Ton-up Virat Kohli, gritty Rahane take India to 267/3 vs New Zealand


Virat Kohli roared back to form with a superbly crafted century on a tricky pitch to take India to a comfortable 267 for 3 against New Zealand on the first day of the third cricket Test in Indore.

The Indian skipper, who went without a 50 plus score in his last seven innings across five Tests, was back in his elements, stroking an unbeaten 103 — his 13th hundred in 48th match. Kohli’s century was also the first by any batsman from the either side in this three-match series.

He was complemented brilliantly by Ajinkya Rahane, who was scratchy to begin with but settled down well to remain unbeaten on 79.

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The duo added 167 runs for the unbroken fourth wicket in 54 overs after New Zealand had initially pegged India back at 100 for 3 in 36 overs.

While it wasn’t a treacherous pitch to bat on, it was indeed a tricky surface which got slower with passage of time and both Kohli and Rahane displayed excellent batsmanship during their unbroken stand.

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Kohli’s 100 came off 184 balls. In all he played 191 deliveries on the day hitting 10 boundaries while Rahane’s 172 ball knock had nine boundaries and a big six over square leg off Jeetan Patel’s delivery.

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Kohli, on the other hand, reached his milestone with a scampered single, surviving a direct hit at the non-striker’s end. Once the third umpire ruled ‘Not Out’, the celebrations were muted by standards of the Indian captain even as a vocal crowd at the Holkar Stadium gave him a standing ovation.

Earlier, comeback man Gautam Gambhir (29) made a good start hitting a couple of pulled sixes off pacer Matt henry but could not capitalise on the chance that he got after more than two years as Trent Boult found him plumb in-front.

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Murali Vijay (10) was dismissed cheaply by Jeetan Patel while Cheteshwar Pujara (41) was set for a big knock before he got a beauty from left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner.

For New Zealand, Santner had the best figures with 1 for 53 in 19 overs while Boult was a shade behind with 1/54 in 16 overs. Patel gave away 65 in 24 overs for his wicket.


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