India vs England 1st Test: Virat Kohli’s 149 leaves series opener wide open

first_imgVirat Kohli scored a sensational 149 while R Ashwin snared Alastair Cook for the second time in two days to leave India in a great position in the first Test of the five-match series against England in Birmingham on Friday.After taking a narrow lead, England lost Cook who was beaten by Ashwin’s guile and went away only 22 runs ahead. India will now count on Ashwin, Mohammed Shami and the other pacers to bowl the hosts out quickly on Day 3 in pursuit of victory at England’s fortress.Kohli smashed his maiden Test hundred in England and 22nd overall as India came within 13 runs of England’s first innings total of 287. England, who resumed Day 2 at 285/9 could add only two runs to their overnight total before Shami dismissed Sam Curran.In response, Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan started solidly and added 50 for the first wicket before the former was dismissed by Curran in the 14th over. Ironically, after surviving a probing spell from England’s two highest wicket-takers in Test cricket – James Anderson and Stuart Broad – Vijay and Dhawan fell to 20-year-old Curran, who was playing only his second Test.DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS | SCORECARD | BALL-BY-BALL COMMENTARYCurran also accounted for the wickets of KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya.Meanwhile, Ben Stokes also bowled well to pick up two wickets, getting rid of Ajinkya Rahane and Dinesh Karthik. James Anderson and Adil Rashid also picked two wickets apiece – Rashid’s scalp included Kohli, who single-handedly led India’s splendid fightback.There was little support for Kohli right through the innings – he was involved in a 41-run stand with Rahane (15) and a 47-run stand with Pandya (22). The majority of Kohli’s runs came in the company of the tail. India were in fact 169/7 when Aswhin was dismissed in the 51st over.advertisementKohli then rotated the strike smartly and opened up in the later moments to collect some more valuable runs. Shami was dismissed with India still 105 runs short of England’s first innings total.Virat Kohli, though, was not to be put off. Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav spent some more time with him as India inched closer to England’s total.Kohli’s hundred at Edgbaston came in dramatic circumstances. Ishant Sharma became the 9th Indian wicket to fall with Kohli on 97. He was then on strike to Ben Stokes and there was a loud appeal for a catch behind the wickets when he was on 97. However, only Jonny Bairstow seemed interested while Stokes did not even go up in appeal.In the fifth ball of the over, Kohli hit a boundary to bring up his maiden Test hundred in England and took his wedding ring out and kissed it, dedicating the hundred to wife Anushka Sharma.India ended the day on a high as Ashwin outfoxed England’s highest Test scorer of all time off the last ball of the day. Skipper Joe Root will be under pressure to build another strong partnership with Keaton Jennings. Virat Kohli wildly celebrated Alastair Cook’s wicket at the stroke of stumps on Day 2 of the 1st Test.. (Reuters Photo)Barring Root and Jonny Bairstow, the others struggled against Ashwin and Shami in the first innings. By the looks of it, Ashwin will be even more lethal on the third day and England’s batsmen will need to call on all their skill-sets to deal with the best off-spinner in the world as the best team in the world pushes for a historic victory.last_img read more