Published: Thu, October 10, 2019
Sport | By

Virat Kohli becomes second Indian skipper to achieve this landmark

Virat Kohli becomes second Indian skipper to achieve this landmark

On Thursday, India was due to play the 2nd Test of their home season against South Africa in Pune. Equally, his 138-run second wicket partnership with the stylish Pujara (58) ensured captain Kohli could walk to the crease with the dining table perfectly laid.

Agarwal, 28, said he was thrilled with his performance. The India skipper gave thumbs-up to the South African players for gifting four crucial runs during a hard period of the game.

Especially if they can knock over the prize figure of Kohli (63 not out) without much further addition, they could yet be back in business, because India opted for a relatively lean specialist batting line-up for this encounter.

Kohli, leading the Test side for the 50th time, reached his half-century with a boundary off fast bowler Vernon Philander.

Agarwal, who also scored a double century in Visakhapatnam, hit debutant paceman Anrich Nortje for three boundaries in one over. He went on to hit Nortje for three glorious off drives in one over before lunch.

On a pitch that offered the seam bowlers significant movement off the surface, it was criminal that the new-ball did not do more damage than the lone scalp of Rohit Sharma - ironically to a beauty from Rabada that left the run-hungry Indian opener just enough to brush the outside edge.

So it was another hard day on the unforgiving Subcontinent for the confidence-shy South Africans, not especially helped by heavyweight commentators and former national captains Graeme Smith and Shaun Pollock both either saying or implying at various times during play that they appeared too willing to play "hang in there" cricket, if you like.

Pujara took 13 balls to get off the mark and even survived a drop - a tough chance for Bavum at forward short leg - but with South Africa continuing to bowl straight at him, there were deliveries on the pads to put away. Other protea bowlers struggled for the wickets on the Pune wicket.

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