A month after a heartbreaking ICC Cricket World Cup final loss to Australia, star India batter Virat Kohli will take to the field in whites during the first Test against South Africa in Centurion, a Boxing Day affair, on Tuesday. As it has been with Virat over the years, the weight of expectations, the cheers of fans, and the anticipation of a century or record break will be at their highest when he takes to the field. Virat has great Test stats against South Africa and in South Africa as well. In 14 Tests against the Proteas, he has scored 1,236 runs at an average of 56.18, with three tons and four fifties in 24 innings. His best score is 254 not out.
In South Africa, Virat has scored 719 runs in seven Tests at an average of 51.35, with two centuries and three fifties in 14 innings. His best score is 153.
Virat’s statistics in the Boxing Day Test are pretty mixed. In his debut Boxing Day Test back in 2011 against Australia at Melbourne, he could score just 11 and 0 in his two innings. India lost that match by 122 runs.
His next Boxing Day outing was slightly better, against South Africa, in which he scored 46,11. India lost that Test by 10 wickets.
His next Boxing Day Test outing against Australia was brilliant, as he scored 169 and 54 in both his innings to help India draw the match. From the next Test onwards, a new era of Indian cricket started with Virat as Test skipper following the sudden retirement of MS Dhoni.
Four years later, Virat played another Boxing Day Test at MCG, scoring 82 and 0 in both innings. India won that match by 137 runs, giving Virat his first-ever win in a Boxing Day Test.
At Centurion three years later, Virat was going through a rough patch in Test cricket, scoring 35 and 18 in both innings of his fifth Boxing Day Test. India won the match by 113 runs.
Overall, Virat has played five Boxing Day Tests, scoring 426 runs in 10 innings at an average of 42.60, with a century and two fifties. Viras has won two Boxing Day Tests, both of them as a captain, lost two and drawn one.
Given the form Virat is in, this Centurion Test will serve as Virat’s chance to continue his rich run of form and improve his Boxing Day Test batting numbers.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
Topics mentioned in this article