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India vs England: Unstoppable Virat Kohli breaks record held by Mohammad Azharuddin

Virat Kohli’s 23rd ton saw him go past Mohammad Azharuddin’s tally of 426 runs to become the Indian captain with most runs in a series in England.

cricket Updated: Aug 20, 2018 23:42 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India vs England,Virat Kohli,Mohammad Azharuddin
India's captain Virat Kohli leaves the pitch after getting out lbw for 103 runs during the third day of the third Test cricket match between England and India at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, central England on August 20, 2018. (AFP)

Virat Kohli’s century on the third day of the third Test against England at Trent Bridge in Nottingham helped put the Indian cricket team in a good position to win the match. (DAY 3 HIGHLIGHTS)

However, it was also notable as Kohli’s 23rd ton saw him go past Mohammad Azharuddin’s tally of 426 runs to become the Indian captain with most runs in a series in England.

India have been pretty much about their skipper in the last few seasons, especially since the start of 2018 when they began the first of three tough overseas assignments in South Africa.

Kohli banished questions about his poor England record of 2014 with a brilliant 149 in the first Test at Edgbaston, though as skipper he desperately needed the other batsmen to join the party.

And Trent Bridge has witnessed that team turnaround. On Monday, Kohli completed his 23rd century, which would have been the 24th but for his getting out for 97 in the first innings.

Unlike Edgbaston, he had ensured he had wingmen in both innings, putting India on course for a remarkable turnaround win.

It was a different version of Kohli. In Edgbaston, he withstood a monumental battle with England spearhead James Anderson.

And though he won that personal duel, and bowlers delivered 20 wickets for the fourth overseas Test in a row, other batsmen were a let down.

In Trent Bridge though, Kohli batted as an equal partner, with Ajinkya Rahane in the first innings and Cheteshwar Pujara in the second.

Both batsmen needed plenty of assurance going into the match, not sure about their form or role in the side, and they would have been lifted by their knocks.

In the first innings, Rahane’s 81, and his 159-run partnership with Kohli helped overcome the vice-captain’s batting blues. When Rahane was out, Kohli was only on 75. And when Pujara, who took his time on the third morning as the pair built on the advantage, fell on 72, the skipper was on 68.

Kohli’s knock stood out for patience, waiting for the bad balls. There was never an attempt to dominate the bowling though India’s lead was well past 350 and England didn’t have a chance to come back. Pujara took his time to build his innings and the confidence the India No 3 gained will be vital.

Kohli, who had recovered from a stiff back to play in the Test, batted almost six hours (293 minutes) before he fell leg before to Chris Woakes after tea on the third day with England’s bowling wearing a beaten look.

His fifty-to-century conversion rate – 23 tons to 17 50s – was being praised, though a strike rate of around 50, well below his career mark, suggested his different but effective outlook.

First Published: Aug 20, 2018 23:23 IST