Virat Kohli all set to resume Australian love affair

The India tour of Australia will see Virat Kohli taking the spotlight as his team chases a maiden Test series win Down Under.

Virat Kohli started off the tour with a half-century in the practice game against Cricket Australia XI.   -  AFP

Virat Kohli has conquered pretty much every country he has played in since making his India debut in 2008 against Sri Lanka. England was one country where he failed during the 2014 tour, but four years later, he responded in emphatic fashion by amassing 593 runs from 10 innings.

Now, on what is India’s last overseas tour of 2018, Kohli aims to lead from the front, make big runs and help India taste overseas success.

As a batsman, he has thoroughly enjoyed his three previous trips Down Under, in 2011-12, 2014-15 and 2016. He made his maiden Test hundred against Australia in 2012 at the Adelaide Oval, where he scored two more centuries, both in the same Test in 2014, taking India agonisingly close to a win.

Read: 'Taking nothing for granted'

The 2014 Adelaide Test was the first of a four-match series in which Kohli amassed 692 runs in eight innings, with four centuries (two in Adelaide, one at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and one at the Sydney Cricket Ground).

Although India lost the four-Test series 2-0, Kohli put himself in the league of greats with his astonishing performances against a fearsome Australian pace battery comprising Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle, and Josh Hazlewood, complemented by Nathan Lyon.

Kohli’s ODI batting record in Australia is just as great, with four centuries in 23 innings. The first of them came against Sri Lanka in a triangular series match at Bellerive Oval, Hobart, where an unbeaten 133 from Kohli helped India chase down 321 runs inside 40 overs.

His second ODI century in Australia came against Pakistan in a 2015 World Cup Group match, which was also played at the Adelaide Oval. India went on to win that match by 76 runs. Two of his four ODI centuries Down Under have come in losing causes.

 

On India’s tour of Australia in 2016, when it played a five-match ODI series followed by a three-match T20I series, Kohli made a century at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, helping India post 295 for six batting first. Australia won by three wickets and seven balls to spare.

Also read: India is yet to win a Test series in Australia

Then, at the Manuka Oval in Canberra, Kohli jointly led India’s pursuit of 349 after Australia had made 348 batting first. Kohli was involved in a 212-run partnership for the second wicket with Shikhar Dhawan.

The dismissals of Dhawan and Kohli for the addition of just one run triggered an Indian collapse. India, which needed only 71 runs from 65 balls for a win when Kohli and Dhawan were in the middle, was bowled out for 323 after being 277 for one.