Virat Kohli becomes India's best fourth innings batsman, betters Gavaskar's average

Kohli's average, batting in fourth innings, is better than the likes of Tendulkars, Dravids and Laxmans.

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New Delhi, Nov 14: After saving a Test match for India at Rajkot, Virat Kohli proved that team can not only depend on him for scoring runs but also when it comes at saving it.

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Set an unachievable target of 310 runs in 49 overs, it was clear India can't win the game and draw or a loss at England's hands were the only possibilities.

India even lost opener Gautam Gambhir very early putting more pressure over hosts, but the skipper played a fighting unbeaten 49-run knock and stitched crucial partnership with Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin to ensure they manage a draw.

Batting in the fourth and final innings is never easy on Indian pitches but Kohli, the master of chase, kept his cool and helped India survive anxious moments and save India from a big embarrassment.

Kohli's composed and gritty innings in the fourth innings at Rajkot was much different from his past knocks. For it was after a long gap when India were actually batting in the fourth innings and play for a draw.

(From Cook's century to Kohli's hit wicket: Key takeaways from India-England 1st Test)

In doing so, Kohli, who has good numbers batting second, has surpassed India's cricketing legends like Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman to hold the highest batting average at 65.27.

Kohli has played on 15 occasions in fourth innings but averages 65.27. Gavaskar who has played 33 innings, batting in fourth innings, stands at second position with an average of 58.25.

Kohli's average, batting in fourth innings, is better than the likes of Tendulkars, Dravids and Laxmans.

Kohli's performance in fourth innings:

        Player  Inns  Runs   HS Avg 100/s  50/s 
Virat Kohli   15 718 141  65.27   2  4
Sunil Gavaskar  331398  221 58.25  4  8
Rahul Dravid  561552103* 40.84  1  9
VVS Laxman  381095103* 40.55  1  7
Sourav Ganguly  32 864101* 37.56  1  3
Sachin Tendulkar   601625136 36.93  3 7 

Kohli, who is India's batting mainstay, has so far aggregated 718 runs batting in fourth innings, which also includes 2 centuries, one came at Wellington against New Zealand and the other in Adelaide against Australia.

India's cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar has played most batting in fourth innings (60) and aggregated maximum runs for India (1625). While Gavaskar has scored 1398 runs in 33 innings, in the fourth innings.

The 141 he scored against Australia in Adelaide is still regarded as one of the most daring innings till date. Chasing a target of 364, India put up a valiant effort and scored 315 in the fourth innings, and lost the match by a paltry margin of 48 runs.

Kohli was dismissed in a bizarre fashion in the first innings as a result India were bundled out at 488 in response to England's 537. Had Kohli not been dismissed hit-wicket to leg-spinner Adil Rashid, India could very well have taken a considerable lead over England in their first innings.

He has had an incredible year, 2016, so far. He has scored more than 2000 international runs in this year and slammed 2 double hundreds in Tests, to become first Indian Test skipper to do so.

The exceptional form the 28-year-old Delhi dasher is in will be a force to reckon with in the remainder of Test series against England and end the year another high.

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