Virat Kohli overcomes 2014 horror with first test fifty in England
Virat Kohli marked his first half-century of England tryout as the captain led an energetic retaliation for India after Sam Curran and Ben Stokes carved out the first half of the visiting batting team. Kohli was dropped on the 21st and looked a little uncomfortable at first, but once he got his eyes on it it wasn’t possible to stop the world number two batsman d ‘trial.
Kohli also became the 5th Indian to score half a century in his first test heats as captain in England. The other four Indian captains to do so were Vijay Hazare (89 in 1952), Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi (64 in 1967), Ajit Wadekar (85 in 1971) and Mohd Azharuddin (121 in 1990).
Earlier today, India eliminated England for 287. Soon after, Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan struck a 50-point partnership, but Curran knocked out Vijay, KL Rahul and Dhawan from successive overs to put India in trouble on day 2 of the first Test at Edgbaston.
After lunch, Stokes added to India’s woes when he pulled out reliable Ajinkya Rahane and Dinesh Karthik, again on back-to-back overs. Hardik Pandya survived a tight LBW call on the exam and maybe that was just the feel-good factor India and her captain needed under the dark Birmingham skies.
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Kohli had undergone a horror tour of England in 2014, managing just 134 races with a maximum of 39. However, he had since scored 15 hundred tests, including six double hundreds (four in successive heats) and there were d ‘Huge expectations of him even before the first ball in the series of five tests had been thrown.
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Kohli came out at bat on Thursday as India was 54/2 on 14 overs. He then saw Dhawan, Rahane and Karthik perish on the other side. Virat Kohli was in desperate need of support and he found it in Pandya, who settled in after a nervous start.
Kohli was patient and left a lot of bullets outside of his stump unlike the others, who wanted to chase anything at a distance. Whenever he could, Kohli drilled the holes to cross a border, but there were no unwarranted risks, no single pointy attempt.
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The last time India faced England in a Test Series (in 2016 in India), Kohli scored 655 points including a sublime double cent.
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This series started off on a much better note for Kohli although the other drummers have to work their technique and skills against the English crimps. Maybe they can take a sheet of their captain’s book.