the top 5 batsmen to have played ODI cricket. He has 32 centuries in this format, which is already the 2nd highest and looks good to break a host of records in the future. Here’s an in-depth statistical dive into his tons in ODIs

- Kohli has 32 centuries in 202 ODIs, a century every 6.3 matches. The only person who has a better rate of centuries is Hashim Amla at one every six matches.

- He has a 50 to 100 conversion rate of 41%. Only 3 other batsmen have a better conversion rate and all have played fewer matches than Kohli (Hashim Amla – 43%, David Warner – 45%, De Kock – 47%)

- 27 out of his 32 centuries have come in victories, at an 84% success rate. Players like Hashim Amla (92%), Sanath Jayasuriya (85%), Adam Gilchrist (100%), Desmond Haynes (94%), etc have a better success rate in ODIs.

- 19 of his 32 centuries have come while chasing, which is already the highest. In second position is Sachin Tendulkar, who scored 17 centuries in double the number of matches.


- Kohli has remained not-out in 10 out of his 19 second innings centuries, each of which has led to a win. 7 out of those 10 times, Kohli won the Man of the Match award.

- 89% of his tons while chasing have led to victories, with him claiming the Man of the Match award 70% of the times.

- His 2nd innings strike rate of 113.65 (when he scores a century) looks down upon his 1st innings strike rate of 104.36.

- 13 of his centuries have come in the 1st innings, with a success rate of 76%, with him picking up Man of the Match on 80% of those occasions.

- His centuries have contained 47% of the runs in boundaries.

- These numbers show that the 29-year-old is undoubtedly an ODI phenomenon. His ability to impact games, especially while chasing, is the stuff of legends. With a good part of his career left ahead of him, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that he will end up as the greatest player to have played in the ODI arena. 


Kohli’s Test career had a slow start, with it blooming after he became the captain. His habit of scoring daddy hundreds in the recent past has not just boded well for the team but has also pushed his career average past 50. With 18 centuries in this format, he is still building a legacy in Tests, and has some way to go before achieving greatness. Here’s an in-depth statistical dive into his centuries in Test matches –

Australia v India - 1st Test: Day 5
A Test great in the making

- He has 18 centuries in 61 Tests, a century every 3.3 Tests or every 5.7 innings. Very few batsmen better him in this aspect, like Steve Smith at a century every 2.8 Tests and Sir Don Bradman at a century every 1.7 Tests.

- He has a 50 to 100 conversion rate of 56%. Only Don Bradman, with a conversion rate of 69%, is better.

- 10 out of his 18 centuries have come in overseas conditions - 5 in Australia, 2 in Sri Lanka, and 1 each in West Indies, South Africa and New Zealand. England has been the only place where he has failed to make it count, as yet.

- At home, 6 out of his 8 centuries have led to wins, the other two being in drawn games. Away, 2 out of his 10 centuries have led to wins, 4 draws, and 4 losses, i.e. a 60% success rate of winning or saving a match.

Considering India's overseas record since his debut, this number is a clear indication of the positive impact he has had on India's batting in overseas conditions

- His innings split-up of centuries is as below -

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Kohli's Test centuries split-up 

- His 1st innings tons have led to 4 wins and 1 draw. His 3rd innings tons have led to 1 win and 1 draw.

- His 2nd innings tons have led to 3 wins, 3 draws, and 3 losses. His 4th innings tons have led to 1 draw and 1 loss.

- The above numbers are an indication that unlike in ODIs, his centuries in Tests while setting targets have been much more impactful than while chasing.

- 8 out of his 18 centuries have come in wins, a success rate of 44.44%, which is slightly on the lower side when compared to his peers and predecessors.

6 of his last 10 centuries have been 150+ scores, which is a positive sign as he embarks on tougher challenges.

As evident from the numbers, Kohli is on the cusp of conquering the longest format, as he has done in ODIs. But to be considered in the top echelon of Test batsmen, there is still some distance to go. The upcoming overseas season will be the litmus test, as it could potentially define Kohli's Test credentials for a long time to come. 

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