ENG vs IND: Virat Kohli signals return of form with exquisite cover drive

ENG vs IND: Virat Kohli signals return of form with exquisite cover drive

Kohli unfurled his trademark cover drive off Ollie Robinson.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The second Test of the Pataudi Trophy went underway at the Lord’s Cricket Stadium in overcast conditions on August 12. Contrary to the prophecies of the heatwave and clear skies, passing showers delayed the toss, frustrating both the sides.

In a rather heartening sight for the cricket zealots, Indian skipper Virat Kohli got himself back amongst some runs, after the team was provided a rock-solid start by openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. Kohli entered in at the stroke of Tea, when Cheteshwar Pujara nicked James Anderson to third slip Jonny Bairstow, who gobbled an easy catch as India’s No. 3’s Test rut continued.

Kohli, who faced only a couple of deliveries before Tea was taken, opened his account on return, looked back in his typical rhythm as he unfurled his trademark cover drive off Ollie Robinson in the 68th over, as he offered him plenty of width to open his arms.

India start solid after being put in

Earlier, losing his eighth consecutive toss in England, Virat Kohli’s men were invited to bat first as both the sides made four changes combined: India brought in Ishant Sharma in place of injured Shardul Thakur, while England included Haseeb Hameed, Mark Wood and Moeen Ali in place of Zak Crawley, Stuart Broad and Dan Lawrence, respectively.

In a gritty passage of play, the Indian openers saw off the new ball, with both James Anderson and Ollie Robinson bowling probing lines, testing both KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma equally. India’s scoring crawled at a snail’s pace initially – they got merely 14 runs in the first 12 overs. However, the momentum shifted quickly with Sharma managing four boundaries off Sam Curran’s over.

Runs started to come at a fair tick for India, more precisely Sharma, who had KL Rahul contently playing the second fiddle at the other end. Having skillfully maneuvered the conditions, Sharma ensured to convert his start into a score of substance, as he added alongside Rahul what was India’s first century opening partnership since 2010 in a Test outside Asia.

He seemed set for a century, although he inside edged an Anderson delivery that jagged back in onto his pads before the ball ricocheted and disturbed his stumps to end his 83-run knock. After India lost Pujara, both Kohli and Rahul took India to ascendancy, with the latter playing his strokes far more freely as the day wore on.