PUNE, India: India captain Virat Kohli chalked up his seventh double hundred in Tests before the hosts declared their first innings closed on 601 for five wickets in the second Test against South Africa at Pune yesterday.
In reply, South Africa were reeling at 36 for three by stumps on the second day.
Pacer Umesh Yadav removed both the openers Dean Elgar (6) and Aiden Markram (0) while Mohammed Shami sent back Temba Bavuma (8).
Theunis de Bruyn (20) and Anrich Nortje (2) will resume South Africa’s innings tomorrow. The visitors trail India by 565 runs.
Kohli remained unbeaten on 254 for his highest score in his 50th Test as skipper. It was his first Test hundred of the year and 26th of his career.
The hosts lead the three-Test series 1-0 after their win in the opener at Visakhapatnam.
After the 138-run stand for the second wicket between centurion Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara on the opening day, it was the turn of Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane to turn the screw on South Africa with a partnership of 178.
Kohli, who has hit 28 fours in his knock, and Jadeja added a further 97 for the unbroken fifth wicket by tea time.
The final boundary count in the captain’s innings was an enviable 33 fours and two sixes in 336 balls. It was a marathon knock as he alone faced 56 off 156.3 overs bowled in India’s innings.
Armed with the second new ball, which was about five overs old, Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander started off strongly to keep the batsmen on their toes.
There were not many scoring opportunities provided by the fast bowlers and most runs during the first 30 minutes came off the edge of the bat.
The frustrating wait for a breakthrough continued for the South Africans as Kohli, who was dropped on three by spinner Keshav Maharaj off his own bowling on Thursday, had at least three edges elude the fielder behind the wicket.
Once the ball had lost a bit of shine and the pitch some movement, Kohli opened up and converted his knock into a hundred in his fifth Test of 2019.
Trademark drives on both sides of the wicket flowed from the right-hander’s bat as India piled on the runs in their first innings on a surface expected to assist the slow bowlers more as the match progressed.
A sublime straight-driven boundary off Philander brought up the hundred for Kohli, who also has 43 tons in the 50-over format.
Rahane survived a run out chance and hung around to complete his half-century, hitting eight boundaries in his knock of 59 before falling to Maharaj