India skipper Virat Kohli aggregated 200 runs in the first Test against England at Edgbaston but couldn’t save his team from suffering an agonizing 31-run defeat. India were bowled out for 274 and 162 in their first and second innings, with rest of the team contributing only 236 runs.
Virat finished the match as the leading run-scorer from either side. While the Indian captain registered his maiden Test ton (149) on English soil in the first innings, he scored a flawless 51 in the second innings. Consequently, Kohli jumped past Steve Smith to clinch the no. 1 spot in ICC’s Test rankings for batsmen.
Seeing Kohli’s heroics amidst adverse English conditions, former India captain MS Dhoni has termed his successor as close to being a “legend”.
"Virat is the best. He has reached a status where he is close to legend status. I am very happy for him. The way he has batted everywhere and the last few years he has been brilliant taking the team forward. That's what you want from a leader. All the best to him and very well done," Dhoni quoted as saying by India Today.
While Kohli became the No.1 Test batsman for the first time in his 67-Test career, he also became the seventh Indian batsman and first since Sachin Tendulkar in June 2011 to achieve this monumental feat.
Besides Kohli; Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Gautam Gambhir, Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag and Dilip Vengsarkar are the other India batsmen to have achieved no. 1 rankings in Test cricket. However, with 934 rating points to his name, Kohli has become India’s highest-ranked batsman and 14th overall on the all-time tally of points.
Even though India’s batting line-up failed to live up to the expectations, bowlers came to the party once again. Continuing where they left off in South Africa, Indian bowlers claimed 20 English wickets, with Ashwin picking up seven wickets in the match and Ishant taking five-wicket haul in the second innings.
Given the performance of Indian bowling attack, Dhoni also hoped the remaining four Tests to be competitive.
"To win a Test match you need 20 wickets. And we did that. That's all I will say. It doesn't matter how well you bat and how well you are there for five days but if you take 20 wickets, you can win a Test match," Dhoni concluded.
Lord’s will host the second Test between England and India from Thursday (August 9).