India Test captain Virat Kohli scored a patient fifty© AFP
India Test captain Virat Kohli showed admirable patience and discipline to combat the South African pacers on Day 1 of the series-deciding third Test match at Newlands in Cape Town and in the process brought up his second slowest Test fifty. Kohli, who returned to the side for the decider after recovering from a back spasm that kept him out of the Johannesburg Test, put his natural attacking instincts on the backseat and decided to put his head down after India lost their openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal early.
Kohli took 16 deliveries to get off the mark and he did so with a scintillating cover drive off Marco Jansen. The prolific right-hander left deliveries outside the off-stump and showed no signs of chasing wide deliveries which had brought about his downfall twice in the first Test in Centurion.
Kohli, who hit a hook shot off Kagiso Rabada for a six, got to his fifty with a straight boundary in the final session of play on Tuesday. He took 158 deliveries to bring up his half-century, making it the second slowest one of his Test career. Kohli’s slowest fifty was against England in Nagpur way back in 2012-13 where he taken 171 balls.
There were question marks on Kohli’s form coming into this Test match as the right-hander has not scored a century for the last 26 months but the 33-year-old kept his composure and went about his business in the best way possible in an all-important match, much like he had promised on the eve of the third Test.
“This is not the first time that people have talked about my form, it has happened a few times in my career. England in 2014 was one of those phases. I do not kind of look at myself from the lens the outside world looks at me with. The standards have been set by me myself, they are not an occurrence from the outside world, and more than anyone else, I take a lot of pride in doing the best for the team and wanting to perform for the team regularly,” Kohli had said in the pre-match press conference.
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