There were no wild celebrations. There was no roar and he didn’t even take out his helmet after scoring his century. India captain Virat Kohli calmly raised his bat to the applause of the Vizag crowd and the Indian dressing room. The customary Kohli-jump was also missing. That was the new Kohli.
The India Test captain reached his 14th Test century with a single off James Anderson, the bowler who has got him out the most time in Test cricket. But he kept his calm and carried on.
By the end of day’s play, he was unbeaten on 151 and India had reached 319 for the loss of four wickets. Ravichandran Ashwin was the other unbeaten batsman on three.
The first day of the second Test in Vizag belonged to India. Apart from Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara scored a class hundred, his third in three Tests, to give India complete control of the first Test. He shared a 226-run stand with Kohli for the third wicket after India lost two early wickets.
Kohli returned the winning ways as far as toss was concerned and he decided to bat first on a “soft Vizag pitch which will turn later.”
But it was England’s pace duo of Stuart Broad and James Anderson that gave their team a great start. Broad dismissed India’s comeback opener KL Rahul in the second over of the day for a duck while Anderson then surprised Murali Vijay with a bouncer to have him caught at slips.
Kohli and Pujara joined hands when India were 22 for the loss of two wickets and were separated only when India’s score was 248. Pujara played a lose shot to Anderson to be caught behind by Jonny Bairstow.
England delayed taking the new ball by eight overs but Anderson gave them the breakthrough in the second last over of the day when he had Rahane caught behind. Ashwin survived the last over to go unbeaten with his captain.
Kohli, who scored his third century of the year, is 49 runs away from a double hundred. If manages to concentrate like he did on Thursday, we could see him converting his century into a double, like he did on the previous two occasions this year.
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