India captain Virat Kohli hasn’t looked like doing much wrong in One-day Internationals (ODI) in recent times except for the centuries he had made a habit of scoring in the last few years aren’t coming his way anymore.
The 32-year-old right-handed batsman, who is six short of Sachin Tendulkar’s ODI world record of 49 centuries, has been on 43 centuries since August 14, 2019. It means that he has gone over one-and-a-half years without an ODI ton. Although he is averaging a decent 45.85 and has eight fifties in 14 matches in the period, a century remains elusive. He has come close to scoring a hundred on a couple of times, 89 and 85.
“I never played for hundreds in my life. That is probably why I ended up getting so many [centuries] in such little time,” Kohli said after India’s six-wicket defeat, when asked about his inability to get centuries in recent times.
“It’s all about contributing to the team’s cause. If the team doesn’t win when you get three figures, it doesn’t mean anything. You’re not going to sit back at the end of your career and look at numbers. It’s more about how you played the game that you will look at,” he said.
On Friday, he fell for 66, his fourth successive half-century in ODIs. While he scored two fifties in the last two ODIs in Australia — 89 and 63, he also made a 56 in the first ODI against England at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Tuesday.
Kohli’s last century in ODI came on August 14, when he made 114 not out against West Indies in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.
In over eight months leading up to that century, from January 1 to August 14, 2019, he had scored five centuries in 22 innings. That was a period when he was tipped to go past Tendulkar’s record of most centuries in ODIs very soon.
Prior to that phase, Kohli had scored six centuries in the 2018 calendar year, in 14 matches. He also got six centuries in 26 ODIs in 2017 and made three tons in 10 matches in 2016.
Overall, in international cricket, Kohli has failed to get a century since November 2019, when he reached the three-figure mark in the pink-ball Test match against Bangladesh.
In his last 12 Test innings, he has made just three half-centuries with the highest being 74, in the first innings of the first Test in Australia in Adelaide in 2020.
On Friday though, Kohli joined an exclusive club, becoming only the second batsman after Australia’s Ricky Ponting to score over 10,000 runs while batting at the No.3 position.