On June 20, 2022, Virat Kohli completed the 11th anniversary of his Test debut, which he made during India’s tour to the West Indies in 2011. Unlike limited-overs cricket, where he seemed to rule the world from his very first impression, test cricket proved to be a rocky terrain for Kohli. But with time, he overcame the fluttering starts, and over the course of the decade, managed to make his way into the league of all-time greats.

Amongst many things, the pandemic has also blunted Kohli’s blade and blurred our memories of his insane domination before he suddenly hit the lean patch. You’ll have to stretch back to 2019 to watch his last test century. He has played a few gritty knocks after that, some as memorable as any of his centuries, but without reaching the three-figure mark even once in over two years. 

Whenever Joe Root scores a century, which he does more often than not nowadays, Indian cricket fans can’t help but go through a covetous spell. They too had someone like him in Kohli, who used to make centuries for fun, but those days are now a distant past. Will Kohli be able to regain his form? Most probably, yes. Great cricketers know how to pull themselves out of the mud. But for the time being, let’s reminisce five of the greatest centuries Kohli did score in test cricket:

141 vs Australia, December 2014 In Adelaide

If there’s ever a choice between playing for a win or salvaging a draw, Kohli will always go for the first option, irrespective of the conditions and odds stacked against him. Asked to chase 364, Kohli, in his first test as a captain, played a valiant, stroke-filled knock of 141 even though on the other end, batters kept oscillating between the pavillion and the pitch. It was also Kohli’s first match as a test captain, and though he couldn’t take his side across the target, he set a blueprint for the era of unprecedented dominance to come.

153 vs South Africa, January 2018 In Centurion

On a devilish pitch against an unrelenting pace attack, where none of the batters managed more than 46, Virat Kohli showcased a masterclass on restraint and patience, scoring more than 50% of the total by himself. If not for AB de Villiers’ madness in the second innings, India would have easily walked out with a historic win, built upon the blood and sweat of Kohli. 

235 vs England, December 2016 In Mumbai

A personal score can tell you a lot about the nature of the pitch. If there’s a double-century against a player’s name, chances are he must be batting on an easy pitch. But on some occasions, this can also mislead you, as it might have if you hadn’t watched this 235 from Kohli against England in 2016. By the beginning of the third day, deep cracks began to appear, offering spinners to generate a vicious turn. Kohli swept and lifted the English duo of Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali on a raging turner to ensure a heavy victory for India. 

149 vs England, August 2018 In Edgbaston

Even though four years have passed since then, the very sight of watching James Anderson on his run-up, with clouds hovering over him, must have been enough to reignite the ghosts of the 2014 tour for the Indian skipper. This time, however, Kohli rode on a little bit of luck — dropped catch at slip — and conquered Anderson to rise to No. 1 test batter in the ICC rankings.

74 vs Australia, December 2014 In Adelaide.

Virat Kohli’s 74 in Adelaide was just another reminder that great cricketers, even during the low points of their career, are capable of doing what many can’t even dream of at their peak. The match was delicately poised till the time he stayed at the crease. Once he got out, things went downhill and stopped only after reaching its nadir: 36 all-out.

Featured Image: ICC