Birmingham [United Kingdom], Aug 03: With Indian skipper Virat Kohli bringing up his maiden Test ton on English soil on Wednesday in the ongoing first test, a host of celebrities showered words of appreciation for him.
Most notable of Kohli’s admirers was Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar, who took to his Twitter handle to congratulate his heir apparent for his Test century, adding that it was a “Lovely way to set up the Test series,” while also stressing on the importance of the knock.
Another former Indian cricketer Mohammed Kaif lauded him for “single handedly” keeping India’s hopes alive in the match. “One of his most important hundreds. An absolutely brilliant innings from @imVkohli . Has single handedly kept India in the game. What a player ! #ENGvIND,” Kaif tweeted.
Former England captain Michael Vaughn said that Kohli’s knock was “Test Batting at its Best.” “Test bowling at its best .. Test Batting at its Best from @imVkohli .. These last 2 days have given us all a reminder why it’s the best format by a country mile … #ENGvIND,” Vaughn tweeted.
Indian commentator Harsha Bhogle said it was a “privilege to have seen this innings from Virat Kohli.”
British journalist and television presenter Piers Morgan dubbed Kohli’s century as one of his greatest ever, while lauding the fighter that he is.
Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar also lauded the New Delhi-born batsman’s efforts, saying his display was extraordinary.
India were bowled out for 274 runs on the second day of the ongoing first test match at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground, with Kohli being the silver lining as he scored 149 runs off 222 deliveries on his way to his 22nd Test ton, and his first on English soil.
Ravichandran Ashwin got the day’s proceedings underway and England’s first innings was wrapped up in the next over when Sam Curran edged a Mohammed Shami delivery, that was comfortably caught by keeper Dinesh Karthik.
India were, however, rocked at the start as they lost openers Murali Vijay (20 from 45), Shikhar Dhawan (26 from 46) along with K. L. Rahul (4 from 2) in quick succession, with all three wickets being scalped by 20-year-old English all-rounder Curran.
Another brilliant spell from Ben Stokes after lunch sent Ajinkya Rahane (15 from 34) and Karthik (0 from 4) back to the pavilion, as Kohli hardly had any support from the other end.
Regardless, the Indian captain braved the testing English conditions, smashing 22 boundaries on his way to the landmark, falling one run short of a 150. His effervescent celebration, like always was proof of the importance of the knock to Kohli, with him also kissing his wedding ring and blowing kisses to wife Anushka Sharma in the stands.
The Indian tail-end put up a little fight and supported Kohli till the end, with Hardik Pandya scoring 22 from 52 balls faced and Ashwin scored 10 before he cut an Adil Rashid delivery straight to Stuart Broad. Standing testament to his greatness was the standing ovation he received from the English crowd in Edgbaston as he made his walk back to the pavilion.
Although India fell short of England’s total by 13 runs, Kohli’s innings will surely add a spring to the Indians’ steps, and with the added incentive of Ashwin knocking over Alastair Cook’s stumps in an exact replay from his first innings dismissal, giving India hopes of scripting a historic Test match win.