Plethora of records achieved by Kohli as India thrash SA in Centurion Photograph:( AFP )
While Kohli didn't have a great run with the bat, the 33-year-old had a memorable Test as captain by achieving a plethora of records with India's 113-run win in Centurion. Here's a look at the feats achieved by Captain Kohli:
India demolished South Africa on Day 5 of the first Test at SuperSport Park, Centurion on Thursday (December 30) to end the calendar year on a high. The year saw Virat Kohli-led Team India win as many as four Tests in SENA countries, in Brisbane, Lord's, The Oval and Centurion.
Resuming the fifth and final day with Proteas reeling at 94-4, India needed six more wickets to win while defending a competitive 305. Proteas skipper Dean Elgar (77) showed some resistance and the limited-overs captain Temba Bavuma (35 not out) also looked good before the Indian bowlers wrapped up proceedings in style on the final day's second session. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami took three wickets each whereas Mohammed Siraj and R Ashwin claimed two scalps apiece. With this win, India achieved their fourth victory in the purest format in the African nation with two of them coming under Kohli (in a row).
While Kohli didn't have a great run with the bat, the 33-year-old had a memorable Test as captain by achieving a plethora of records with India's 113-run win in Centurion. The superstar cricketer led India to their maiden Test win at the venue. Before this, India had won a Test in Durban and twice in Johannesburg. He also became the first Asian skipper to win a Test at SA's fortress, i.e. the SuperSpork Park, Centurion (where they were unbeaten since 2014).
In addition, Kohli is now the only Asian captain to lead his side to two Boxing Day Test victories. Earlier, he had led India to victory in the 2018/19 Boxing Day encounter versus Australia at Melbourne Cricket Ground, MCG.
Kohli is also now the first Indian captain to have two wins in the rainbow nation. If India go onto win the second or the third Test in the ongoing series, he will also become the first Indian captain to lead the side to a Test series triumph in the African nation.
After the win, the most proud achievement for Kohli is that he is now the only captain to lead India to 4 Test wins outside Asia in a year twice. Earlier, he had achieved this feat in 2018.
After the match, Kohli was all praise for the team and and lauded the bowling unit. He told the broadcasters at the post-match presentation, "Got off to the perfect start. Have to understand one day was washed out - shows how well we played. It's always a difficult place to play against SA (Centurion). The discipline that the batters showed. Winning the toss, batting first overseas is a tough challenge. Credit to Mayank and KL the way they set it up. We knew we were in pole position with anything over 300-320. Knew the bowlers will do the job. Spoke about it in the change room - the fact he didn't bowl much in the first innings, it allowed SA to get around 40 more runs (Bumrah)." He lavished huge praise on Shami and added, "Just the way these guys bowl together has been a hallmark of our team getting a result in difficult situations. Absolutely world class talent (Shami). For me he's in the best three seamers in the world at the moment. His strong wrist, his seam position and his ability to hit a length consistently. Got so much confidence out of Johannesburg last time. It's a ground we love playing at."
The second and penultimate Test starts on January 3 at The Wanderers, Johannesburg; a venue where India have had most success in the African nation.