Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Credits: Twitter)

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Virat Kohli stood firm at one end and registered his 28th fifty in Tests. It took the India captain 157 balls to get there, making this innings Virat Kohli’s second-slowest half-century in Tests. The Indian skipper waged a lone battle as the rest of his teammates crumbled against a formidable South Africa bowling unit on Day 1 of the third Test between India and South Africa in Newlands, Cape Town.

Virat Kohli looked his best in the last two years but couldn’t convert his fifty into a hundred after losing patience. He began running out of partners at the other end and had to go for his shots which led to his downfall. He looked destined to get to that elusive 71st century. With no reliable partners at the other end, the Indian skipper went fishing for a delivery outside off after 200 deliveries at the crease.

Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]
Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]

Virat Kohli Registered His 28th Fifty In Tests But Was Dismissed For 79

Although he was dismissed for 79, it does signal a new and different Virat Kohli who has a lot more patience and determination to leave balls on the 5th stump line. The way the 33-year-old played did increase the hopes of the innumerable fans, who hoped for a better 2022 compared to the previous two years or so.

Rishabh Pant. File | Photo Credit: AFP
Rishabh Pant. File | Photo Credit: AFP

Virat Kohli walked out to bat after India was reduced to 33/2 and forged a fifty-plus partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara before the latter was out caught behind off the bowling of Kagiso Rabada. After Ajinkya Rahane endured another low score, he joined hands with Rishabh Pant, and the duo put on a 51-run stand. The partnership ended when Rishabh Pant sliced the ball to gully to be out for 27.

Virat Kohli Registers His Highest Score In 26 Innings With A Gritty 201 Ball 79

In between, Virat Kohli played beautifully, one of his most testing and gritty innings of all time. The trademark cover drives were out again, one of which brought up the half-century. In doing so, Virat Kohli achieved an impressive batting feat.

The India skipper went past Rahul Dravid to become the second-highest run-scorer for India in Test matches against South Africa. Virat Kohli was 14 runs shy of Rahul Dravid’s tally of 624 runs, and playing his 99th Test, went past the Wall and his current India coach.

Kagiso Rabada (file photo)
Kagiso Rabada (file photo)

The series decider is off to a fantastic start. India opted to bat and yet, posted just 223 runs. Kagiso Rabada bagged four wickets, while Marco Jansen bagged 3 scalps. Fit-again skipper Virat Kohli scored his highest score in 26 innings, with a gritty 201-ball 79.

Towards the end of the day, Jasprit Bumrah removed Dean Elgar for 3 as Aiden Markram (8) and Keshav Maharaj (6) remained unbeaten. South Africa end Day 1 at 17/1 after 8 overs, trail India by 206 runs. India would be disappointed that they’ve only got 223 on the board, but they’re not out of the game yet, especially given that they were able to remove Dean Elgar before stumps.

South Africa 17 for 1 (Markram 8*, Maharaj 6*, Bumrah 1-0) trail India 223 (Kohli 79, Pujara 43, Rabada 4-73) by 206 runs