Virat Kohli's maiden Test ton in England keeps things even

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli celebrates scoring a century
©Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes 100th Test wicket for England Cricket
©Reuters/Andrew Boyers

On a typical day of Test cricket with the ball doing a bit, spectators were treated to the ebbs and flows of the five-day format and a top drawer contest between Virat Kohli and Jimmy Anderson.

England 287 and 9-1 (Ravichandran Ashwin 1-5) lead by 22 runs

India 274 (Virat Kohli 149; Sam Curran 4-74, Adil Rashid 2-31)

The day began with India just one wicket away from cleaning up England. It did not take long as Sam Curran fished on one outside the off stump from Mohammed Shami in the very second over of the day. With England bundled out for 287, it was time for Indian openers Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan to take the crease.

Interestingly, the new ball did not do as much as it was anticipated. English new ball bowlers in Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad and first change Sam Curran tried to pitch the ball as full as possible in order to extract some swing.

However, Shikhar Dhawan (26) and Murali Vijay (20) batted sensibly and took India to 50 before Sam Curran (17-74-4) drew first blood, trapping Vijay in front of the wickets. KL Rahul (4) and Shikhar Dhawan were also dismissed in a matter of few balls by Curran as the match suddenly changed directions with India being 59 for 3.

Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli then tried to weather the storm. However, after Lunch the English bowlers led by Ben Stokes (19-73-2) stepped up to the occasion and increased the pressure on the Indian batsmen. After Rahane (15) and Dinesh Karthik (0) were dismissed in quick succession, all-rounder Hardik Pandya (22) offered some resistance to stitch an excellent partnership with Virat Kohli.

Kohli, on the other hand, played a very watchful knock as he looked determined to go big in England. He did not fish too much with deliveries outside the off stump as the fans were treated to a great contest between Jimmy Anderson (22-41-2) and Kohli.

Anderson held the 5th stump line with the ball moving away from Kohli. The Indian captain replied in kind and did not lose his patience, discounting a couple of dropped chances by David Malan.

Once Hardik Pandya was dismissed on a beautifully swinging delivery from Sam Curran, it looked as if the Indian innings was nearing its end.

However, Kohli's useful partnerships with the lower order including Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav shrunk England's lead - that was at one point seeming to be more than 100 - to 13 runs. Kohli was the last Indian wicket to fall, just one shy of 150.

With four overs to face, England could not leave the field without any damage as captain Alastair Cook (0) was dismissed by Ravichandran Ashwin on a ball that was almost an action replay of the first innings. As England lead by 22 runs with India slated to bat last on a wicket where the ball is doing a bit, the match looks evenly poised.

© Cricket World


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