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Updated: December 16, 2012 01:47 IST

Valiant battle by Kohli, Dhoni lifts drooping spirits

Vijay Lokapally
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Virat Kohli’s defiant hundred on Saturday helped India recover from a difficult situation and finish at 297 for eight on day three of the fourth Test match against England in Nagpur. Along with skipper M.S. Dhoni (99), he put on 198 runs for the fifth wicket. Photo: K.R. Deepak
The Hindu Virat Kohli’s defiant hundred on Saturday helped India recover from a difficult situation and finish at 297 for eight on day three of the fourth Test match against England in Nagpur. Along with skipper M.S. Dhoni (99), he put on 198 runs for the fifth wicket. Photo: K.R. Deepak

His batting philosophy is simple. “React to the ball.” Not to the situation. Virat Kohli was repeatedly told in his formative years that for a batsman, cricket is a one-ball game. It takes one good ball to terminate a fledgling or established innings. Kohli has remembered his lessons well.

His third Test century was crafted under the guidance of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s strict vigil in the middle. Kohli watched his senior partner and adapted. The vigorous touch to his batting remained curtailed but there were phases of dominance by this chirpy Delhi batsman.

Kohli gives the impression of a man in a hurry. His brisk gait to the crease, a quick glance to survey the field and an easy stance is an extension of his unbridled enthusiasm that begins the moment he steps out of the dressing room.

At No 5, Kohli brings welcome depth to India’s batting. The 198-run partnership between Kohli and Dhoni raised India’s hopes of saving the contest with the 24-year-old Delhi batsman, rated high for his temperament, complementing his captain adequately during a difficult phase.

India may have slipped in the last session, losing four wickets to sign off at 297 for eight, but Kohli’s outstanding performance matched Dhoni’s in substance. Dhoni consumed 30 balls after reaching 90 but Kohli kept his date with the century, his flourish at the crease gaining momentum as he charged at the coveted figure.

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