Virat Kohli needs 40 runs to join icons SRT, Sunil Gavaskar in unique list Photograph:( AFP )
As Virat Kohli gears up for the series finale, the right-hander is just 40 runs away from joining batting icons Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar in an elite list.
The last time Virat Kohli played in England, he was India's full-time captain. During the 2021 English summer, Kohli-led India gained an unassailable 2-1 lead in the five-match series versus hosts England before the fifth and final Test got rescheduled due to Covid concerns in the Indian camp. Since then, Kohli stepped down as the Test and T20I captain and was sacked as ODI skipper. He will now play the series finale versus England under a captain (Jasprit Bumrah) and vice-captain (Rishabh Pant) who made their Test debuts under him.
On Friday (July 01), when Bumrah-led India take on the field versus Ben Stokes' England, the 33-year-old will have a tough job in hand to lead India's charge with the bat with no regular skipper Rohit Sharma as the visitors aim for their first-ever red-ball series triumph in England since 2007. As Kohli gears up for the series finale, the right-hander is just 40 runs away from joining batting icons Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar in an elite list.
If Kohli manages to score 40, or more, runs in the Edgbaston Test, he will join the elusive club of Indian batters to have scored 2000-plus runs versus England in the purest format. Till now, only Tendulkar and Gavaskar have achieved this feat. Kohli has 1,960 runs versus England from 48 innings in 27 Tests, at an average of 43.55. He has five centuries, nine fifties and six ducks versus the Three Lions.
Talking about Tendulkar, he remains the leading run-scorer for India versus England in Tests. In 53 innings, the Master Blaster ended with 2,535 runs, averaging 51.73, including seven centuries and 13 half-centuries. For the unversed, he was never dismissed on a duck versus the Poms in whites. Meanwhile, Gavaskar scored 2,483 runs against the English Test line-up in 67 innings from 38 matches during his illustrious career.
With no Rohit and KL Rahul, two of India's best batters from the incomplete 2021 five-match series, Kohli has a huge role to play with the willow for India to win the series.