After familiar woes came back to haunt Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, the batting duo of Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant resurrected the Indian innings with a solid 50-run unbeaten stand on Day 3 of the Cape Town Test. Pant played a counter-attacking innings while inflicting a sense of calmness in it, allowing his captain to play second fiddle.
The dedication which he showed in the first innings, Kohli produced a repeat of it in second innings playing another patient innings. In both innings at Newlands, Kohli faced more than 100 balls in both innings of a Test match, the first time he has done so against England at Trent Bridge in 2018.
In the first innings at Cape Town, Kohli scored 79 off 201 balls, and currently remains unbeaten on 28 off 127 balls with hour boundaries. In fact, this is the first instance since the Nottingham Test four years ago, where Kohli has faced 300 deliveries in a Test match and the 12th time overall. Having said that, this is the lowest he has scored after facing these many deliveries.
While Kohli achieved a major first in four years, Pujara, on the other hand, registered an unwanted record against his name. Pujara, who fell second ball of the day, to a brilliant catch plucked by Keegan Petersen at leg slip, was dismissed for his overnight score of 9. This marks the seventh time that Pujara has failed to add to his overnight score, most by any batter in the world.
Before Pujara, the dubious feat belonged to New Zealand and South Africa greats Chris Cairns and Jacques Kallis, who couldn’t add to their overnight score on six occasions. The likes of Rahul Dravid, Darren Powell, Misbah-Ul-Haq, Michael Atherton and Graham Gooch too have faced problems scoring the first runs on a day, falling on their overnight scores five times.