At present, Virat Kohli is one of the best batsmen in the world, quite possibly, the best all-format batsman going around. But like many other players, Kohli too battled inconsistency early in his Test career. Kohli made his Test debut in 2011, three years after first playing ODI cricket for India, but the initial few games proved disappointing as he managed 76 runs from three Tests against the West Indies.
Kohli was not picked for India’s tour of England but returned for the home series against West Indies where he hit two half-centuries in the only game he played. As India toured Australia, Kohli was included in the team, but his numbers in the first two games were underwhelming. In the four innings across Melbourne and Sydney, Kohli registered scores of 11, 0, 23 and 9.
Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar, while speaking on the Sony Sports Network informed how Kohli, after the first two games was on the verge of getting dropped, but the then 23-year-old was backed by none other than captain MS Dhoni himself and he played on. Kohli followed it with scores of 44 and 75 in Perth and followed it with a maiden Test century in the final Test in Adelaide. Although India were blanked 0-4, Kohli’s century was a big positive for the Indian team. In fact, it was the only century scored by an India batsman in the series.
“Virat Kohli is Virat Kohli. He always finds ways to score runs,” Manjrekar said. “The hundred that he scored in the 2011/12 series, India lost it 0-4. They’d lost to England 0-4. And I think that was the only century scored by an Indian in that series. He was a young man who actually was on the verge of getting dropped after Sydney. Dhoni backed him; he played in Perth scored a 70 and then he got that hundred.”
Ever since, Kohli’s love affair with Adelaide has continued to grow. In 2014, Kohli, captaining the team in Dhoni’s absence, hit twin centuries. Although India were beaten 0-2, Kohli had burned up the charts with 692 runs, including four centuries. This time around, with the pink-ball Test kicking off the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, India will hope Kohli can rekindle his love affair with his favourite ground, especially since this is the only game of the series that he’d play.
“Now at Adelaide, a lot of Indian batsmen have got runs. It’s a pitch closer to home. It’s got pace but the bouncer comes around this high (Pointing to his chest). It’s like an Indian pitch, but because it’s day/night and there’s going to be the pink ball, that changes things completely. The thing with Virat Kohli is that later, in 2014/15, he hit four hundreds,” Manjrekar added.