Updated: August 3, 2018 10:46:19 am
Virat Kohli fought and fought hard to reap the rewards of patience, grit, and aggression at Edgbaston on Thursday. The Indian captain’s 149 (of 225 balls) was his first Test hundred in England and with it, he showed the world that he had slain the demons from the 2014 tour to conquer the first frontier on the British shores. On the previous tour, four years ago Kohli could only manage 134 runs in 10 innings but in this series, his figures read- 149 in 1 innings.
Coming in to bat at number four Kohli began cautiously and then survived two dropped chances. Making most of those opportunities he made the English bowlers pay and went on to notch up his 22nd Test ton. Countering the English conditions always seemed like a challenge but Kohli showed how he had made subtle adjustments in his technique to counter the hostile environment. Chances of getting a knick were always going to be high but Kohli used soft hands so that the ball does not carry to the slip cordon. To counter the swing of James Anderson, he noticeably stood a couple of meters down the pitch.
While he did middle quite a few, some went flying past the slips, a few zipped through and some he missed. But what mattered most was he stood firm and showed the will to fight. Despite the ball jagging around throughout Kohli played shots all over the ground.
Unfortunately, he was the lone ranger in the Indian team. Out of the 274 runs, India scored in the first innings, 149 came from Kohli’s bat. Among Indian captains with the highest percentage contribution of runs (in comparison with team total), Kohli is second with 54.37. MS Dhoni with 55.41 (82/148 v Eng, Oval, 2014) tops the list. So had he received a little bit of support around him India may well have had this match in the bag.
Also read: Virat Kohli’s English August
Prior to this match, all the talk was about how Virat Kohli would fare in England, and he’s delivered with a hundred in the first innings he’s played this series. How many will he finish with is a matter of conjecture. But for now, let’s just sit back and admire the man for his joy he provides.
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