Indian skipper Virat Kohli and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane held the fort against a mostly disciplined New Zealand pace attack on Day 2 of the ongoing World Test Championship (WTC) final at Rose Bowl in Southampton.
Kohli and Rahane showed immense maturity and formed a valuable partnership of 58 runs from 147 deliveries for the fourth wicket before the bad lights stopped play and forced the match officials to announce stumps on the second day.
While Kohli stayed unbeaten on 44 and inched closer to his 26th half-century in the red-ball format, Rahane too looked solid during his unbeaten 29-run inning. Kohli showed great patience playing as many as 124 balls. On the other hand, Rahane played 79 deliveries. India scored 146/3 at the end of day’s play.
Earlier, Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to field first. The opening pair of Rohit Sharma (34) and Shubman Gill (28) gave India a solid start. The duo added 62 runs before Kyle Jamieson got Rohit caught at sips in the 21st over.
Just three overs later, Gill was outdone by Neil Wagner. As if the trouble wasn’t enough, soon Trent Boult also joined the party and dismissed ‘Mr Dependable’ Cheteshwar Pujara (8) to reduce India to 88/3 in 40.2 overs.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
Kohli has started really well and Rahane showed some really encouraging signs against a top attack on a helpful surface.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) June 19, 2021
Leave aside the stats and numbers. Virat looked like a man determined and focused today. Good for 🇮🇳 Weather permitting, it promises to be a fascinating day's play tomorrow #WTCFinal
— Stay Home – Stay Safe – Get Vaccinated 🙏 (@hemangkbadani) June 19, 2021
Watching Virat Kohli & Ajinkya Rahane survive a spell with a Dukes ball in very English conditions from Tim Southee just makes you wish for more neutral Tests #WTCFinal
— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) June 19, 2021
India would be both relieved and happy. Virat-Rahane did well to survive what was potentially one of the better spells of seam and swing bowling in helpful conditions under fading light. Live on @aajtak at 11pm with Sunny Gavaskar & @MadanLal1983 #IndvsNZ #WTC2021
— Vikrant Gupta (@vikrantgupta73) June 19, 2021
Virat Kohli’s cover drive has a separate fan base 😍 #INDvNZ
— Chloe-Amanda Bailey (@ChloeAmandaB) June 19, 2021
Bad light plays spoilsport and that's stumps in Southampton!
— ICC (@ICC) June 19, 2021
That's it for Day 2. The Umpires call the day with bad light and rain around. India 146/3 at the close of play with Virat Kohli 44* and Ajinkya Rahane 29* Card | https://t.co/9M1mvODiZ3 #WTC21 pic.twitter.com/vLmjWfthoR
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) June 19, 2021
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) June 19, 2021
Rahane's job here is to bat like a human being, in order to emphasise quite how well Kohli's playing against the same (world class) bowling
— Ben Jones (@benjonescricket) June 19, 2021
Stumps on Day 2 – India 146 for 3 in the first innings lead by Captain Virat Kohli 44* and Rahane 29* in the middle. Rohit and Gill put on 62 runs for the opening wicket – hoping for more action on Sunday. #INDvNZ
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) June 19, 2021
Rain’s been meddlesome. Thankfully 65 overs of thoroughly absorbing play was possible. Kiwi bowlers unrelentingly probing but India’s top order held it’s own in tough conditions. @imVkohli the star with gr8 skill & resolve. India need approx 350. 1st session Sunday key to outcome
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) June 19, 2021