IndvsNZ: India poised for big score after Virat special
Indore: A magnificent unbeaten century by Indian Skipper Virat Kohli, his 13th in the test and first over fifty knock after seven innings since his double at Antigua in West Indies, coupled with a fantastic 4th wicket partnership with Ajinkya Rahane saw the hosts posting an impressive score of 267 for 3 on the first day of the third and final cricket test match against New Zealand at Holkar stadium here on Saturday.
At the stumps, Virat (103) and Rahane (79) were at the crease after furnishing a stroke-filled unbeaten partnership of 167 runs . India was 100 for three when Rahane joined his captain and steered the team to a big innings score. It was a treat for the viewers to see magical Virat back to big score syncing well with fluent Rahane to take India to a formidable position.
Playing his 48th test, Virat was circumspect in the starting but soon he was in his usual self hitting strokes all round the wicket including a couple of on the rise drives which had stamp of class all through. It was really a special innings, rather steady by his standards, which not only ended his lean patch but also came good for the team. He hit 10 fours in his knock.
Rahane , who achieved a career feat by scoring 2000 runs in the test matches when he scored two runs in his 29th match, was slightly shaky against the short stuff and miscued some pull shots. This was the exception in otherwise a commanding innings laced with nine fours and a six. Unbeaten at 79, his 10th fifty in the test matches, Rahane is also poised for a big score.
Earlier in the morning, winning the toss, eight in a row at home, India elected to bat. Gautam Gambhir making his comeback in Indian side after two years started in a whirlwind manner hitting two sixes and three fours before getting out to Boult on individual score of 29. Earlier, Jeetan patel consumed other opener Murali Vijay on ten.
Like Gautam Gambhir, the technically correct Cheteshwar Pujara (41) had also started the innings promisingly but was bowled by Santner when he looked good for another big knock.