Virat Kohli sent the Ahmedabad crowd into a frenzy as he made a surprise appearance on the ground towards the end of play on Day 2 of the fourth Test.
Team India’s star batter Virat Kohli commands a massive fan following no matter where he plays. In Tests, the fans usually cheer loudly as soon as India’s second wicket falls in an innings, for they know that Kohli is the side’s designated number four batter; the crowd bursts into ‘Kohli, Kohli’ chants as the India star makes his way to the crease. However, on Friday, the 34-year-old batter received a goosebumps-inducing applause as he came out of the dressing room, merely to have some batting practice under his belt.
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Kohli emerged towards the dug out even as Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill – the two Indian openers – were batting at the crease. The India star had a bat tuck inside his left hand, implying that Kohli was going for some batting practice. As soon as Kohli began to walk through the passage from the dressing room to the ground, the crowd went into a frenzy, with chants of Kohli’s name reverberating throughout the stadium.
While Kohli made a splendid return to form in the limited-overs formats last year, he is yet to translate the patch of run-scoring in Tests. In three matches in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy so far, Kohli has scored 111 runs. However, with pitch conditions significantly favouring the batters in Ahmedabad, the star India batter will be aiming to capitalising on the opportunity and break the three-figure deadlock in the longest format.
Kohli’s last century in Tests came in November 2019 against Bangladesh.
India have made a composed start to their first innings in the fourth Test, as both openers remained unbeaten at the end of Day 2. The side’s score was 36/0; Australia had posted a strong total of 480 in the first innings, with Usman Khawaja (180) and Cameron Green (114) smashing centuries. For India, Ravichandran Ashwin took his 32nd five-wicket haul in the longest format, eventually registering figures of 6/91.
Ashwin also went past bowling great Anil Kumble to register most five-wicket hauls on home soil among Indian bowlers (26).