Wednesday, 18 December 2013

1st Test: Kohli Ton Helps India to Reach 255/5 at Day 1 in Johannesburg

India have won the toss and Chose to bat against South Africa in the 1st Test Cricket Match Played at Johannesburg. Virat Kohli slammed a sublime century to help India end Day 1 at a respectable 255/5. South Africa were boosted by some brilliant pace bowling but India's dogged middle-order held firm. Click here for the Full Scorecard update

Dhawan's dismissal was perfectly set up by Steyn. He repeatedly kept bowling short and increased the pace with each delivery. Kept two men for the chance and got the wicket. The Wanderers wicket is bouncy and Dhawan never looked like he was going to get on top of the bounce and handle Steyn.

India have done reasonably well to reach 70/2 at lunch. The South African attack was all fire and menace as everyone came at the batsmen, but this stand between Kohli and Pujara has pushed India on after the two early setbacks. Dhawan was set up in one Steyn over and eventually dismissed, while his partner Vijay, who was looking assured till Morkel came on, struggled against the giant and fell to him.

India have scored 94 in the second session but lost Pujara and Rohit. Both wickets were cheap ones to give away - one via a terrible call from Kohli while the other was a poor stroke, wafting at a full one which was swinging away.

So one should say that it has been India's day. 255/5 is a score they would've taken with both hands and feet if someone had offered them that score before the start of play today. Dhoni must be lauded for taking the brave step of opting to bat first after winning the toss, when he so easily could've gone for the easier option. The openers didn't last long but it was the Virat Kohli show thereafter which has placed India in this position.

Kohli was just brilliant today - showing impeccable judgment of when to play and when to leave. His defence was solid and he had lots of time to play the ball. Trusted his instincts, played each ball on it's merit and put the bad ones away. The only blot in his innings today was the way he ran Pujara out, but that didn't affect his concentration as he got to a richly deserved ton. After Kohli today, Rahane has caught the eye with his batting. Even Pujara deserves a mention, who showed great character and showcased his defensive technique until he was unfortunately run out by Kohli.

South Africa were very disciplined, they stuck to a line and length and never gave anything loose - except for the backup bowlers who were taken to the cleaners by the Indians. Tahir was very disappointing today and he often allowed the pressure built up to be released with one loose ball per over. Steyn and Morkel were menacing, while Philander had a quiet day. Not their greatest day with the ball it must be said.


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