Kohli earns stripes with maiden ton
Adelaide, Jan 26: 23-year-old Virat Kohli’s maiden Test century might have a bittersweet flavour with India struggling to match Australia’s might in the final Test at Adelaide. And a fateful swipe off a Ben Hilfenhaus full toss, adjudged leg before, wasn’t the best way to end an innings which showcased a young batsman’s talent and attendant reputation. But Kohli’s 116 not only defied the Australian bowlers’ dominance, but also served as a significant reminder of what the Indian batting line-up is capable of.
Before Kohli’s masterful innings, the Indians couldn’t boast of a single centurion in the series. Australia, on the other hand, already had four players who had crossed the three-figure mark before the Adelaide Test even began.
“I still sort of can’t believe that I got a Test hundred today. At Perth I was stranded at the other end losing three wickets in five balls and today also we lost two in two. I was very disappointed at that point of time, so I went after Ryan Harris the next over thinking I had to get runs off that over. It’s a very special feeling for me, especially since it’s away from India,” Kohli said about reaching the landmark every Test batsman holds dear.
Since making his Test debut against the West Indies in June 2011, Kohli’s performances haven’t quite matched up to his potential. An ordinary tour of the Caribbean didn’t do much to boost the right-hander’s confidence. A maiden tour to Australia is the acid test for any fledgling Test career. Kohli, however, didn’t make any sort of impact in the first two Tests in Melbourne and Sydney, getting dismissed before he could settle down at the crease. But the pacy WACA track in Perth served as a turning point. Buoyed by his improved showing in the third Test, Kohli went about his job with consummate ease on Day 3 at Adelaide. With India struggling at 87 for four, Kohli duly delivered. Seeing the likes of Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus and Ryan Harris dictating terms didn’t deter his resolve one bit. The youngster creditably maintained his composure even as wickets continued to fall at the other end.
“It was a real special innings for me – my first Test hundred. […] I wanted to make a mark in Test cricket and hopefully this is the beginning for me,” he added.
Kohli’s 116 couldn’t quite help India post a commanding first-innings total, but his effort has surely injected some sorely needed adrenaline in the dispirited Indian batting line-up.