Virat Kohli, the Indian cricket team skipper, looked set for a record century on day 2 of the Boxing Day Test between India and Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Kohli, who was dropped on 47 by Tim Paine on the first day of Mitchell Starc, notched up his 20th fifty and survived a testing spell from Pat Cummins as he was beaten numerous times. Kohli survived and managed to make smooth progress as the partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara went past 100. With Australia not able to take a wicket in the entire first session, it seemed India would be destined to reach a big score.
In the second session, Kohli looked to take the attack to the bowlers as India aimed to make good progress. On 74, Kohli pulled a short ball from Starc to the deep square leg fence. However, he went after the shot so hard that he jarred his back and was in considerable discomfort. Physio Patrick Farhart attended to him and gave him some pain killers but the pain had not eased.
The Indian skipper decided to go after the short ball and he hit a boundary off Starc to move into the 80s. With his back giving him trouble, Kohli upper-cut the next short ball to third man but Aaron Finch settled under the catch near the boundary to end Kohli’s superb effort. However, Kohli still had a record to his name as he went past VVS Laxman’s tally of most runs against Australia in Tests Down Under. Along the way, Kohli went past his tally of most runs against an opponent. Prior to his knock in Melbourne, Kohli had 1570 runs at an average of 49 against England but after this knock, Kohli has 1583 runs at an average of 51 against Australia.
India will be hoping that the injury to Kohli is not too serious and that he gets a chance to shatter more records in the coming matches. The four-match series is currently tied 1-1 and there is plenty at stake in the Melbourne Test for both sides. India won the first Test in Adelaide by 31 runs but Australia leveled the contest in style with a brilliant 146-run win in the Perth Test.