India skipper Virat Kohli became the 11th Indian to score 5000 runs in Test cricket on Saturday. The 29-year-old needed just 25 runs to reach the milestone at the start of the first day's play against Sri Lanka in the third Test in New Delhi.
The India captain may have been in hot form in all formats in the last two years, but his Test stats make for more sobering analysis. After reaching the landmark in the first innings - the 105th innings of his career - at the Ferozeshah Kotla, he took the joint 14th spot in the list of fastest to that mark, alongside Neil Harvey of Australia and contemporary Joe Root. Among Indians, he became the fourth fastest, behind Sunil Gavaskar (95 innings), Virender Sehwag (99 innings), and Sachin Tendulkar (103 innings).
Kohli scored his 4000th run in his 89th innings, occupying a lowly 27th spot. This must be put in perspective, as contrary to many Test greats, Kohli has had a dull start to his Test career.
In the first two years, he averaged 41.96 (his career average is now nearly 10 more). Among the fastest batsmen to 1000 runs, he is not in the list of top 90, having got to that mark during his 27th innings. His peer Cheteshwar Pujara, on the other hand, had a quicker start; he got there in 18 innings.Given this background, of late, Kohli has made up for lost ground.
In the last three years - he was captain for the majority of this time - he scored 3120 runs in 53 innings at an impressive average of 63.67. Kohli, with 19 centuries, is sixth in the list of Indian batsmen with most Test tons. He needs to score four more centuries to leapfrog Mohammad Azharuddin, and five more to go past his State peer Virender Sehwag.
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