Mumbai Test: Virat Kohli thrills Wankhede crowd with his knock
India captain Kohli thrills Saturday crowd at Wankhede with splendid hundred against England on Day 3
Virat Kohli can't hide his delight after reaching his hundred against England on Saturday. Pic/AFP
Lately, there has been a predictability about Virat Kohli. It's much like what to expect on a date. His tryst with the Mumbai crowd at Wankhede Stadium on Super Saturday was similar.
A day starting with the wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara, India's in-form batsman, put a bit of pressure on the middle order. The quality of batsmanship after that initial dent saw a classical display from two quality Indian batsmen.
Murali Vijay and Kohli showed purpose in the way they approached their respective innings.
Icing on cake
If Vijay's innings was the cake, Kohli's was the icing. He seems in a different zone of confidence in his present form. Mumbai was there to witness a champion.
There was clarity in the way Kohli batted. Running hard, looking for runs and capitalising on every opportunity.
What is glaring to the Indian fans is the culture that the captain has injected in his team. It is evident that he backs his teammates to be themselves and the results are there for all to see.
Quality players pick gaps and scoring opportunities. The quality of bowling and pitch conditions seem diluted when a champion is at work. Kohli showcased those qualities during his unbeaten 147. The way he handled his partnerships was a new learning for all watching a man who bats with purpose.
Cricket is richer when a quality player wears passion on his sleeve. His evolution from a quality player to a potential great is evident from the way he approaches his innings as much as the numbers he produces.
India have their nose ahead in this game. Day Four will be all about India scoring as much as possible to put that added pressure on England.
Lest we forget, India will have to bat last on this pitch.
Virat Kohli (1112) becomes the third Indian skipper to score 1000 or more runs in a calendar year after Rahul Dravid (1095 in 2006) and Sachin Tendulkar (1000 in 1997)
The writer is a former Mumbai Ranji Trophy captain
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Cricketers have a ball at Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma's Mumbai reception