Virat Kohli fell four runs short of being the fourth Indian to hit centuries in each innings of a Test match as the visitors dominated South Africa in the second innings of the 1st Test. Kohli edged off-spinner JP Duminy to wicketkeeper AB de Villiers on 96, leaving India in a formidable position of 327 for five, a lead of 363 runs.
At his dismissal, Kohli was four runs away from being the the fourth Indian, and the first No.4 batsman, to hit hundreds in each innings of a five-day game. Sunil Gavaskar has done so thrice, Rahul Dravid twice and Vijay Hazare once.
Kohli came into bat with India at 93 for two in their quest to post a daunting target for the hosts. The 25-year-old scored a mature century in the first innings and showed the same panache in the second. Batting with fellow centurion Cheteshwar Pujara, Kohli ensured that India reached a position of strength. The duo put on 222 runs for the third wicket before Pujara (153) was caught behind by AB de Villiers off Jacques Kallis. Their partnership is the highest against hosts South Africa, eclipsing the 176 between Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar at Cape Town in January 2011.
This was the second time that Kohli has scored a hundred and a fifty in the same Test. He had scored 103 and 51 in a Test against New Zealand at the Chinnaswammy Stadium in Bangalore in 2012. He is also only the second batsman to post a hundred and a fifty in the same Test match vs South Africa in South Africa. Rahul Dravid recorded scores of 148 and 81 at Johannesburg in January 1997.
Kohli has taken to the iconic No.4 position in the Indian Test line-up like a duck to water. "Kohli is batting beautifully at number four position," said NDTVs cricket expert Sunil Gavaskar. Kohli, with 215 runs in just two innings in this position, has paid the perfect tribute to the recently-retired Sachin Tendulkar. (Kohli, Pujara should become like Sachin, Dravid: Gavaskar)
Story first published on: Saturday, 21 December 2013 17:14 IST