Virat Kohli notched up his 23rd Test century on the third day of the Trent Bridge Test to help India set a daunting 521-target against England. Kohli reached his half-century off 74 deliveries and then brought up his second century of the series in 189 balls. His 103-run knock was laced with 10 boundaries.
With this innings, Virat also became India’s highest scorer as captain in Tests outside India as he surpassed Sourav Ganguly’s 1693 runs. The Indian captain now has 58 centuries to his name in international cricket.
Kohli also crossed the 400-run mark in this series, becoming only the second Indian captain after Mohammad Azharuddin (426) to do so against England. Overall, he is the sixth Indian batsman to achieve this feat.
Seeing the way Kohli buried the demons of his previous England tour in this series, former England captain Nasser Hussain has labelled him as the greatest player on the planet.
“Kohli might not feel he had a point to prove in England after his 2014 tour but world cricket was waiting to see if he could get runs here to cement himself as a great and be up there with Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar for India,” Hussain wrote in his column for Sky Sports.
“He has put any doubts well and truly to bed, with 400 runs in conditions that have been very bowler-friendly. He is far from a flat-track bully. It's been an outstanding performance from a great, great player. I believe he is the greatest player on the planet right now. I like the balance he has between intensity and having a relaxed nature - he will talk to the umpires, talk to Anderson, Stokes and Jos Buttler but the moment he is on strike, boy, does he switch on,” he added.
During the 2014 England tour, Kohli had aggregated only 134 runs at a dismal average of 13.40 in five Test matches. However, he was determined to do well this time around. The Indian captain waged a lone battle in the first Test at Edgbaston, scoring a magnificent 149 in the first innings and followed it with a flawless 51 in the second dig.
“There is always something you can do as a captain or bowling attack otherwise there is no point going out there, and England have tried a variety of things against Kohli,” Nasser wrote.
“They brought Jonny Bairstow up to the stumps against Sam Curran in the last game and brought short leg up to push him back in his crease. They have bowled the odd bouncer at him, too - they could have bowled more but as the ball has been nipping around, they've fancied nicking him off,” he explained.
With two Tests still to go, it will be interesting to see how many runs Virat manages to add in his already astonishing tally. While Southampton will host the fourth Test, the fifth and final Test will be played at The Oval.