Kohli hits home ton, but job isn’t done yet
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For the first time during a 193 ball-innings, one that spanned nearly five hours over two days, Virat Kohli took his eyes off the ball. And it was an error of the fatal kind. For both Kohli and possibly India.
Let's rewind a bit. Unbeaten overnight on 93, Kohli was on the verge of a special hundred – his first in Tests on Indian soil. It didn't take him long to make decent headway in that direction on Sunday morning, flicking Doug Bracewell ever so cleanly in the first over of the day, the 79th.
New Zealand opted for the second new ball as soon as it was available, and the Delhi batsman didn't waste much time in dispatching its freshness to the ropes. Trent Boult wavered on to Kohli's pads, the ball was last seen at the square-leg fence and all was well in Kohli's world. "Very very satisfying," he would later say about his second Test hundred, two innings after his first in Adelaide.
But the high of elation can cloud the sharpest of minds, like it did Kohli on Sunday. Tim Southee held the ball with a scrambled seam and pitched it short, and Kohli chose just that moment to not concentrate like the way he did on Saturday. "That was the only ball in my innings in which I didn't look at the bowler's hand," Kohli said. "That ball Southee bowled cross-seam. That was a lapse in concentration and you just need one to get out. Again, it's a lesson for me. Hopefully when I cross that 100 mark next time, I can make it a big one."
Tricky Chase Ahead
That 'next time' could be needed as early as Monday. Had Kohli scored a 'big one', India would have procured a massive first innings lead. The form-man's dismissal ensured that they conceded a 12-run advantage to the Kiwis. And with New Zealand already having posted 232 on the board, India are looking at a target of over 250 — something they have achieved only six times in their history.
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