Antigua, July 21: Virat Kohli started his Test journey five years ago on the Caribbean islands. He had landed in the West Indies 2 months after celebrating World Cup victory at home. He is back again, this time as the captain.
It was on June 20, 2011, at Kingston's Sabina Park, that Kohli, as a 22-year-old, won his India Test cap. He did not have a memorable debut, getting out for 4 and 15 but the team won by 63 runs which took them to series victory in the 3-match rubber with the next 2 Tests ending in draws.
After playing 41 Tests, Kohli, now 27 years of age, is one of the best batsmen across all formats of the game. In 5 years of Test cricket, he has scored 11 centuries and 12 fifties, need just 6 more to reach the 3,000-run milestone. (1st Test preview)
He will lead India today (July 21) against West Indies at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadiun in the first Test of the 4-match series.
When Kohli was asked about his Test debut in the West Indies, he said the place is "memorable".
"It is a memorable place for me. I made my Test debut in the West Indies. It is nice to come back after so many years having played so many Test matches all over the world in between," Kohli said on the eve of the Test on Wednesday (July 20).
He added, "I literally had no clue about Test cricket when I came here. I found out a lot about the format and what the challenges were, at that stage. This is one place which made me realise what I need to improve on as far as my cricket is concerned. It all started here from here as far as my Test career is concerned and I am really happy to be back here.
"I have been here couple of times after that but never played Test cricket after my debut in 2011. It is always a nice place to come and play cricket. The atmosphere is really good, people like cricket and they come and support. I am really excited to play Test cricket here after so long and so is everyone else in the team."
Today will also mark the beginning of a new partnership in Indian cricket. Kohli and head coach Anil Kumble will join forces to take India forward. Kumble was last month appointed as the coach for a period of 1 year.