India vs England Test series could see return of 'ton-machine' Virat Kohli -
India vs England Test series could see return of 'ton-machine' Virat Kohli
Posted 03 Feb 2021 01:46 PM

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India vs England Test series could see return of 'ton-machine' Virat Kohli

Sitting just a century away from becoming the most successful Test captain to score most centuries in international cricket (42), Indian skipper Virat Kohli has been the epitome of captaincy as far as leading from the front is concerned.

The skipper has shown he is a complete batsman for all forms of the game including his favourite Test cricket. Since making his debut in 2011, Kohli will be playing his 88th Test on February 5 in Chennai as the southern city will host first of the four matches of India vs England Test series.

With 27 centuries and 23 half-centuries to his name, the 32-year-old ton machine is expected to surpass Ricky Ponting's 41 international century as skipper in the first Test itself. However, enduring a slump in form, with no centuries to his name in the last COVID-19 pandemic hit calendar year, meant Kohli isn't at his peak yet.

Far from his best in 2020
Looking back at the year, Kohli showed glimpses of his class every now and then in the limited amount of matches that came his way but a spellbinding performance alluded the fans.

One could argue that with his wife Anushka Sharma being pregnant when cricket resumed post-pandemic Kohli probably was distracted with so much on his plate. The skipper himself decided to take paternity leave to be with his wife after playing just one Test match of the much-anticipated Australia-India series. But again, this is Kohli we are talking about, whose professionalism has been exemplary and unequivocal.

Stat-wise, he only got to play three Tests in a year of turmoil; scoring 116 runs at an average of 19.33 with a top score of 74 in Adelaide.

The stats are a stark contrast to his overall career where Kohli has scored 7318 Test runs at an average of 53.41.

However, rewinding back to the Adelaide Test, where Kohli spewed his class with a gritty 74 while Indian wickets were tumbling around him suggests that runs are bound to come from the skipper very soon.

Home series ideal way to kick-off season
Interestingly, an avid Indian cricket follower will know that it has often been suggested to a batsman that in order to excel over a season, it's better to find your form and rhythm going in home conditions first and then capitalise on that momentum and confidence on the lively pitches.

England fans might not like to read what comes next as the Poms are among Kohli's favourite prey in sub-continental conditions. Of course, the Joe Root-led side is high on confidence after galloping Sri Lanka at their own den but Kohli's India is a different animal altogether.

In the nine Tests that the Delhi batsman played against the Englishmen at home, Kohi amassed 843 runs, including three centuries at an average of 70.25. His top score against the side stands at an impressive 235.

Of course, England may claim they are a much-improved side and with a potent bowling unit as well but one can say with certainty that a big innings from Kohli's bat is bound to come sooner or later. In fact, he possibly could turn out to be the decisive factor in the series, especially after fingers have been raised on his captaincy.

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