Kohli-Ashwin partnership helps India take 351-run lead into Lunch on Day 3


A solid 50-run partnership between captain Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin helped India take firm control of the 2nd Test against England. At lunch on Day 3, the hosts are placed at 156/6, and hold a massive 351-run lead.India began the day 249 runs ahead of England, and they didn’t get off to the best of starts. Cheteshwar Pujara was run out for 7 in bizarre fashion early in the piece as his bat got stuck in the pitch. Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant failed to occupy the crease for long, leaving Kohli and Ashwin to steady the ship.Ashwin pulled out a wide range of sweeps against the England spinners, and has moved to 34 off just 38 balls. He was handed a repreive by Ben Stokes, who spilled a sharp catch at first slip off Stuart Broad.Kohli, on the other hand, was circumspect throughout his innings. Trusting his defence and playing with a straight bat, the Indian skipper has notched up 38 off 86 balls. He put away the bad balls and ran hard between the wickets, and appeared assured on what is certainly a tough pitch to bat on.India in prime position to level the series 1-1 Ashwin swept and reverse swept confidentlyWith 8 sessions left in the Test match, India are firmly in the driver’s seat. If Kohli and Ashwin can stretch this lead by another 50 runs or so, England will be set a target of over 400.Given that they scored only 134 in the first innings, it will be an impossible task for them to chase down the target and take a commanding 2-0 lead. As things stand, Kohli’s men are in prime position to level the 4-match series 1-1.This Test is important in the context of the World Test Championship, as India need to beat England in this series to make the final against New Zealand.
Published 15 Feb 2021, 11:49 IST

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Virat Kohli will score 1-2 hundreds in the series: Michael Vaughan  


Michael Vaughan expects Indian skipper Virat Kohli to end his run drought with one or two centuries in the ongoing Test series against England.Virat Kohli last recorded a Test ton in November 2019 against Bangladesh. Although not a lot of cricket was played in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 32-year-old failed to score a single international hundred. It was the first such instance of Kohli going a full year without a century since making his international debut in 2008.In the ongoing Chennai Test, Virat Kohli looked more defensive than usual and got out for just 11 runs to Dom Bess. Interacting with Cricbuzz, Vaughan backed Kohli to regain his form, but called the Indian captain’s dismissal ‘weak’ for a batsman of his stature.“I won’t be too concerned and I’m sure he isn’t concerned. Throughout the series, he will get 1-2 hundreds. I have no question about that, The manner of his dismissal today was weak for Virat Kohli. He defended the ball outside the off-stump with an angled bat facing towards wide extra cover. There is nothing in that shot. As a young kid playing the game, you don’t defend an off-spinner outside off stump because you want to be keeping the face of the bat towards the ball. You play with an angled bat, and if there’s bounce, it goes to short leg. So technically, it wasn’t a great dismissal for Virat Kohli,” said Michael Vaughan.Reeling at 73-4, the pair of Rishabh Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara revived the Indian innings. Washington Sundar (85*) gave the final push, but the hosts could only score 337 runs, 241 short of England’s first innings total.”I am surprised Virat Kohli just let Dom Bess bowl” – Michael Vaughan Michael VaughanDom Bess was the best bowler for England, with the off-spinner returning with figures of 4-76. Michael Vaughan said he expected Virat Kohli to be more proactive and dominating against the unfledged spinner.”I would have expected Kohli to dance down early to Bess. ‘I’m Virat Kohli, I know how to play in these conditions, against a young off-spinner and I’m going to put you under pressure. I was surprised that he just let him bowl. He was hoping for bad balls and hoped he may get one or two,” Vaughan said.

The former England skipper further added in this regard:“I thought he was just trying to play today. I know that sounds simple. I think Virat’s a better player when he comes out trying to be aggressive. When his feet are moving and he’s looking to dance down to the spinners to put them under pressure. You’ve got to remember that Virat Kohli is facing Dominic Bess. He’s a work in progress. He’s young, he’s inexperienced. He’s got great character but this is Kohli against Bess.” It remains to be seen if Virat Kohli manages to score an international century in more than a year in Team India’s second innings.Kohli looking at the release and what tricks Dom Bess doing from the non-striker end – he has been doing this through his career and most great players does this. pic.twitter.com/b9f6OQv9mS— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) February 7, 2021
Published 08 Feb 2021, 12:35 IST

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