Virat Kohli Gave A Perfect Tribute To The Wall With His Disciplined Innings

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India’s head coach Rahul Dravid and the entire dressing room stood up and applauded Virat Kohli when the skipper reached his half-century with a boundary on Tuesday in Cape Town.

It had taken him 158 deliveries to reach the 50-run mark. This was Kohli’s second-slowest Test fifty; almost as if to pay a tribute to Dravid, who turned 49 on Tuesday.

Kohli had taken 15 dot balls to open his account as he battled against his will to poke, push, or drive outside the off-stump on unfavourable lengths. It was only when, on his 16th ball, Marco Jansen dished him a full ball that the Indian talisman pounced on it to rocket it away to the cover fence.

This kind of start may just have epitomized his entire innings today: patient leaves, solid defences, and making use of the bad balls. Something coach Rahul Dravid must be really proud of watching from the dressing room.

Virat Kohli Gave A Perfect Tribute To The Wall With His Disciplined Innings

In the morning session, when India lost both the openers, Kohli was, unsurprisingly, heavily tested on his game outside off-stump with Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi sticking to the channel outside off-stump, Marco Jansen angling it in the same direction while Duanne Olivier also hurling down some sharp short balls.

Kohli didn’t give away anything. He was outstanding in his decision-making whether to play his stroke or leave the ball untouched. He had a few close leaves and took some body blows. But the Indian captain stayed firm, for he had to bail the team out while he regularly lost batters at the other end.

According to ESPNcricinfo’s control stats, Kohli was in control of his shots for 90 percent or more throughout his knock till he reached his fifty.

Until he raised his bat for his half-century, Kohli had, according to Cricviz, left 50 percent of his 158 deliveries. Only on one other occasion – in Perth in 2012 – had he left more than 40% of deliveries on his way to a half-century.

There were 12 fours and one six in his 79 off 201 balls, which he scored out of a team total of 223. On a pitch that was really challenging and demanded the best of the abilities of a batter, Kohli stood tall, showcasing his class, despite being in what people have been calling a dip in form.

If the bowlers and the batters in the second innings manage to emerge victorious in Cape Town, they have their captain to thank for it. That would also make Rahul Dravid the first coach to take a Test series to win in South Africa.

Also Read: Here’s Why Rahul Dravid’s Wife Used To Book Two Rooms While On Tours