Virat Kohli will be eyeing numerous milestones in Test series against South Africa. Photograph:( AFP )
Indian skipper Virat Kohli is on the verge of achieving a few major milestones in the upcoming three-match Test series against South Africa.
Virat Kohli-led India will take on South Africa in a three-match Test series with the first encounter getting underway at the SuperSport Park in Centurion from Sunday (December 26). India will be aiming to script history by registering their first-ever Test series win in South Africa this time around as the visitors have never won a series in the longest format of the game, against the Proteas in their own backyard.
India are a stronger unit compared to Dean Elgar-led South Africa with a great mix of youth and experience in their squad. The likes of Mayank Agarwal, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul have been in brilliant form in Tests while the bowlers have been delivering consistently for India. They have been backed by many to get the better of South Africa in the upcoming series.
While India will have their eyes set on the series, captain Kohli, who recently lost the ODI captaincy of the team to Rohit Sharma, will be looking to silence some of his critics with the bat. Kohli will also be chasing some personal milestones in the three-match rubber. Here is a look at four milestones he can achieve during the Test series against South Africa -
1) 71st century
Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli will be hoping to bring an end to his century drought in the upcoming Test series against South Africa. He last scored a hundred in the day-night Test against Bangladesh in August 2019 and has since been chasing the triple-figure mark across formats. He currently has 70 centuries under his belt in international cricket and is just one short of joining Ricky Ponting at the second spot in the list of most centuries in international cricket. Ponting retired with a total of 71 hundreds in international cricket. Kohli can overtake him and go second if he manages to score two centuries in the South Africa Test series.
2) 8000 runs in Tests
Virat Kohli is on the cusp of becoming the sixth Indian batter to breach the 8000-run mark in Test cricket. One of the most prolific run-getters in the longest format over the last few years, Kohli currently has 7801 runs to his name in 97 Test matches at an average of over 50. He needs just 199 runs in the Test series against South Africa to complete the milestone of 8,000 runs in Tests.
3) 100 Tests for India
Virat Kohli can also join an elite list of Indian players to have played 100 Test matches for the country during the ongoing tour of South Africa. Kohli has so far played 97 Test matches for India in his career and needs to be in the playing XI for all three Tests in the South Africa series to get to the milestone of 100 Test matches. Ishant Sharma was the last player to complete 100 Tests for India. If he manages to avoid injuries, Kohli will complete 100 Tests on the ongoing tour of South Africa.
4) 100 catches in Tests
Virat Kohli is also on the verge of completing 100 catches in Test cricket. He currently has 98 catches to his name in the longest format and needs just two more to reach the milestone of a century of catches in the longest format of the game.