Virat Kohli notched up his highest individual score and he broke the record for the most double centuries in Tests by an Indian player. (Photo Credit: PTI)
Virat Kohli had a memorable Pune Test as he smashed plenty of records. His 254* was his highest individual score and he notched up other records in the process. The Indian cricket team skipper went past 1000 runs against the Proteas and 7000 in Tests. His seventh double ton was the most by an Indian and he also broke Sachin Tendulkar's record of scoring in 11 different venues across India. Kohli's knock, combined with the clinical performance of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Umesh Yadav helped India secure a clinical innings and 137 runs to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Kohli's dominance was total and it deflated the South Africa players to a massive extent. For the first time since 2008, the Proteas were asked to follow on and they were bowled out for 189 after conceding a lead of 326 in the first innings. Speaking in the post-match press conference, Kohli said putting his team in command remained his ultimate goal.
"If you go out planning a double hundred you won't get it, but if you go out planning to bat for five sessions, the double hundred will come. Putting the team in a commanding position is the only thing I strive for. Of course I enjoy scoring runs, but if they come in a winning cause, nothing like it. You have to look forward to facing the new ball in the morning," Kohli said.
Kohli shared a partnership of 178 with Ajinkya Rahane and 225 with Ravindra Jadeja to boost India to 601/5 declared. The pace with which Kohli scored and the momentum provided by Jadeja played a massive part in India having plenty of time. However, before that, Kohli and Rahane had weathered a tricky period in which Kagiso Rabada had his tail up after taking the wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara and Mayank Agarwal. Kohli heaped praise on Rahane and said he enjoyed batting with him.
"I really enjoy batting with Jinx (Rahane). When we have a partnership we invariably take the game forward. We take a lot of pride in contributing when the situation is tough. He keeps giving me regular feedback when things are going wrong, and vice versa as well," Kohli said.
Even South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis admitted that they had no answers to Kohli during the knock. "As a captain you try and think of ways how you can change fields and bowlers, but all the questions we threw at him, he had answers for. He (Kohli) was too good. The hunger stood out, it was great value for us as batters. He wasn't satisfied with 100, 150," Du Plessis said.
The third and final Test will take place on October 19 and will be played at the JSCA stadium in Ranchi. India have won four out of their four matches in the ongoing ICC World Test Championships and they will be bidding for a 3-0 whitewash against a deflated South Africa side in Ranchi.