India vs SA: Virat Kohli 199 away from entering 8,000-run club Photograph:( AFP )
Ahead of the India-South Africa Tests, all eyes are on Indian captain Virat Kohli. Kohli is just 199 runs away from entering the 8000-run club in the red-ball format.
Virat Kohli-led India is gearing up for the three-match Test series opener versus South Africa, which will get underway from December 26 in Centurion. India have a big opportunity to win their first-ever Test series on African soil. During their 2018 tour of SA, Kohli & Co. were competitive right throughout the three Tests versus the Faf du Plessis-led Proteas but lost the series 2-1.
This time around, the No. 1 ranked Indian team have a great chance to win their first-ever Test series in South Africa. For that, they will need to start on the right note. Thus, all eyes are on Kohli as the 33-year-old will have to be at his very best with the willow.
For the unversed, Kohli the batter hasn't been in form. In the calendar year, he has amassed 483 runs in 17 innings at an average of 28.41 with 4 fifties. Thus, a lot more is expected from him in the forthcoming Tests. The right-hander will aim to take India off to a flier in the series opener and is also only 199 away from entering the 8,000-run club in the red-ball format. At present, Kohli has 7,801 runs in Tests, at 50.65, with 27 tons.
Ahead of the Test series, Little Master Sunil Gavaskar pinned hopes on Kohli to come good with the bat and told Sports Tak, "We may see the Virat from two years ago, slamming centuries after centuries."
During the India-SA series in 2018, in the African nation, Kohli had scored a memorable ton in the second and penultimate Test at the same venue (where the forthcoming series opener will be held). Hence, he will draw some confidence from the memorable outing and look to lead from the front this time around as well.
India-SA three Tests will be followed by equal number of ODIs, in early 2022.