Virat Kohli was nearing his century when he gestured towards the Indian dressing room. He asked should he declare the innings with him still 14 runs away from his 50th international century? India were batting in their second innings of the first Test against Sri Lanka at Eden Gardens and were setting a target. With just over a session remaining, India were running out of time. So Kohli’s gesture was to ask India coach Ravi Shastri if it was time to declare.
The Indian Express learns that this was the message: Four overs and 20 runs. Bat on. Shastri did not stop him from continuing to bat for the next four over or 20 runs, whichever happens first.
Even in a video posted by BCCI’s official Twitter handle, Kohli and Shastri are seen exchanging signals about the declaration. Shastri makes a signal of 20 runs while Kohli asks to send the message through a substitute. Shastri sends a substitute later.
— BCCI (@BCCI) 20 November 2017
Kohli went on to score his 18th Test century as he dashed from 70 to 104* — his final score in that innings. This was his 50th international ton in 348th innings, joint quickest with Hashim Amla. Only Indian ahead of Kohli now is Sachin Tendulkar who has 100 internationals tons, a world record.
India gave Sri Lanka a target of 231 runs with 42 overs remaining in the final day’s play. But, due to bad light, India could not bowl all the overs. Even in the one session they had, India picked seven Sri Lanka wickets and marched towards an improbable victory before umpires called it off.