Former India captain Virat Kohli ended a three-year-long wait for Test century, hammering 186 off 364 balls against Australia in fourth Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday (March 12). Kohli was applauded for his 28th Test century and 75th international ton all around the world but there was special admiration from the stand-in Australian skipper Steve Smith as well.
Kohli has always been part of the ‘Fab Four’ which included Smith, Kane Williamson and Joe Root – four of the best batters over the last decade in international cricket. There was mutual-admiration for Kohli and Smith and his heart-warming gestures on Day 4 of the fourth Test went viral on social media.
After being dismissed by spinner Todd Murphy, Kohli was applauded by Smith on his way back to the pavilion. Smith shook his hand and patted the batter on his back.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) posted the picture on Twitter acknowledging Smith`s gesture. “Respect and admiration,” said BCCI in their tweet.
_ Respect and admiration __#TeamIndia | #INDvAUS | @mastercardindia pic.twitter.com/e5QJcj4OiL
— BCCI (@BCCI) March 12, 2023
Both batters have had a legendary career in Test cricket as batters. In 108 matches and 183 innings, Kohli has scored 8,416 runs at an average of 48.93. He has scored 28 centuries and an equal number of half-centuries, with the best individual score of 254 not out.
On the other hand, Smith has represented Australia in 96 Tests, in which he has scored 8,782 runs at an average of 59.74. He has scored 30 centuries and 37 fifties in the format, with the best individual score of 239 not out.
With this century, Kohli has finally hit centuries in all three formats after not being able to hit an international ton from November 2019 till September 8, 2022. On September 8, 2022, during the Asia Cup 2022 match against Afghanistan, Virat ended his century drought of 1,021 days in international cricket as well.
He had smashed 122 not out off 61 balls. This was also Kohli’s first ever century in T20I cricket. His last international ton before that had come in November 2019, in a Test match against Bangladesh. He followed it by breaking his ODI century drought on December 10, 2022 during 3rd ODI against Bangladesh.
He scored 113 in 91 balls to end his ODI ton drought of 1,116 days. Before it, his last ODI ton was against West Indies in August 2019.The first half of 2022 was filled with struggle for Virat as he could score only 476 runs in 16 matches across 19 innings at an average of 25.05, with just four half-centuries.
(With ANI inputs)