10 Things that changed in Cricket since Virat Kohli’s last international century

Kohli has crossed the 70-run mark multiple times but hasn't been able to breach the elusive three-figure mark since November 2019.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

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It has been almost been 27 months since Virat Kohli scored his last century. The behemoth batter had last attained his 70th ton during India’s first pink-ball Test in November 2019. Perhaps even world cricket in 2020 had undergone a brief pandemic pause but Kohli’s 71st century is enduring eternal yonks.

However, amidst the batter’s unique struggle, international cricket has also immensely evolved by leaps and bounds.  A lot of things have changed in the sport. Hence in this list, let’s check out 10 things that have changed since Virat Kohli’s last international ton.

10 Things that changed in cricket since Virat Kohli’s last international century

1. Pakistan beat India for the first time in World Cup

Before securing their maiden win against India, Pakistan had in total lost a combination of 12 WC games. Starting from their 1992 WC tally, the men in green endured seven and five losses in 50 and 20 over WC matches respectively. However, unflinchingly captain Babar Azam and his men left no stone unturned to reverse their tragic record in the 2021 T20 WC.

By initially beating India from a colossal margin, Pakistan topped the charts of group 2. The duo of Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam also smoothly emerged as the top three highest scorers of the tournament. In fact, beating New Zealand after their arch-rivals certainly made Pakistan the hot favourites.

Overall, though skipper Kohli’s 57 runs were the biggest hindrance, Pakistan conclusively had a cakewalk in their triumph. Nevertheless, a similar bitter pill was then swallowed when Australia had won the semi-final encounter.

2. Australia won the T20 World Cup for the first time

Well, before winning the 2021 World T20, the Aussies were badly missing the elusive T20I treasure. In their Kohinoor like cabinet, it was only the shortest format’s jewel that was absent. However, by thrashing their neighbours (NZ), skipper Finch etched his name in the elite company of the greatest Aussie captains.

Perhaps for such a massive success, Australia had to endure a very topsy-turvy ride. In their pre World Cup games, the men in yellow lost five consecutive T20I series. Even their top dogs like David Warner weren’t entering the mega event in the best of forms.

All in all, by seizing their latest ICC glory, the Australian men’s cricket team now have 8 trophies in total and they will be delighted to have finally won the missing trophy in their cabinet.

3. Ravi Ashwin made a comeback to white-ball cricket

After the 2017 Champions Trophy, Ravi Ashwin was omitted from white-ball affairs even as the wrist-spinning duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav emerged. Despite the veteran’s enriching IPL form, the cricketer wasn’t considered in the limited-overs pool. However, when Washington Sundar was unavailable, the 34-year old made a satisfying comeback from the 2021 T20 WC.

Though initially, Ashwin had to start behind the likes of Varun Chakravarthy, he’s now emerged as a vital cog in India’s T20I spin department. In terms of giving breakthroughs, Ashwin has also scalped 6 wickets from his latest 4 T20Is.

Overall, we hope that much like this old maestro even King Kohli’s normal services of scoring centuries quickly resumes.

4. England’s winless red-ball summer since 2001

In the year 2021, England suffered a massive ordeal in their red-ball affairs. Just recently they got hammered by Australia and they also equalled the record of most losses in a calendar year with Bangladesh. Unfortunately, by only winning four matches out of their 15, England ended 2021 with a total of nine defeats.

However, amidst these woeful damages, captain Joe Root and his men also went winless in their entire red-ball summer. As both New Zealand and India dominated the scorelines, England failed to secure a series win much like 2001. Perhaps in 2001, it was the giants like Pakistan and Australia who had stopped England from winning in their backyard.

Overall, the country that boasts itself as Test cricket’s only home also experienced a total of 54 ducks from their red-ball batters in 2021. All in all, we wish that soon 2022 ends both England’s red-ball and Virat Kohli’s century issues.

5. IPL became a 10-team tournament

Though the Lucknow and Ahmedabad teams haven’t still played their first IPL game, their incorporation in the cash-rich league is now official. Both these bumper franchises are not only the new entrants but also the two most expensive sides. Perhaps by also signing their star players, very soon they’ll start a new chapter at the mega auction.

However, the idea of adding two new franchises was floating in the BCCI since IPL 2020. In terms of total fixtures, the board has also even confirmed a total of 74 games will be played in the league stage. In fact, after IPL 2013, it will be for the first time that a season will feature more than 8 teams.

All in all, as 2022 has currently reshaped the world’s biggest T20 league, even the former RCB skipper’s form shall get reshaped.

6. India registered its lowest total in Tests

There’s no doubt that the events of 36-all out in Adelaide had initially traumatized the Indian batting by all means. Personally, for skipper Kohli, it was a much more severe pill to swallow merely because of his further unavailability. Such a torment also made team India register its lowest batting point in Test history.

Perhaps those numbers also broke Ireland’s record of amassing the lowest Test total (38) in the 21st century. Collectively, it was the trio of Cummins, Starc and Hazlewood who combined to scalp 17 wickets to cause such adversity.

Overall, barring such a hardship, skipper Ajinkya Rahane even encountered a bombardment of injuries. However, in the end by breaching the Gabba, team India secured a euphoric series victory in Australia.

7. India didn’t reach knockouts of ICC event for first time since 2012

In the last decade, the ICC had organized tournaments each year except in 2018. Right from the Champions Trophy to the two World Cup formats, the mega-events took place all around the globe. Perhaps for team India, it was only the 2012 T20 World Cup that had brought an early exit.

From the 2013 Champions Trophy onwards, the men in blue had reached knockouts on every occasion. However, their latest debacle in the 2021 World T20, unfortunately, became the second instance since 2012. Though captain Kohli and his men tried hard to qualify through better NRR, other top teams were already exhibiting a greater win tally.

Comprehensively, the T20 mega event also was the first instance when Virat Kohli led India in a T20 World Cup.

8. RCB consecutively qualified for IPL playoffs in 2020 & 2021

Righteously after Virat Kohli’s last international century, RCB has had two interesting IPLs. Post pandemic, twice the red army consecutively qualified for playoffs in 2020 & 2021. Perhaps the franchise also reshaped itself to take massive strides to improve its overall bowling. Particularly, the monumental rise of Harshal Patel also allowed RCB to win its first purple cap in 2021.

However, bitterly before IPL 2020, the Bangalore franchise had hit rock bottom with regards to their performances. After the majestic highs of 2016, captain Kohli and his men had twice finished last in IPL 2017 & 2019. Even in IPL 2018, RCB had failed to even dwell itself in the top five positions.

Overall, though even the former captain had lately experienced two reasonable IPL seasons, the team, in general, were the hot favourites to win IPL 2021.

9. AB de Villiers bid adieu to IPL

After hanging his international boots in 2018, AB de Villiers had become a T20 freelancer. Though his comeback talks with the Cricket South Africa (CSA) were always shaping, it eventually never happened. By participating in all major T20 leagues post retirement, ABD was having a ball of a time in the shortest format.

Even for the red army, the 37-year old was firing on full cylinders. Till the first half of IPL 2021, his batting average had even crossed over 51. However, a dip in the second half was one of the chief reasons that contemplated the cricketer to seek retirement.

Overall, by amassing more than five thousand runs, AB de Villiers prolifically ended his IPL career as the sixth-highest all-time run-scorer.

10. Kohli no longer is India’s captain in any format

In 2021, Virat Kohli could have become the greatest captain in Indian cricket. Having an opportunity to win both the WTC final and 2021 World T20 would have also made India the indomitable team. However, unexpectedly 2021 made Kohli relinquish his leadership from all three formats.

Though at some point, the 33-year old was expected to step away from T20Is, quitting Test leadership was never a situation. In fact, by possessing a fairy tale record of 40 wins from 68 games had almost dwelled Virat to become the third most successful captain of the format.

All in all, we hope that as King Kohli is now relieved from the captaincy duties, his batting again starts firing again like before.