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Virat Kohli shows his class on difficult Vizag pitch

India Today logo India Today 30-10-2016
© AP Photo

There's no stopping Virat Kohli this year as the run-machine provided yet another batting masterclass in the ongoing match against New Zealand at Visakhapatnam. Kohli though, missed out on a hundred and was dismissed for a fluent 65 off 76 balls which helped India post a challenging total of 269/6 batting first.

Kohli came in at the fall of Ajinkya Rahane's wicket as India decided to break the trend and bat first on a slow wicket at Vizag. He then stitched a 79-run partnership with Rohit Sharma for the second wicket and then added 71 runs with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the third wicket.

Rohit was extremely unlucky today as he seemed to have suffered a muscle injury on his right leg just after he completed his 29th half-century. His injury left him limping on occasions and hampered his running between the wickets as well. Rohit was left with no choice but to look for the boundaries from there onwards. He eventually departed after scoring a brutal 70 off 65 balls which included 5 fours and 3 sixes.

Dhoni came up the batting order once again but couldn't play in his usual style due to the slow nature of the pitch at Vizag. Dhoni tried to take the attack to the opposition by going after leg-spinner Ish Sodhi but never really looked comfortable at the crease at any stage. Mitchell Santner trapped him leg before for 41. Dhoni's strike-rate was under 70 when he got out.

© AP Photo

It was only Kohli who looked at ease on this pitch and with the spinners in operation. He was batting brilliantly at a time when the rest of the Indian middle-order was struggling to come to terms with the track. But he kept losing partners at the other end and the pressure of increasing the run-rate got the better of him.

But nonetheless, the Vizag cricket stadium seems to be one of Kohli's favourites venues as this is his fourth 50-plus score here. In three previous matches he has played on this ground, Kohli has scored 118 (vs Australia in 2010), 117 (vs West Indies in 2011) and 99 (vs West Indies in 2013).

Virat Kohli in 2016 (ODIs):
Matches Runs 100s 50s
10           739     3     4

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