Well, many of us ardent Indian cricket fans will be quick to point out that the first man to notch up a ton against the pink ball was Virat Kohli. Surely, Kohli did score a magnificent century in the First Pink-ball Test that India played against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Nov 23, 2019.
But are we missing something? Rather, are we conveniently ignoring the truth?
A forgotten fact is that the first Indian to score a century in a competitive match played with the pink ball was Rahul Sharad Dravid- an epitome of defiance in Indian cricket, not the current Indian captain, with all due respect.
Kohli’s prowess against white or red-ball cricket is unmatched. The numbers are are there. And when he brought out a fine century versus the pink-ball, it only reaffirmed his status as the numero uno batsman in the world.
But Rahul Dravid, who turns 48 today, was no less- remember?
What’s interesting is that how in the age where number obsession is as common a sight as traffic in urban India, we tend to forget actuality.
Dravid- the man we remembered recently when the Australians ran over India in Oz- was the first man to establish ‘pink credentials.’
Here’s what actually happened:
It was a contest that one probably may not remember all that well it being held back in the day, circa 2011.
The contest was held at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, against Nottinghamshire. It was a curtain raiser game ahead of the English county season in which the pink ball was being trialed for the 1st time. Rahul Dravid, having got out for a two-ball duck in the first innings, came up with a classy century in the next.
His 106 was the highest score of the match as the MCC won by a massive 174 runs.
The MCC team had the likes of Mohammed Nabi of Afganistan, Australia’s Chris Rogers and the current number one T20 batsmen in the world, David Malan.
Surely, these un-ordinary names made the contest a fascinating one.
So while it will always be Virat Kohli as the First Indian to surpass a three figure mark in a pink ball Test match, the honour- lest you still allow bias to override facts- shall rest with the man considered to be India’s best #3.
As has often been the case, the man who saved India the blues during his playing days and still steps up when it comes to batting for the good causes (and playing the mentor), it was Rahul Dravid who was the torch bearer in this one.
And not the greatest batsman in contemporary cricket Virat Kohli.