As India's ICC World Test Championship final against Australia comes close, being all set to start on June 7 at The Oval, all eyes are on star batter Virat Kohli, who roared back to form across all formats from late 2022 onwards and has his eyes set on the prestigious Test Championship mace, for which he will have to be at his best against Australia, an opponent he loves playing against.
Virat indeed loves playing against Australia. In 24 Tests against Australia, he has scored 1,979 runs at an average of 48.26, with eight tons and five fifties. His best score is 186. Across all formats against Australia, Virat has played 92 matches, in which he has scored 4,945 runs at an average of 50.97. His best score is 186. He has scored 16 centuries and 24 fifties against Aussies.
As he prepares to play a big knock in the title clash, let us look at some of the records Kohli might break during the match.
-Most runs by a player in ICC tournament knockout matches
Virat currently has a total of 620 runs in ICC tournaments knock-out stages matches. In his 16 innings across 15 knockout matches, Virat has scored 620 runs at an average of 51.66. He has scored six fifties in the knockout matches, with best score of 96*. In case he scores big, he will surpass legends like Sachin Tendulkar (657 runs in 14 knockout innings with one century and five fifties) and Ricky Ponting (731 in 18 innings with three centuries and a fifty) to become the 'King' of ICC knockout matches.
-Most Test runs against a bowler
Cheteshwar Pujara holds this record. He has scored a total of 570 runs against Nathan Lyon. Virat sits on fourth with 511 runs against the same bowler, with Steve Smith (520 runs against Stuart Broad) and Kumar Sangakkara (531 runs against Saeed Ajmal) above him. A massive score will see Virat leapfrog these superstars and take the throne.
-Most international runs by an Indian batter in England
Currently, Rahul Dravid has the most international cricket runs in England by an Indian player. In 46 matches, England has scored 2,645 runs at an average of 55.10 in England, with a total of eight centuries and 15 fifties. Sachin is in second place with 2,626 runs in 43 matches with seven centuries and 12 centuries. Virat is in third place with 2,574 runs in 56 matches with three centuries and 18 fifties at an average of 40.85. Virat needs just 72 more runs to climb to the top in this aspect.
-Virat's will touch two milestones against Australia
In Tests against Australia, Virat has scored 1,979 runs at an average of 48.26, with eight centuries and five fifties in 24 matches. He needs just 21 runs to get 2,000 runs in Test cricket against Australia. In international cricket, Virat has scored 4,945 runs at an average of 50.97 in 92 matches against Australia. He needs to score 55 more runs to touch the 5,000-run mark against Australia.
-Most ICC knockout stage matches
Australian batting great Ricky Ponting has played the most number of ICC knockout stage matches in various tournaments like the 50-over World Cup, 20-over World Cup and the Champions Trophy. He has played a total of 18 such matches. Yuvraj Singh has played 17 such matches while Virat, Sachin and MS Dhoni have played 15 knockout matches each. Virat will leapfrog above Sachin and Dhoni to become the player with the third-highest ICC knockout match appearances.
-950 fours in Test cricket
Virat has currently hit 941 fours in the longer format. He has to hit nine more to touch 950-mark. Sachin Tendulkar (2,058 fours) has the most fours in Test cricket.
-Most Test centuries by an Indian against Australia
Sachin Tendulkar currently has 11 Test centuries against Australia, the most by any Indian. Sunil Gavaskar and Virat have eight each. In case Virat scores a century, Virat will become the Indian player with the second-highest Test centuries against Australia, a total of nine.
-Most international centuries by an Indian in SENA countries by age of 34
South Africa, England, New Zealand, Australia are SENA countries where Indians do not have a very good record historically. But by the age of 34, Sachin had hit 22 centuries across these nations, while Virat is at 21. He needs one more century to equal Sachin's record and two back-to-back tons in the WTC final to go over Sachin to become India's master in overseas conditions.
-Fastest to 76 centuries
Virat is currently at 75 international centuries. If he hits his 76th ton against Australia in the WTC final, he will reach this landmark in 555 innings, faster than Sachin (587 innings).
-Most international hundreds against a team
Sachin has 20 international tons against Australia, which is most by any player against a team. Legendary Australia batter Don Bradman has 19 against England while Sachin has 17 against Sri Lanka. Virat sits fourth with 16 centuries against Australia. He will need one century to level Sachin's century tally against Sri Lanka, while two back-to-back tons will take him to the third spot with 18 tons.
-First Indian after Sourav Ganguly to score century in an ICC final
Ganguly scored a century for India in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2000. Since then, no Indian has been able to hit a century in the final of an ICC tournament. Virat could be the one to break this century drought.
Australia ended at the top of the WTC table with 11 wins, three losses, five draws in 19 matches whereas India ended in second position with 10 wins, five losses and three draws.
India's squad for WTC final: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, KS Bharat (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Ishan Kishan (wk).
Suryakumar Yadav, Mukesh Kumar and Yashasvi Jaiswal have been named as stand-by players for the high-stakes match.
Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey (wk), Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Josh Inglis (wk), Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy, Michael Neser, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, David Warner
Standby players: Mitch Marsh, and Matthew Renshaw. (ANI)