Virat Kohli is a supreme run-machine who is also one of the fittest in the business. The Indian cricket team skipper has rarely missed a match due to injury and it is testament to his greatness that Kohli can perform consistently in all three formats and maintain the same level of intensity. On day 2 of the Boxing Day Test between India and Australia in Melbourne, Kohli was looking good for a century and had shared a wonderful partnership of over 100 runs with Cheteshwar Pujara, who had already registered his 17th Test century. However, there was a funny moment between the two batsmen and it involved running between the wickets.
When Kohli took strike in the 120th over bowled by Australia pacer Pat Cummins, the right-handed batsman was on 71. On the fourth ball of the over, Kohli flicked a full ball into the vast gap at deep midwicket. The skipper ran aggressively while Pujara was struggling to keep up. By the time Kohli had almost completed the third run at the non-striker’s end, Pujara had just turned around at the non-striker’s end. Kohli wanted a fourth run but Pujara barely managed to get back in the crease.
Following the run, Pujara showed the hand to Kohli, smiled and shrugged his head indicating that he was in no position to take the fourth run. Pujara fell for 106, his second century in the series while Kohli was unlucky to miss out on his 26th century as he upper-cut Mitchell Starc to third man where he was caught for 82 by Aaron Finch. However, the 170-run stand put India on course to dominate the Melbourne Test match.
Pujara’s reluctance for the fourth run probably stems from the fact that his knees are not that strong as Kohli. The Saurashtra batsman has undergone surgery to his knee couple of years ago and since then, he has struggled with running between the wickets. The fact that he has been run-out so many times might also have weighed heavily in the decision to not take four runs.
In the Centurion Test early in the year, Pujara was run-out in both innings, making him the first Indian player to create this unwanted record. Hansie Cronje, Marvan Atapattu, Adam Parore, Ian Healy, Mark Taylor and Stephen Fleming are the other players in this list. In the last decade alone, Pujara has been run-out seven times, which is the joint-most for any player along with former England wicketkeeper Matt Prior.