India star Virat Kohli would hope to end his 27-month wait for his 71st elusive international hundred at his second home when India take on an under-prepared and injury-hit Sri Lanka in the second Test under floodlights in Bengaluru.
Notably, Kohli’s last international hundred came in a ‘Pink Ball’ game in which India thrashed Bangladesh by an innings and 46 runs in Kolkata, back in November 2019. He had scored 136 back then. Kohli has gone 68 innings in international cricket without reaching the three-figure mark since hitting 136 in Kolkata against Bangladesh in November 2019.
Also, Kohli has managed to score a 50-plus score only six times, with the highest being a knock of 79 against South Africa in Cape Town in January this year. However, Virat Kohli’s streak without a hundred for batters in the top five in Tests and ODIs is not the longest one as there are 32 streaks longer than Kohli’s.
Kohli returns to his spiritual home in Bengaluru
Virat Kohli returns to his spiritual home in Bengaluru and the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, a venue which he knows like the back of his palm as he has led his IPL side Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for a decade.
Also, Kohli may get another boost in the form of fans as the Karnataka State Cricket Association on Thursday allowed 100 percent crowd attendance for the second Test between India and Sri Lanka at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, owing to a sharp decline in Covid-19 cases and high demand for tickets.
Kohli had got a start even in the Mohali Test but could not make full use of that. It’s not that he is not batting well. He is still striking the ball with ease and that trademark fluency is also there, but the lapse of concentration at times is becoming his undoing.
Fatigue that creeps in with a punishing schedule and age could be factors and the lack of confidence due to the noise surrounding him outside the cricket grounds is also something that is perhaps affecting his batting.
Batting against a below-average Sri Lankan attack on a comparatively small ground is actually a perfect opportunity to come out of the lean patch in front of the capacity crowd that has always egged him on.
It will be the last Test match on home soil for Virat Kohli and India in 2022. There are seven more Tests in the current WTC cycle after the Sri Lankan series.