Kohli isn't quite the master of chases in Tests as he is in limited-overs

Aditya Devavrat 19:39 19/12/2018
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Kohli hasn't managed to master Test chases this year.

Heading into India‘s overseas slate of South Africa, England, and Australia, a stretch of tours that began with the New Year’s Test in South Africa in January, and culminates at the end of the ongoing series in Australia, all eyes were, as always, on Virat Kohli.

His record in away Tests, and especially in England, was under scrutiny. Over the past year, however, he’s conquered all conditions – as a batsman, at least. But as a captain and match-winner, the numbers make for grim reading.

Kohli has managed four centuries in 10 Tests across these three tours, but only one – against England at Trent Bridge – has come in a winning cause, with the other three all ending in India losses.

He’s made 11 in 27 overseas Tests overall against South Africa, England, New Zealand, and Australia (SENA), but only one, that 103 at Trent Bridge this year, has come in a win.

And Kohli, the master of a chase in limited-overs cricket, hasn’t been able to translate that skill into Tests this year.

He averages just 26.40 in six fourth-innings chases across these three tours, with no 100s and two 50s. That’s a far cry from his overall fourth-innings average against these four countries overseas, which is a respectable 47.84.

India’s batsmen in general have been poor at chases in Tests across their last three away series. Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul are the only ones to have fourth-innings centuries, with both hitting the three-figure mark at the Oval in September.

Largely on the back of that knock of 114, Pant has India’s highest overseas fourth-innings average this year, at 54, and Rahul’s average of 33.20 is also almost entirely down to that Oval century, which accounted for 149 of his 166 overseas fourth-innings runs in 2018.

Ajinkya Rahane is the only other batsman to have averaged 30 or more, coming in at exactly 30, but with just one fifty.

While Kohli would be disappointed with his own record, the most shocking statistic belongs to Cheteshwar Pujara. India’s current No 3 is often compared to Rahul Dravid, his predecessor in the position.

Dravid’s fourth-innings in away Tests for India against SENA countries was 44.42. This year, Pujara has averaged 6.4.

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