The second Test match between India and New Zealand begins in Mumbai at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday. New Zealand had a great escape in the first Test match at Kanpur when their last pair survived 52 balls to save the Test match and stay alive in the series.
With Virat Kohli back as Test captain for the second Test in Mumbai, Indians fans are more concerned will Virat Kohli end his century drought than the result of the match.
Kohli got his 27th Test hundred way back in November 2019 against Bangladesh in a day-night Test match at Eden Gardens and has gone 12 Test matches without a hundred. He has fond memories of Wankhede Stadium where the last time India played a Test match was way back in December, 2016 against England where he had scored a classy double century - which paved the way for India’s series win. He must be itching to get back to the ground for the three-figure mark which has been eluding him for the past two years.
Apart from 27 Test hundreds, Kohli has got 43 ODI hundreds and is 30 centuries away from reaching the record set by the great Sachin Tendulkar of 100 centuries in his international career. As much as the hundred is important for him, he would like to win the series against the Kiwis and avenge the defeat India had against them in 2020 series - as well as the World Test Championship final loss where Kane Williamson’s men beat hot favourites India in June.
It’s time the bat of ‘King Kohli’ fires as India’s batting looks very fragile with experienced players like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane looking woefully out of form. A hundred is long overdue and hope the Mumbai rains over the last few days don’t spoil Kohli’s party.
- Cricket enthusiast Anis Sajan is the Vice Chairman of Danube Group