During that memorable stretch of 1028 days, when Virat Kohli struggled for a century across formats, amid diminishing form which led to him taking a month-long vacation.
Former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar, among those passionate supporters, had claimed that once Kohli managed to break free from the restraints, there will be no stopping for him.
Since ending his drought with an inconceivable tonne in T20Is last September, Kohli has since struck four hundreds, three of which came in ODIs and two at the very start of 2023, both against Sri Lanka.
Kohli scored his 46th ODI century on Sunday in the last game of the series against Sri Lanka at the Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram.
He did it by hitting 10 fours and one six in his 85-ball effort. Now only three tonnes separate him from tying Sachin Tendulkar’s outstanding record of 49 tonnes; he is now ranked second all-time in the format.
As a result of this century, Kohli has now scored more hundreds against a single opponent than either Sachin or himself.
As of today, the former India skipper is the only batsman in ODI history to score 10 hundreds against Sri Lanka. While Sachin has a comparable record versus Australia, he has a better record against the West Indies, with nine tonnes to his name.
Not only did he surpass Sachin’s record for home centuries, he set a new one. Kohli has now hit 21 hundreds in India over the course of 101 at bats. His 113 runs in the first game of the series this week put him on par with Sachin in this category.
Once Kohli reached fifty, he moved into a tie for second place with former Australian captain Ricky Ponting and iconic South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis for the most fifty-plus runs in their own stadium during ODI play.
Each of the three has 46 such runs, second only to legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar (58). Twenty centuries and twenty-six fifties are included in Kohli’s total.
On his way to the milestone, he passed Kallis (5186 runs) to become the third-highest run-getter in the format at home. Kohli is third in domestic runs behind only Sachin (6976) and Ponting (5521).
The most notable achievement, though, was Kohli’s move into the top five all-time ODI run scorers. At the point in his innings where he had scored 64 runs, Kohli has overtaken the 12650 run total of Sri Lankan legend Mahela Jayawardene in 50-overs cricket.
After top-scorer Sachin Tendulkar, Kohli is the second Indian on the list (18426). Sanath Jayasuriya (147), Kumar Sangakkara (14234), and Ricky Ponting (13704) are a few others (13430).