India dominated day one of the second Test at Vizag on Thursday, with Cheteshwar Pujara and skipper Virat Kohli leading the way with hundreds. After a poor start, India ended the day on an impressive 317 for 4. Here are some significant numbers from the opening day’s play.
Virat Kohli scored a century playing in his 50th Test. The Indian captain became the sixth Indian player to achieve the feat. The others in the list are also big names of the game -- Sunil Gavaskar, VVS Laxman, Gundappa Vishwanath, Polly Umrigar and Kapil Dev.
Kohli’s hundreds are significantly growing bigger. He ended the day unbeaten on 151. His previous two hundreds have been converted into double tons. In fact, while Kohli’s first seven tons were all under 120, his six of his last seven hundreds has been in excess of 140. The sequence of his hundreds are as follows –116, 103, 103, 107, 119, 105 not out, 115, 141, 169, 147, 103, 200, 211 and now 151 not out.
Cheteshwar Pujara who made 119 from 204 balls completed 3000 Test runs during the course of the innings. He took 67 innings to do so, thus making his the joint fifth-fastest Indian to get there. Pujara is in elite company with Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid being the other two to take the same number of innings. Virender Sehwag is the fastest Indian to reach the landmark, having got there in 55 innings. Incidentally, Murali Vijay also reached 3000 Test runs on day one. He needed 75 innings to get there.
Kohli and Pujara added 226 for the third wicket. This was after India had begun poorly to stumble to 22 for 2. This is the lowest score from which India have registered a 200-plus partnership. Last year, Shikhar Dhawan and Kohli also added 226, against Sri Lanka at Galle.
Since his Test hundred against New Zealand at Indore, Ajinkya Rahane’s form has been on a downslide. In the five ODIs against New Zealand, his scores read 33, 28, 5, 57 and 20. In the first Test at Rajkot, he managed only 13 and 1 before falling for 23 on Thursday at Vizag.
Playing his 10th Test, Lokesh Rahul registered his first duck. He was dismissed by Stuart Broad, and faced only five balls.
Murali Vijay has a tendency of starting a series well, but not carrying the form into later games. Against New Zealand, 65 and 76, and followed that up with 9, 7, 10 and 19. He began the England series with 126 and has made 31 and 20 in his next two knocks.
Jayant Yadav, who made his Test debut in Visakhapatnam, had made his ODI debut against New Zealand at the same venue. This is the eighth instance of an Indian player doing so.
England are playing as many as seven left-handed batsmen in this Test. This is the first time India are facing such a ‘leftist’ opposition.
--By A Cricket Statsman