Virat Kohli Hits Double Ton, Ajinkya Rahane Misses it By an Inch

October 10 13:49 2016

kohli2New Delhi, Monday, October 10 – India have made their position strong in the  last blow against New Zealand in the longest format match, which is in progress at Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore. Indian captain Virat Kohli won the toss and decided to bat first a couple of days ago. He and his teammates made best use of the decision.

Gautam Gambhir found a place in the Playing XI. Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Ajinkya Rahane and Umesh Yadav made India form a great team. Kane Williamson was fit and was back in the team with the objective to earn what his team missed in the first two matches. Expectations of him from Tom Latham, Martin Guptill, Luke Ronchi, Ross Taylor, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, BJ Watling, Jeetan Patel, Matt Henry and Trent Boult were soaring.

Those in extras from India’s side are Amit Mishra, Jayant Yadav, Karun Nair and Shardul Thakur, while Neil Wagner, Doug Bracewell, Ish Sodhi and Henry Nicholls are the players on the bench from New Zealand. Since the game is not a matter of sealing the series as India already did so by winning the Kolkata Test, the home side look forward to Kiwis’ whitewash. Not to forget that the guests were sent on the back foot in the ongoing game post an amazing batting by Kohli-led side which declared 1st innings at a score of 557 runs for the loss of 5 wickets. The host did not want to let go the chance of making their position strong when Kiwis were struggling to get the wickets. The stadium was occupied during the weekend, making the match look more interesting. The crowd support also worked in favor of India, who showed great batting despite the fact that start wasn’t good enough.

Murali Vijay was the first man to lose his wicket when Patel dismissed him at a score of 10. Viewers did not get to see much from the opener this time aside from a couple of boundaries. Gautam Gambhir was trying his best to stay on the crease for as long as possible to make his stint be impressive. To a certain extent, his knock was compelling thanks to two sixes and three fours from him but before he would have gotten for more runs, Boult bowled a delivery that allowed Kiwis get what they were eying from the start. Gambhir scored 29 runs in 53 balls. Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli made India touch the mark of 100. A wonderful delivery by Santner in 36th over sent Pujara back to the dressing room when he was playing at a score of 41, which included six boundaries. But then the next man to arrive on the pitch was Ajinkya Rahane.

The vice captain and skipper of India weaved a partnership of 365 runs, leaving New Zealand with no option but to see the rivals scoring big after each over. A double century from Kohli imparted major role in letting him see in an elite group of players who stood out amid others when hopes were high. As a captain, he is the first Indian to attain this achievement. His innings with Rahane’s knock let India dominant in the third Test. Patel gave New Zealand a breakthrough bowling a ball that compelled Kohli be lbw at a score of 211 (4 x 20). Everyone started eying Rahane’s double century, what he missed by an inch. In Boult’s over, he threw his wicket to Watling at a score of 188 in 381 balls, with the help of 18 boundaries and four sixes. Crowd gave him a round of applause what the 28-year-old player deserved actually. India were at a score of 504 when Rahane’s wicket fell.

At this time, it was expected that Indian skipper may declare the innings but he asked Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja to score in speed, to increase possibility of winning the match post confident starting in the final match of the Test tournament. Rohit Sharma played a not out innings of 51 runs in 63 deliveries, together with three 4s and two sixes, while Ravindra Jadeja was not out at 17 runs (4 x 1). The Indian side batted for 169 overs. Kiwis batted for almost an hour the previous day without losing a wicket; something that was required to not give India what they wanted in the late hours of play yesterday.

Kiwis maintained the same momentum on Monday as well, letting Indian bowlers strive for wickets as they did for the first two days. The home and pitch conditions helped India so far but same may lend a hand to the visiting side as well since opening duo Martin Guptill and Tom Latham pocketed fifties. A wrong decision by umpire in Jadeja’s over made India wait for 1st wicket but soon Ashwin dismissed Latham at a score of 53 when ball got a height and went directly into the hands of the bowler. Guptill is batting at 55 runs (4 x 8 and 6 x 2).  After 35 overs, New Zealand have scored 120 runs. Williamson is on the crease as well at 1 run.

Humiliating defeats of the previous two matches at the hands of Men in Blue shirts must be in the mind of Kiwis. They got to do some serious business to shift pressure on the opponents. Guptill is talented and so is Williamson. Failing to capitalize strengths made them never be in the game but story can be changed now. Players on the crease and those who are to bat further will have to take care of things and save wickets from falling. Impressive knocks will be expected to get past the total set by India. Given that the contenders are in mood to leave any stone unturned to be at front seat and close the series by 3-0, equations may change in a short while.

If New Zealand get their confidence back, they can dare to give opponents tough fight. This will be good enough as five-match One-Day International series is to start October 16. The tendency to outshine during important occasions may be the game changer. In spite of everything, high morale, spirit and positivity in team help teammates do something exceptional which could change their fate to a great extent. As of now, Kiwis hope for not losing any wickets further and bat for entire day, while India wish to gain foothold. That is why, Kohli has brought both spinners and fast bowlers in action to not net opponents feel ease in playing the shots. If bowlers strive for wickets as like earlier then difficulty level of being in the game would rise. Job is now to be done by the bowling lineup of India and this seems possible taking into consideration their outstanding performance in the first two challenges of the Test encounters.

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