New Delhi: India skipper Virat Kohli has hit a purple patch in the Rainbow Nation as he now has 4 centuries and 2 fifties to his name after 10 games (3 Tests, 6 ODIs and 1 T20I). But more interestingly, he is just 130 runs away from amassing 1000 runs on a single tour. Kohli has 870 runs from 13 innings at an average of 87.00 and a strike rate of 82.38. The India skipper has hit 7 sixes and 91 boundaries.
West Indian legend Vivian Richards is the only batsman in the history of the gentleman’s game to score 1000 runs on an international tour. Richards achieved the feat in 1976 when he amassed 1045 runs in England. While Richards had scored 216 runs in ODIs, he hit 829 in four Test matches.
In comparison, Kohli scored 286 runs in the three-match Test series with a hundred and a fifty, 558 runs in the 6 ODI innings with 3 hundreds and a fifty and 26 runs in the first T20I at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday. Considering his form, it could well be a cakewalk to another milestone for the India skipper.
Viv Richards sees a bit of himself in Kohli, but the Indian batsman feels comparisons with the legend are surreal. "I don't go to the field thinking I want to fight with someone today. I am in a good headspace where I am contributing to the team. And it is not an argument on the field. It's been different this time than last time, rather than swearing or bad words, it is just fun. People watching should have some fun as well. My focus is to go out there and perform, as these things don't bother me," Kohli had earlier said.
"And it is surreal to think of comparisons. I have always thought that it was tougher for the greats of the game because we have better protective gear today. I can't think of playing in a cap and Sir Viv always did. He smacked fast bowlers for sixes all over the world and even thinking about it sends chills down your spine," he added.
Donald Bradman, considered to be the greatest batsman to have played the game, had scored 974 runs in five Tests in Australia's tour to England. Kohli needs just 104 runs to cross the Australian legend.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar's career best figures of 5/24 helped India continue their domination over South Africa as the visitors registered a 28-run win in the first T20I in Sunday.
With AB de Villiers missing, South Africa lacked the batting fire power to threaten India who set a stiff target of 204, thanks to Shikhar Dhawan's 72. Reeza Hendricks and JJ Smuts began the chase, with Bhuvneshwar striking early to send back Smuts.
Stand-in skipper JP Duminy and experienced T20 star David Miller didn't last long either with Bhuvneshwar and Pandya getting the better off both the players. Farhaan Behardien and Reeza Hendricks then stuck together to stitch an 81-run partnership but at no stage did it seem India were in trouble as big overs eluded South Africa.
With the pressure mounting, Chahal got the better off Behardien, who holed out at long on. Then, Bhuvneshwar returned to pick up three wickets in an over and also a run out which resulted in a team hat-trick for India as South Africa were reduced to 175/9 in their chase.
The second T20I is to be played at the SuperSport Park in Centurion on Wednesday.