Virat Kohli had scored a duck in the first innings.
Virat Kohli once again showed his class as he notched up his 18th Test century in the 1st Test against Sri Lanka at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Monday. Incidentally, this was Kohli’s 50th hundred in international cricket — 32 in ODIs and 18 in Tests. His knock ensured that Sri Lanka’s hopes of putting the Indian batting under pressure did not materialise as the match headed towards a draw. Kohli had been on the receiving end of some superb fast bowling from Suranga Lakmal in the first innings and was dismissed for a duck. However, he came roaring back to prop up the Indian batting which was facing some challenges from the unrated Sri Lankan bowling.
The Indian skipper brought up century with a picture perfect six over extra cover. India immediately declared their innings with the score on 352 for eight, setting Sri Lanka a 231-run target to win the opening Test.
Kohli’s last century too had come against Sri Lanka, during the Galle Test in July this year.
India were in a little bit of strife on the fifth morning of the Kolkata Test. Resuming from a solid 171 for 1 overnight, India were challenged by the Sri Lanka medium-pacers and lost their top and middle-order to some sustained pace bowling.
They lost six wickets with Kohli looking on from the other end and it was essential that he put up a stiff resistance, which he did to deny the visiting seamers.
Kohli had a sensational 2016, with four double-centuries in Tests, against the West Indies, New Zealand, England and Bangladesh respectively. However, his form in the subsequent matches, which were largely limited-overs contests, had been a little irregular.
However, this century would do a lot to boost him and also the Indian batting as they look forward to correct the Kolkata glitches in the second Test, beginning in Nagpur from November 24.
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