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World Test Championship

The tale of Virat Kohli’s remarkable decade in Test cricket

WTC21 Final

When Virat Kohli took to the crease on the third morning of the World Test Championship Final in Southampton it was 10 years to the day since a 22-year-old Kohli made his five-day debut for India.

The decade between those two innings has seen the precocious batter establish a reputation as one of the greatest of all time.

Kohli may not have added to his score on the day in Southampton, and managed just four against the West Indies in Kingston ten years previously, but neither knock is a reflection of a decade that has seen him score 7534 runs in 92 Tests at an average of 52.31.

Nobody has scored more than Kohli’s 27 centuries in that time, with 14 of his tons coming away from home.

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The 32-year-old averages over 50 in both Australia and South Africa, while his record in 43 Tests on home soil is remarkable – 3730 runs at an average of 64.31.

Kohli has also scored hundreds both in and against every Test nation he has faced, with the exception of Bangladesh (where he has played just a single match).

His best calendar year to-date came in 2016, when he scored 1215 runs in 12 matches at an average of 75.93, but Kohli has been consistently world-class, picking up a host of individual awards as a result.

He was voted the ICC Test Player of the Year in 2018 and has been selected in the ICC Test Team of the Year in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

He was also named as captain of the ICC Men’s Test Team of the Decade, and in 2020 was awarded the Sir Garfield Sobers Award for the ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Decade.

Video ICC Awards of the Decade 24 Nov 20
Virat Kohli | ICC Men's Player of the Decade nominee

And it is not just with the willow that Kohli has formed his legacy.

The boy from New Delhi took the India Test captaincy in 2014 and - by taking to the field as skipper for the 61st time in Southampton - has now overtaken Mahendra Singh Dhoni to have captained India more than any other player in Test history.

Only five players, none of whom are still playing, have captained any national side more in the Test game.

"Playing for India is the absolute top priority for me," Kohli told Mark Nicholas earlier this year. "It’s a chance for me to represent 1.4 billion people. It’s a chance for me to inspire people, with what we do on the field, what I can do on the field as an individual, and that’s my driving force.

"If you look back at how this team of ours has gone through a transition and come to where we are in world cricket, there’s a good reason behind that: that we are absolutely passionate to represent our country and represent in a way that teaches competitiveness to people watching. 

"It teaches people that you can compete, you can beat anyone anywhere in the world, and when you’re getting on a plane to go and play in foreign conditions, you’re excited and not intimidated.

"As long as we can instil that competitiveness and that belief in generations to come, then we have left this place much better than what we came into."

Video cwc19 19 Jun 21
The Kane-Kohli friendship | WTC21 Final | Ind v NZ

From Kingston, Jamaica on 20 June 2011 to Southampton, England on 20 June 2021, Virat Kolhi has defined a decade of Indian Test cricket.

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