Virat Kohli Equals Hashim Amla for Fastest to 50 International Tons.
Virat Kohli’s colossal run scoring appetite and ability to convert half-centuries into centuries was on view yet again as he shepherded India’s second innings in the Kolkata Test against Sri Lanka. Even as wickets fell around him, Kohli kept his calm and raced to his 18th Test century.
Add this to his 32 ODI centuries and the Indian captain has now become the 8th batsman ever to score 50 or more international centuries. The only other Indian in the illustrious list is Sachin Tendulkar, who leads the pack with 100 international centuries. The list has the likes of Kumar Sangakkara (63) and Mahela Jayawardene (54) from Sri Lanka, Australian Ricky Ponting (71), South Africans Jacques Kallis (62) and Hashim Amla (54) and West Indies legend Brian Lara (53).
Fastest to 50 international centuries: –
Virat Kohli – 348
Hashim Amla – 348
Sachin Tendulkar – 376
Ponting – 418
Lara – 465
Kallis – 520
Sangakkara – 593
Jayawardene – 667
The Indian skipper, whose previous best at Eden Gardens was 45, survived an LBW decision on 72 against his first innings nemesis Suranga Lakmal and got it overturned by taking a DRS call.
After being circumspect against Lakmal, the Indian skipper slowly came on his own and hammered him for a six with an inside-out shot to get to the 90s.
Looking unperturbed, Kohli once again took on the Lankan pace spearhead with a gorgeous horizontal six over covers to raise his hundred and declared the Indian second innings at 352 for eight setting Sri Lanka a target of 231.
This was also his first Test hundred at the Eden Gardens as his average also shot past 50. Kohli now has nine International centuries in 2017, the most by him in any year as well as the most number of ducks (five) by him in any year. His previous highest was eight centuries in 2012 and in 2014.
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting had notched nine International 100s twice in 2005 and 2006, and Smith once in 2005.
Kohli is the also the first Indian captain to score a duck and a century in the same Test.
He has 21 International century as captain in 98 innings, behind South African Graeme Smith’s 41 (368 innings) and Aussie great Ricky Ponting’s feat of 41 (376 innings).