New Delhi: Virat Kohli didn't remove his helmet while celebrating his hundred against England on the first day of second Test at Visakhapatnam on Thursday. The message from the skipper was clear for everyone, including English bowlers, that he's going for a big score.
Kohli, 28, finally produced a good innings against England, and hit his 14th Test hundred, helping India take control of the match in the process. But for a skipper, who believes in leading by example, a hundred is not enough and specially against England, he needs a big one.
Now the question is, can he produce the highest individual Test score for an Indian batsman against England. The record belongs to Vinod Kambli, the prodigious left-handed maverick whose career took tragic turns despite a brilliant start.
The Mumbai batsman scored 224 against Graham Gooch's England at Wankhede Stadium in February 1993. India won the match by an innings and 15 runs. That brilliant double hundred was followed by another, against Zimbabwe the following month in Delhi.
Kohli's previous best against England was 103 at Nagpur four years ago. He has since hit a slump against the English bowlers, with a certain James Anderson becoming his nemesis.
But today, playing in his favourite ground, Kohli showed why he is considered a modern day great. He not only weathered Anderson, but also dictated the terms. He stitched a 226-run stand with an ever impressive Cheteshwar Pujara (119).
For the record, Kohli's average at Vizag is close to hundred, in all formats. He has previously scored 118, 117, 99 and 65 at the Played at Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy Stadium.
Last month, he scored his second double Test hundred, against New Zealand, with the first coming in July, in West Indies.