Kohli lifts India with Raina, Dhoni
Virat Kohli's 93* served as the base of India’s recovery against New Zealand on Day 2 of the second Test at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Saturday.
India began the day well as Zaheer Khan had Kruger van Wyk caught at second slip and then ran out Doug Bracewell who had backed up too far at the non striker’s end. With the wicket of Brendon McCullum on Day 1, Zaheer’s tally stood at 2/83 and a run out while Pragyan Ojha claimed the wicket of Tim Southee to finish his fiver – taking 5/99.
A fine, attacking 113 from skipper Ross Taylor had taken NZ to 328/6 at Stumps on Day 1 but they failed to build on it on Day 2 and were bowled out for 365.
Gautam Gambhir (2) and Cheteshwar Pujara (9) both fell early to Tim Southee (3/35) in India’s reply while Virender Sehwag (43) threw away another brisk start to Doug Bracewell (2/66). When Bracewell managed to breach Sachin Tendulkar’s (17) defence, India were at a poor 80/4.
The under-fire Suresh Raina joined Virat Kohli in the middle and the two set about batting sensibly to rebuild India’s innings. Kohli looked in great control, never hurried by the bowlers who had troubled the earlier batsmen and very comfortable with his tempo. At the other end Suresh Raina was determined and attacking, racing to his 50 ahead of Kohli in 79 balls. The two added 99 for the fifth wicket, taking India to Tea at 168/4.
Raina’s dismissal for 55 brought MS Dhoni to the middle and he carried on with Kohli for the second substantial partnership of the Indian innings. Dhoni came out with a positive intent, charging Jeetan Patel and hitting him for consecutive sixes very early in his knock. Kohli reached his 50, his fourth in three consecutive Tests in India with a four off Tim Southee.
He was content to play for Stumps after his fifty, playing out many maiden overs yet he speeded up his scoring. Dhoni kept the runs coming at the other end and India added 115 runs for the loss of just one wicket in the third session of the day.
Kohli reached 93* at Stumps while Dhoni was unbeaten on 46, both batsmen putting off their milestones for Sunday. India were 283/5, trailing NZ by 82 runs. The Kiwi bowlers will be hard to play on Sunday morning when they will receive good support from the conditions, especially Southee who did well to move the ball at good speeds in the first session on Saturday. But the composure and ability by Kohli, Dhoni and Raina earlier will give the Indians hope of a substantial first innings lead.