Following a day washed out due to rain, the eagerly-awaited World Test Championship finally began between India and New Zealand in Southampton on Saturday. While New Zealand captain Kane Williamson gained an early advantage by winning the toss and decided to bowl first in conditions favorable to the bowlers, Indian fans were in a spot of bother. However what transpired over the next 60-odd overs on the day, interrupted with bad light in between, was some batting mastery led by Indian skipper Virat Kohli. Let's take a deeper look at Kohli and four things on the first day of action!
Solid start from Rohit-Gill
Before we gaze down on Kohli, it's important to appreciate the opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, who didn't just provide a solid foundation but also nullified the threat of the new ball. However, it's worth pointing out that the Kiwi bowling line came into question during the first session of play as Indian batsmen left anything that was on the length. Both the players added 62 runs for the first wicket and played the majority of the first 28 overs of the session.
New Zealand decide to go aggressive with bouncers
Initially, when New Zealand failed to take wickets, their bowlers started attacking the Indian batsmen with bouncers. First, Kyle Jamieson hit Shubman Gill's helmet during the 17th over. According to the concussion rule, whenever the ball hits the batsman's head, the team physio has to come and inspect the batsman. Due to which the match was stopped for a while. This wasn't only such incident as after lunch in the 37th over, Neil Wagner hit Pujara's too. The intensity and pacer of the impact also broke and shattered the safety guard on Pujara's helmet. However, India seemed unperturbed by such mind games.
Leaders at work: Kohli-Rahane batting masterclass
When Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, and Shubman Gill were shown the way to the pavilion by the New Zealand bowlers in quick succession, Virat Kohli, along with Ajinkya Rahane, took charge of the matter with some batting mastery that would please any purist. While in the past it is often seen that Indian batsmen often take their time to settle down in English condition, the duo's year of experience just showed in the unbeaten 58-run partnership for the fourth wicket between the two players and till the end of the second day's play.
Kohli shatters another record
By the end of the second day's play, Virat Kohli has scored 44 runs in 124 balls. With the help of these runs, the captain breached the 7500-run mark in Test cricket. Kohli now is the 42nd and sixth Indian player to achieve this feat in Tests. Before Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sunil Gavaskar, VVS Laxman, and Virender Sehwag have surpassed the milestone. Interestingly, Kohli has also matched Gavaskar's pace with 7500 runs in 154 innings. Kohli has so far scored 27 centuries and 25 half-centuries in Tests.
Bad light playing spoilsport
The way the New Zealand bowlers and the Indian batsmen are witnessing a war, the excitement of the World Test match has increased a lot, but in this adventure, bad light disturbed it several times on the second day, due to which the match was stopped many times. Gone. The match was stopped before tea time due to bad lighting, while after tea time also a similar sight was seen. Fans expected that they would get to see the full game of 90 overs on the second day, but due to bad light, the day was declared over after 64.4 overs.