The meme-makers went awry after India’s leading batsman Virat Kohli on Friday created a unique world record by becoming the first cricketer to score a century in his 500th international match. The Delhi-born superstar’s feat came on Day 2 of the second Test against the West Indies at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
In contrast, the second Test against the West Indies is Virat Kohli’s 500th match. If we break down the stats further, he has represented India in 110 Tests, 274 ODIs and 115 T20Is.
Virat Kohli’s 76th century in international cricket over the weekend made him the fastest to reach the milestone as he surpassed his idol Sachin Tendulkar from that spot. While Sachin Tendulkar needed 587 runs essay on touching milestonesVirat Kohli needed only 559 innings.
– Dhruv (@ImDhruv_18) 22 July 2023
Virat Kohli is scoring a century in his 500th international match pic.twitter.com/ucjEPH3i1y
— Sagar (@sagarkasm) 21 July 2023
Virat Kohli, the greatest of all time ?
– Ashutosh Srivastava ?? (@sri_ashutos08) 21 July 2023
?In his 5️⃣0️⃣0️⃣th international game!
– Punjab Kings (@PunjabKingsIPL) 21 July 2023
People who are behind Sachin pic.twitter.com/cc7wCzROsa
— Sagar (@sagarkasm) 21 July 2023
Virat Kohli, who remained unbeaten on 87 on the first day of the second Test, looked in tremendous rhythm against the Caribbean bowlers. Apart from nursing one and two kids with relative ease, the Delhi-born cricketer has never been seen stepping out. But an unfortunate misunderstanding between him and Ravindra Jadeja cost him his dismissal as Virat Kohli had to leave the field after scoring a well-deserved century. A straight throw got him out for 121.
Although he was completely disappointed to be run out of the crease as he looked to be on his way to a double hundred, the 34-year-old still created history at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad.
Before Virat Kohli, only three Indians had featured in 500 international matches – Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
In addition, Virat Kohli surpassed Virender Sehwag to become the fifth highest run-scorer for India in Test cricket.
While Sehwag’s run count was 8586 in the five-day version of the game, Kohli now has 8676 runs in red-ball cricket.
With his century in Trinidad, Virat Kohli equaled Sir Donald Bradman’s record of 29 centuries in Tests. Bradman is regarded as the greatest batsman in the history of cricket and equaling his feat must have given Kohli immense satisfaction.
The hundred against Kraigg Brathwaite and his boys helped Virat Kohli narrow the gap with the great Sunil Gavaskar, who has five more centuries than the former in White. India’s top century-makers in Tests are Sachin Tendulkar (51), Rahul Dravid (36) and Sunil Gavaskar (34).
Talking specifically about scoring three-figure scores at No.4, Virat Kohli surpassed former West Indies great Brian Lara, who scored 24 centuries at that position. Although Kohli has 25 at that position, three players are ahead of him, and they are Sachin Tendulkar (44), Jacques Kallis (35), and Mahela Jayawardene (30).
England’s Joe Root and Australia’s Steve Smith have 19 centuries at number four among active cricketers.
Also, unlike Sachin Tendulkar, who could only complete one century in the Caribbean during his illustrious career that spanned 24 years, this was Virat Kohli’s second century in the West Indies after his first double century in 2016.
However, he is still well behind Sunil Gavaskar, who retired with seven centuries in the West Indies. On the other hand, Rahul Dravid, Dilip Sardesai and Polly Umrigar ended their careers with three centuries each in the Caribbean.
Notably, this was Virat Kohli’s first overseas century since 2018, when he reached the three-figure mark against Australia in Perth.
However, the former Indian captain did not attach much importance to these figures while talking to the media at the end of the second day’s play.
“To be honest, these things are for others to talk about from the outside. I have scored 15 centuries away from home, it is not a very bad record. I have got more centuries outside the house than I have got at home. We haven’t played 30 Test matches away from home. I don’t know how many matches we have played but it is not a big number. I have had a few 50 plus scores but if I score a fifty it is like I have missed a hundred and if I score 120 it is like I have missed a double hundred. Virat Kohli said, “I just have to focus on what I can do for the team and try to bat to the best of my ability and help the team as much as possible.”
“These stats and milestones, if I do them in a situation where the team needs me, to me it is much more special than ticking off numbers. To be honest, it won’t make any sense in 15-20 years. The impact you left on the field is more special for me and the team.
“I was quite happy with the way I executed things, took my time. When I walked in, he was bowling in a very good area. I had to be patient because the ball was getting soft, the surface was slow and the outfield was also slow. The run scoring was not as fluent as one would expect. I had to work hard and it was very satisfying because of all these factors,” explained Virat Kohli.
West Indies icon Courtney Walsh, who watched Virat Kohli’s innings from the commentary box, compared the Indian superstar to Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar and Vivian Richards.
“Well, as a great Indian, I would rate him right behind Sachin. Sachin is one of the greatest players I have seen and played against,” Courtney Walsh said on GeoCinema.
“Brian Lara, Viv Richards, I would put them from a West Indian perspective. Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh. When I was young, I played two gentlemen. There are also England’s Graham Gooch and Javed Miandad, against whom I might not have played as many matches, but the price they put on their wickets reminds me of Virat Kohli as well. He doesn’t want to go. So I would definitely put him in my top 4, top 5 greatest cricketers I have seen,” the West Indies legend elaborated.
“He has passion for the game, he wants to make a mark in the game. I remember having a conversation with him when I was a selector for the West Indies and he was the captain. We were talking. You can tell he wants to be the best. He was willing to take advice from anyone who would help do so. I am not surprised by this achievement. With the passion he has and the passion he has, he should be in the top 3, top 5 in everything he does,” Walsh said.
Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) teammate Dinesh Karthik and former India wicketkeeper Deep Dasgupta have also joined the group of fans after his brilliant innings against the West Indies.
“This is a huge achievement – not a hundred. 29. I think it was a really good innings and then something that was not very easy for them. He really had to work for it, so you have to give more credit for that,” Deep Dasgupta told ESPNCricinfo.
“No matter what people say, numbers matter. I’ll be honest. When you look at our society like this, most of our decisions are based on numbers. More importantly, he hadn’t scored a century away from home, outside Asia, I believe, in so many years. I think he would be a monkey off his back, that hundred. They will get relief,” informed Deep Dasgupta.
“The big story of the day is, surprisingly, Virat Kohli and 29 hundreds. The love story of Test cricket and Virat Kohli has been going on for a long time. They’ve gotten really good over time. Dinesh Karthik said on Cricbuzz, last two years have not been his best years.
“In this Test match and in the last Test match in the West Indies, one thing he has shown a lot is what goes on between his ears. He has fought it. It looked like the only way for him to get out was to get run out, and that’s what happened eventually. But the man showed his class,” he added.
“All we can say about the beautiful shots, cover drives and pulls played by Kohli. Here’s a guy playing his 500th match, but he played it like it was his fifth. That hunger, on a pitch that probably didn’t really help stroke-making, made him struggle. We saw it in the first Test as well, and we are seeing it again now,” summarized Dinesh Karthik.