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Wanderers Test PHOTOS: Kohli helps India share Day One honours

December 18, 2013 22:36 IST

Wanderers Test PHOTOS: Kohli helps India share Day One honours

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Virat Kohli gave ample display of his class by cracking a fluent 119 as a gritty India produced a decent batting show on the opening day to leave the first cricket Test against South Africa evenly poised at the New Wanderers (Johannesburg) on Wednesday.

- Scorecard

The 25-year-old Kohli, batting at the coveted number 4 position left vacant by retired batting icon Sachin Tendulkar, notched up his fifth Test century to steer the visitors to a comfortable 255 for five at close on a bouncy Wanderers track. 

Ajinkya Rahane (43 batting) and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (17 batting) were at the crease on an eventful opening day which saw the beleaguered Indian batting line-up giving a good account of themselves despite their only warm-up game being abandoned due to a wet outfield.

Earlier, Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat.

India made three changes from their last Test against West Indies in Mumbai, bringing in Rahane for the retired Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan for Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma for Pragyan Ojha. South Africa had Hashim Amla coming back in place of Dean Elgar.

Teams:

South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir. 

India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Zaheer Khan, Mohammed Shami.


Image: Virat Kohli of India celebrates his century
Photographs: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images

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Steyn and Morkel struck early

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South African speedsters Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel removed Shikhar Dhawan (13) and Murali Vijay (6) to reduce the visitors to 24 for two in 15.1 overs.

Steyn and his new ball partner Vernon Philander bowled a lot of outswingers in their initial overs without much impact.

Dhawan though was out caught fine leg by Imran Tahir when he mistimed a pull-shot. India's average opening stand since January 2011 has been 15.96 and the poor trend continued with Dhawan's early dismissal.

Morne Morkel was introduced in the 12th over and he was a cause of concern for Vijay. The Tamil Nadu opener eventually edged a fuller delivery from Morkel trying to play a drive without any footwork.


Image: Dale Steyn of South Africa celebrates the first wicket
Photographs: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images

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Rohit Sharma failed to impress

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Kohli, along with Cheteshwar Pujara (25) added 89 runs for the third wicket before a mix-up resulted in the Saurashtra batsman being run-out.

It must be mentioned that in the post-lunch session, both Kohli and Pujara showed great skill playing the fast bowling on merit. They appeared confident in leaving the ball and when opportunity presented itself, they scored runs as well. 

They added 89 runs for the third wicket, a partnership that laid the foundation of this Indian innings.

Rohit Sharma (14) didn't look fluent during his stay at the wicket and was dismissed trying to drive an outswinger from Vernon Philander.


Image: Rohit Sharma of India walks off after being dismissed by Vernon Philander
Photographs: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images

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Kohli completed his fifth Test hundred

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Kohli hit 18 sweetly timed boundaries in his 181-ball knock with the standout shot being a pull off the fast and furious Steyn. He played some flowing drives, played the square cut well and was severe on leg-spinner Imran Tahir, who was repeatedly pulled towards the
deep mid-wicket boundary.

His shot selection was admirable as he was ready to leave a lot of deliveries but didn't forget to punish the loose balls. 

Kohli reached his fifth Test hundred, his second outside India, when he played off-break bowler Jean-Paul Duminy's delivery towards mid-wicket for a couple before celebrating the milestone with a leap and punch of his fists in the air.

Rahane, playing only his second Test, also showed good temperament during their fifth-wicket stand of 68 runs before Kohli was out caught by Duminy at covers off Kallis' bowling.


Image: Virat Kohli of India celebrates his hundred
Photographs: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images

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