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Virat Kohli gets down to business with fighting fifty vs SA in Centurion Test

Virat Kohli scored a fighting fifty to boost India on Day 2 of the second Test against South Africa in Centurion on Sunday

cricket Updated: Jan 15, 2018 00:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
South Africa vs India,Virat Kohli,Indian cricket team
India's captain Virat Kohli watches his shot during the second day of the second cricket test match between South Africa and India at Centurion Park in Pretoria on Sunday.(AP)

India captain Virat Kohli scored his 16th Test fifty to steady India in the second Test against South Africa here on Sunday. He took 68 balls and the knock was laced with seven boundaries.(IND v SA 2nd Test, Day 2 HIGHLIGHTS | SCORECARD)

Kohli came out after Cheteshwar Pujara was needlessly run out the first ball of his innings. With India at 28/2 and desperately needing a good partnership, Kohli got down to business with a firm stride and the intent to get on top of every delivery.

Aware of his weakness outside the stumps, South Africa tried bowling in that corridor but Kohli showed amazing control over his shots, pushing and driving according to the line of the delivery. He was strong both sides of the wicket, scoring most through covers though.

Two successive boundaries off Morne Morkel got Kohli off in style. He first drove Morkel through mid-on before reaching out for a wide delivery, placing it through covers. Kagiso Rabada and pacer Lungi Ngidi – making his debut – sometimes looked to bother Kohli with their bounce but the India captain was largely happy to just play them on merit.

The pitch had flattened considerably but technique was still required to score quickly. To Kohli’s credit, he moved a lot at the crease, trying to go across the stumps and get his head above every shot played through off. The flick shot helped him a couple of times.

What helped Kohli most though was his running between the wickets as India motored on despite not taking many risks. After lunch, Kohli again went after Morkel, milking him for two boundaries before bringing down the tempo with a few singles that allowed him to reach his fifty without much risk.

Kohli ended the day unbeaten on 85 as India reached 183/5, 152 runs behind South Africa’s total.

First Published: Jan 15, 2018 00:01 IST