With all the odds stacked up against Virat Kohli, the Indian cricket captain battled hard to notch up his 22nd Test century on Day 2 of the 1st Test at Birmingham. The 29-year was left stranded as pacers Sam Curran, Ben Stokes and James Anderson ripped the batting line-up apart but somehow, patience helped Kohli stick through thick and thin to bring up his ton in England, a feat which he never achieved before. (IND vs ENG 1st Test Match Scorecard)
The Indian skipper has silenced his critics with his impressive performance on the 1st Test itself. While the rest could not contribute, it was Kohli who stood tall on the second day at Edgbaston, Birmingham.
He also became the fourth Indian captain to score a Test ton in England after Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, Mohammad Azharuddin and Sourav Ganguly.
A point to be brought up - In 2014, Kohli managed to score just 134 runs in five Test matches at a dismal batting average of 13.40. It was the obvious writing on the wall for Kohli to rewrite his story in England. It was also his 15th Test century as the Team India skipper.
The top order crumbled as youngster Curran saw Shikhar Dhawan (26), Murali Vijay (20), KL Rahul (4) and the first two overs he bowled.
As Kohli notched up his 22nd Test century, Kohli took out his wedding ring which he wears as a chain and kissed it, a dedication to his wife Anushka Sharma. The skipper had earlier celebrated this manner in the tour of South Africa earlier on in the Test series in January this year.
In Edgbaston, Birmingham, the highest score set on this ground was by the Master Blaster himself, Sachin Tendulkar, who scored 122 back in 1996. 22 years later, Kohli established his dominance as he broke Tendulkar's record and set the highest ever score in this ground with his 149.
If England's 1000th Test match was supposed to be special for the hosts, the history books would surely state that it was captain Kohli who stole the limelight.
CRICKET FRATERNITY SALUTES KOHLI
A brilliant hundred from Kohli. Scored more in this first innings than he did in 10 innings in 2014. Added 99 so far with Shami, Ishant and Yadav , who have scored 8 between them. #ENGIND pic.twitter.com/POeNkl9Oip— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) August 2, 2018
Been a privilege to have seen this innings from Virat Kohli.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) August 2, 2018
First Century. First of Many. Well played, Virat Kohli. Best batsman on the planet. #EngvInd— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) August 2, 2018
A masterclass from Virat Kohli, leading from the front. A display of tremendous character determination and grit #ENGIND— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) August 2, 2018
Earlier at Tea, captain Virat Kohli got two reprieves before recording his first Test fifty in England as India struggled to 160 for six following a middle-order collapse in the opening Test here today.
Ben Stokes and Sam Curran shared six wickets as the visitors found themselves in a precarious situation at tea on day two.
At Edgbaston, only Kohli (53 not out at the time) stood among the ruins, benefitting from a dropped catch at second slip when on 21. He got another life when on 51.
At the break, R Ashwin (6) was giving Kohli company, while India trail by another 127 runs after England were bowled out for 287 runs in 89.4 overs in their first innings.
Post lunch, Stokes (2-40) took two wickets in the space of five balls as India's middle order was completely rocked. He had started proceedings with James Anderson (0-27) at the other end.
Anderson bowled a five-over spell during which he tied down Kohli, while Stokes did the damage. Despite India crossing 100 in the 28th over as the fourth wicket partnership grew to 41, Ajinkya Rahane (15) didn't look comfortable at the crease.
He was unable to comprehend Stokes' away swing and finally edged to third slip in the 27th over. Two overs later, Dinesh Karthik failed to fend off a full inswinger and was bowled for a four-ball duck as India were reduced to 100-5.
It could have been worse Hardik Pandya (22), on 0, escaped a loud lbw shout with DRS coming to his rescue. Stokes continued to pester him, as on the next delivery, in the 32nd over, Alastair Cook dropped Pandya at first slip.
It was a triply whammy, because a ball earlier, in the 31st over, Kohli was dropped at second slip off Anderson by Dawid Malan.
(With PTI Inputs)