Indian captain Virat Kohli continued his glorious form in international cricket, registering his seventh double hundred against South Africa at Pune on Day 2 of the second Test. En route to his unbeaten 254, which enabled India to declare on 601 for 5, Kohli surpassed a number of records.
With seven double centuries, Kohli is now at the top of the list among Indians with most double hundreds. He earlier shared this record with two other legends - Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag.
Kohli’s 254 is now also his personal best in Test cricket, overtaking the 243 he made against Sri Lanka at Delhi in December 2017. The Indian skipper also crossed the 7000-run landmark during his imperious innings.
With every record that he breaks, fans and cricket pundits are left astounded as they try to imagine the heights Kohli could attain by the time he calls it a day. However, there are a few statistical highs that even the modern-day run machine might find difficult to conquer.
Here’s a look at three records Kohli might find difficult to break.
#3 Most ODI fifties
It is almost a given that Kohli will break the record for most ODI hundreds in history. He has 43 centuries in 239 matches, and is just six away from equally Tendulkar’s record of 49 tons, which the master blaster amassed over 463 matches.
However, the same cannot be said about the record for most ODI fifties.
During his two decade-long career, Tendulkar notched up a mammoth 96 half-centuries to go with his 49 centuries. One of the reasons the Mumbai man ended up with close to hundred half-centuries was that he batted in the middle-order for the first few years of his career, during which he didn’t get too many opportunities to play long innings.
The other fact is of course that he batted in 452 ODI innings, and hence was bound to score a lot of fifties.
Kohli currently has 54 fifties. Even if he plays for another five years, reaching 96 half-centuries could be a tough ask. One of the big reasons why he may not achieve this record is because he almost invariably converts his fifties into hundreds!
#2 Most Test hundreds
While Kohli has an impressive 26 hundreds from 81 Tests, he has a mountain to climb if he wants to reach the top. It is Sachin Tendulkar again who holds the record for most hundreds in Test cricket; after 200 Tests in a career spanning from 1989 to 2013, Tendulkar ended up with a rich haul of 51 hundreds, in addition to 68 fifties, at an average of 53.78.
Unlike one-day cricket, where Tendulkar was searching for his maiden hundred for a few years, the legendary batsman scored his first Test century within a year of making his debut. He never looked back.
Kohli has his task cut out as far as chasing this record is concerned. He is more than halfway through his Test career, and still needs to score the same number of hundreds that he presently has to break Tendulkar’s record - 26.
It is by no means an impossible task for Kohli, but to be fair we cannot expect him to last the duration of Tendulkar’s career.
#1 Highest Test score
It can be said with a certain degree of confidence that the record of the highest individual score in Test cricket will remain with Brian Lara for a pretty long time.
Lara smashed a sensational 400 not out against England at Antigua in 2004. This was almost exactly 10 years after he broke Garry Sobers’ record of 365 not out to claim the world record for the highest Test score - 375.
In an amazing coincidence, the knock in 1994 came at the same venue and against the same opponent as 2004.
With his 400*, Lara reclaimed the world record for the highest Test score, which was briefly in the name of Aussie Matthew Hayden. Hayden plundered 380 against Zimbabwe at Perth in October 2003.
It is not as if Kohli doesn't have the stamina or the aptitude to score 400. But the fact is that such a marathon innings invariably ends up in the Test being drawn, and Kohli is not someone who would carry on his innings longer than needed.
Recent Indian sides, especially since the times of Sourav Ganguly, have put the team before self. The only situation in which Kohli would go hard to achieve personal glory would be where there is nothing at stake in a game.
Considering the strength of the present Indian bowling outfit, that is likely to be a rarest of rare case.