Virat Kohli’s Ton Push India To Win Trent Bridge Test

Virat Kohli’s Ton Push India To Win Trent Bridge Test
India's Virat Kohli celebrates his century (Reuters)

Team India Captain Virat Kohli scored his 23rd Test century as a dominant India took giant strides towards victory in the third Test against England on Monday.

With Kohli's classy 103, his second ton of the series, India declared their second innings at 352 for seven, leaving the hosts an improbable victory target of 521 runs.

Virat Kohli's runs came off 197 balls and was studded with 10 boundaries. He shared 113 runs for the third wicket with Cheteshwar Pujara (72), who also returned to form after a dismal outing in Second Test match.

The hosts were 23 for none from the nine overs they faced before stumps. However, Jonny Bairstow is unlikely to bat after fracturing the middle finger of his left hand while keeping to James Anderson in the morning.

The India Skipper missed out in the first innings, out on 97. He was lucky on 93 when Jimmy Anderson, soon after tea, drew the edge, not for the first time in the series.

All rounder Hardik Pandya also made a useful contribution after his maiden five-wicket haul, smashing a run-a-ball 52 with the the help of seven boundaries and hit over the fence.

Captain Virat Kohli congratulates teammate Hardik Pandya for the dismissal of England's Adil Rashid (AP)

The all-rounder grabbed 5/28 in a tantalising six-over spell of classy seam bowling to rout England for 161 and give India firm control of the third Test at Trent Bridge. India’s magical seam bowling saw them take all 10 wickets in a single session on Day 2 of the Test India need to win to stay in the series.

The visitors were pushing for a sensational comeback in the series they trail 0-2 after taking a potentially match-winning lead of 292 runs with three days left. India were 124/2 at stumps on the second day.

“The problem is, what happens is that they compare with (Kapil Dev) but all of a sudden when something goes wrong they say he is not there. I never wanted to be Kapil Dev. Let me be Hardik Pandya, I am good at being that.

“I have reached here till now; I have played 40 ODIs and 10 Tests being Hardik, not Kapil Dev. They are great in their era, let me be Hardik Pandya. Let us stop comparing me with him. I will be happy if you don’t. Thank you”.

Former West Indies pace great Michael Holding, doing TV commentary in this series and in India’s tour of South Africa, has said Pandya wasn’t contributing consistently with bat or ball yet to be mentioned in the same breath as greats like Kapil Dev, Ian Botham, Imran Khan or Richard Hadlee.

His performances in this series has also been criticised by former India players. He scored 22 and 31 and took no wicket in the Edgbaston Test defeat. He made 11 and 26 and took 3/66 at Lord’s, where India lost by an innings and 159 runs. He scored 18 in the first innings at Trent Bridge.

The 24-year-old dismissed the criticism.

“First of all, I don’t play for them. They are getting paid for saying things. I don’t even want to know, I don’t even care what they say. And sir, I play for my country, It’s their job to say it and it is my job to play for my country and I am doing the right thing, and my team is happy with me. Nothing else matters”.

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