We all figured out pretty early that Virat Kohli will breach the milestone of having played in 100 test matches. Playing in 100 test matches is considered a huge achievement for any test player and is undeniable proof of a very successful test career. Not many reach it. Many talented and deserving players have failed to reach it. Cheteshwar Pujara, a test specialist and the mainstay of Indian batting for a decade is still five short of getting to 100 tests.
So when another cricket legend and the current coach of the senior Indian team Rahul Dravid, presented a memento to Kohli to mark his 100th test, at the start of the current Indian Srilanka test series we all gave a heartfelt though largely expected applauds. We had all seen it long coming. But what we had not expected were the circumstances or the juncture where Virat would be standing when he reaches the 100 test milestone.
It seems unreal but the fact remains that he has gone 63 innings and two years in the test matches without having scored a ton. It is a huge slump for a player of his calibre and undisputed greatness. Also, he has recently lost the white ball captaincy to Rohit Sharma, in both the one-day and T20 format. These are unquestionably challenging times for King Kohli. No one doubts his greatness as a player. He is the best in his era. But how he will fare when compared to other batting greats across generations will largely depend on the way his cricket career proceeds from here.
We all know that if he wishes he will play many more tests. But now it is the question of motivation. A question of continued and insatiable hunger for runs. Whether the fire in him that made him King Kohli, the best in his generation, is still there and will continue to burn as bright as ever.
Maybe with growing age, he will have to make some changes to his approach to his batting. Even Tendulkar did it, successfully and not without being criticized, to further his career.
Maybe Kohli will redefine himself. Rediscover himself. Or continue as he has always done, score heavily, and simply brush aside the troubled times in the last two years (by his high standards) as a bad phase. He can do all of that. After all, he is King Kohli.
Kohli is 33 and extremely fit. The early thirties is the age when a player is considered to be in his best zone. He is batting against Srilanka in the current test as we write his piece. Maybe by the end of the day, he would have scored a century and eased many minds including his own.