Rewind to the Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica on 20 June 2011 – when Virat Kohli was handed a Test debut against the West Indies. He was one of three debutants in that match - the others being Praveen Kumar and Abhinav Mukund - and would end up not only having the longest Test career among the trio, but would also end up being one of India's most successful cricketers ever.
At the time of writing this celebratory piece, Virat has appeared in 91 Test matches and stands sixth among India’s highest run-getters in the format.
As we celebrate a milestone - ten years of Virat Kohli being a Test cricketer – we look at some of his key accomplishments and the records he holds against his name.
From the time he made his Test debut, no player has scored more hundreds in Test cricket than Virat Kohli. At the time of writing this piece, Virat Kohli is 32 years old – and definitely has at least another three years of Test cricket left in him; he is poised to end with at least 38-39 Test hundreds which will slot him among the top five players with most Test centuries.
Kohli, part of the Fab Four club in international cricket, first reached the number one position in the ICC's Test rankings on 21 August 2018; he has since been there or thereabouts.
True to former U-19 coach WV Raman's assessment all those years ago, Kohli has proved to be a very good captain as well - particularly in red ball cricket. He was made India's regular Test captain in 2015, and six years later is comfortably India's most successful Test captain.
Kohli had a sensational initiation to Test captaincy a few months before he was announced as India's regular captain. When MS Dhoni was forced to miss the Adelaide Test of 2014 because of an injury, Kohli was handed the reins of the team. 26 years old then, Kohli wasn't bogged down by the additional responsibility or the pressures of captaincy, but responded spectacularly by scoring hundreds in each innings of the Test match. In the 145 years of Test cricket history, he is one of only two players to score centuries in both innings of debut Test as captain.
Kohli has continued to be unaffected by the pressures of captaincy; in the 60 Tests he has been India captain, he has scored 5392 runs (which includes 20 hundreds) and averages nearly 60 with the bat. By the time Virat Kohli finishes his tenure as India's Test captain, it is quite possible that he would have scored more centuries than any other Test captain; right now, among all Test captains, only Graeme Smith - with 25 Test hundreds - has scored more hundreds than Kohli.
That Virat Kohli has remained unaffected by the demands of captaincy – and is getting better with age and experience - can also be established from the fact that he is the fastest to 4000 runs and 5000 Test as Test captain; Virat scored 4000 Test runs as captain in 65 innings (previous record: 71 innings by Brian Lara) and completed 5000 runs as Test captain in 86 innings (previous record: 97 innings by Ricky Ponting).
Virat Kohli already holds the record for the most double hundreds scored by any Test captain; he has scored 7 double hundreds as India's Test captain - two more than any other captain.
Virat Kohli is also one of only two captains in Test history to score double hundreds in consecutive Test innings; against Sri Lanka in 2017, he scored 213 at Nagpur and followed it up with 243 in the first innings of the Delhi Test.
Trivia: Kohli is also one of three cricketers (Kumar Sangakkara and Younis Khan are the others) to score double centuries against six different Test opponents; Kohli has scored double hundreds against Bangladesh, England, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies.
And more recently (in relative terms) against Bangladesh at Kolkata in November 2019, Virat Kohli became the first Indian batsman to score a hundred in a Day and Night Test. Kohli's 136 would also be the equal-highest score by a captain in D/N Test matches.
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