Live Cricket News: As the globe watches in awe of Virat Kohli’s calm and superb 79 against South Africa on the first day of the Cape Town Test, a seasoned India wicketkeeper has heaped praise on the India captain. Kohli struck a gutsy half-century, his highest score in Tests in over two years, with India in danger and the rest of the batsmen around him faltering, and many believe that if he hadn’t run out of partners, the quest for the elusive 71st century would have come to an end.
Kohli’s guts and determination were praised by India wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik, who compared Kohli’s effort to former India batsman Sachin Tendulkar’s historic strike against Australia in January 2004. Tendulkar cut down on cover drives and barely played any shots on the off-side en way to his then-highest Test score of 241 not out in one of the most disciplined innings ever played by an Indian hitter. While Kohli did not bowl like Tendulkar and was not as fluid with his cover drives as Tendulkar, Karthik compared Kohli’s patience during his innings to Tendulkar’s.
“That’s the one thing he must have worked out in the nets from the Johannesburg Test, which he didn’t play – trying to leave as many balls as possible – and he came out there with the correct intent as a batter.” Just like the way he batted — he only scored 29 runs in the first 100 balls. That’s not the Virat Kohli you’re used to seeing, but it’s still a sight to behold. I liked his hitting today, which reminded me a lot of Sachin Paaji’s batting in Sydney. On Cricbuzz, Karthik remarked, “I truly thought that if he had batted, the 71st (century) was probably there.”
Karthik believes Kohli was the ultimate example of how batting in Test matches should be done, marvelling at his ability to control his natural tendencies and play a disciplined inning. With wickets falling at the other end, Kohli altered gears with panache, accumulating runs in boundaries to stand 21 runs short of what could have been his maiden century in almost two years.
“He was a perfect example of someone with a lot of shots — one of the most talented batters – gritting it out.” He left a lot of balls – the most he’d ever left in the first 50.
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