If you thought Virat Kohli’s pretend celebration after scoring his first four was unusual, we have another one for you.
Virat Kohli’s half-century against West Indies in the first Test in Dominica may have been 76 off 182 deliveries, but it was far from one of his more polished Test knocks. Kohli had to work hard for his runs, scoring 50 from 147 balls with only two boundaries. When was the last time you saw Kohli cut at this rate? That too against an attack like the West Indies bowling attack? The answer is hazy.
Even for a Test match, Kohli’s knock was uphill for the most part, as the former India skipper was kept quiet. Sure, the batting surface could have been better, but given Kohli has established standards, it was difficult to watch him score at a strike rate of about 40.
However, Kohli’s body language was different from his performance. He was his usual self – lively, chirpy, and full of character. If you thought his pretend celebration after scoring his first four was unusual, we have another one for you. Kohli’s second boundary came in the 122nd over, off the 123rd ball he faced. And, as strange as it may sound, he went the successive 40 balls without a four. Even while his partner, Yashasvi Jaiswal, consistently found the boundary, Kohli held up one end, content to play himself in.
The moment has finally arrived. Kohli clipped the ball on the leg-side off a delivery from debutant Alick Athanaze, and even though the ball didn’t have enough legs to go to the boundary, Kohli hit his third boundary and the first after 16 overs. Call it a celebration or a show of relief, when Kohli realized, he looked up to the sky and murmured a few things before joining Jaiswal in laughter.
It was not Kohli’s first time making such a gesture. Kohli delivered a similar image during IPL 2022, when he was going through quickly the worst spell of his career, having survived three golden ducks. After a peculiar dismissal, Kohli stared at the sky as if asking, ‘What else do you want me to do?’ The image of a champion trying to score every single run broke a million hearts.
Kohli’s gesture at Windsor Park reminded me of Rahul Dravid doing something similar during a Test match between India and Australia. Dravid had gone 40 balls without scoring a single run during the 2008 Perth Test, and the fans were growing impatient. So when he eventually did, the WACA rose to cheer him sarcastically. Dravid, ever the sportsman, raised his bat with a wry smirk on his face.
Ravichandran Ashwin bowled the West Indies out for 130 in their second innings, so there was little for Virat Kohli to do after going out other than bust out a few dance steps. Ashwin, India’s ace spinner, took 7/71 to complete a dual five-wicket haul and finished with a match haul of 12/131 as India routed the hosts by an innings and 141 runs. It is India’s 23rd Test victory over the West Indies, trailing only Australia and England.
A stunning return for Ashwin, who was recently dropped from the World Test Championship final. It was also a personal high for him, as ‘Ash Anna’ recorded his most extraordinary match stats away from home. He came in to bowl after 9 overs in the first innings. Today, Rohit Sharma unleashed him and Ravindra Jadeja as early as the fourth over, and the outcome is public knowledge. Jadeja took two wickets, while Mohammed Siraj took the only WI wicket to fall to pace before it was all over for Ashwin. Ashwin’s legacy grows with his 33rd five-wicket haul and 8th 10-for in a contest.
Virat Kohli shows off his immaculate ‘Friday night’ dance moves during India’s stunning 1st Test victory against the West Indies.
Virat Kohli has always been a vibrant presence on the field, and that didn’t alter during the first Test when he burst into unexpected dancing movements on Day 3.
Team India jumped out to a 1-0 lead against the West Indies in the first of two Tests in Dominica, defeating the hosts by an innings and 141 runs. After building a massive 271-run lead in the first innings, the team bowled the Windies out for 130 runs, with Ravichandran Ashwin getting seven wickets for 71 runs. The off-spinner finished the match with a 12-wicket haul, putting him in joint-fifth place among Test bowlers with the most fifers.
Earlier in the day, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Virat Kohli started India’s innings at 312/2, finally removing the former on 171. Kohli, who batted surprisingly slowly on the day, had to wait another 15 overs for his first four – his first boundary in the innings having arrived after 81 balls the day before.
However, the 34-year-old batting legend was removed on 76 by Rahkeem Cornwall, preventing him from reaching the three-figure milestone. Kohli had gone a long time without a century in international cricket (2019-2022), and he had to wait even longer for one in Tests, breaking the deadlock in March earlier this year when he hit a superb 186 against Australia in Ahmedabad.
Fans had hoped that Kohli would add another three-figure score to his Test career, taking him to 29 hundred in the format and 76 tons overall. While supporters were undoubtedly disappointed yet relieved to see Kohli return to run-scoring in the most extended configuration, the batter remained true to himself on the field, showing off his superb dance moves ahead of India’s second innings against the West Indies.
After bowling out the West Indies batting lineup for 150 in the first innings, India relied on the experienced bowling combo of Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja again, picking up 9 wickets between them. Alick Athaneze was once again the leading scorer for the hosts, although scoring only 28 points off 44 deliveries.
The second Test of the series will take place on July 20 at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain.
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