Virat Kohli became the fastest Indian to score 1000 Test runs for India in Australia as he reached nine runs at the Adelaide Oval in the opening Test between India and Australia on Saturday.
Kohli could have reached the milestone in the first innings itself but Usman Khawaja’s stunning catch saw him depart at 3. In the second innings though, Kohli arrived with a calmer head and more resolve as he held his guard and made his way to the record.
On the way to this milestone, Kohli also became the only Indian skipper to score 2000 Test runs in away matches. He is also the first Indian captain to score 2000 Test runs both in India and overseas.
Kohli reached the landmark in nine Test matches, faster than batting great Don Bradman, who reached the four-figure mark in his 10th Test at home.
Even as Kohli overall blazed to 1000 Test runs, his innings on Saturday at Adelaide started so slow that it had his lowest strike rate in an Test innings where he has got 10 or more runs.
India’s first innings batting display had attracted a lot of criticism over the batsmen’s shot selection and in the second innings, Kohli showed how patient and resilient he could be.
Pujara and Kohli negotiated the ball well and frustrated Australia on Day 3. Close to the end of the day though, Nathan Lyon was rewarded for his patience and solid bowling as he got Kohli caught out for just 34 runs.
With that Lyon has now dismissed Kohli six times in Tests, the most by any bowler. He was earlier tied with James Anderson (5) and Stuart Broad (5).
Kohli had said ahead of the start of the Test match that Adelaide was his favourite ground and his love dates back to India’s previous tour to Australia in 2012 when he struck twin tons. Apart from that, he hit two more centuries and finished the series, which India lost 2-0, with 692 runs at a staggering average of 86.50.
Apart from Kohli, three other Indians have scored 1000 runs for the country. Sachin Tendulkar scored 1809 runs off 38 innings in Australia at an average of 53.21. VVS Laxman scored 1236 runs in 29 innings while Rahul Dravid scored 1143 in 30 innings.
Virender Sehwag has also scored 1000 runs in Australia but 83 of them came for ICC World XI. For India, Sehwag scored 948 runs in 20 innings at an average of 47.40.
While Kohli had 992 runs after eight Tests in Australia, Laxman had scored 783, Tendulkar 646 and Dravid 735 after eight matches each Down Under.
Kohli is also bidding to shatter Tendulkar’s record for the most Test centuries by an Indian batsman in Australia as the India captain is just one behind his idol’s tally of six. He is now second on the list, tied on five centuries with Sunil Gavaskar.
There is no doubt the narrative leading up to the four-Test series has been centered around Kohli. The India captain has headed into the series on the back of scoring in bulk in India’s two previous overseas tours of the year in South Africa and England.
While Kohli scored 286 from three Tests in difficult batting conditions in the Rainbow Nation, the skipper was peerless in the Old Blighty, amassing a chart-topping tally of 593 runs, 244 more than second-placed Jos Bultter in a five-Test series.