South Africa v India, 1st Test, Johannesburg, 1st day December 18, 2013

Kohli makes a Tendulkar-like ton

In difficult conditions against one of the world's best attacks, Virat Kohli remained unfazed, played his own game, and showed India could compete
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'Kohli reminded me of Tendulkar' - Donald

India's last two Test hundreds in South Africa, and three out of the last four, all came from No. 4. It was in a way fitting that the latest assertion that they can compete here despite the ODI poor showings, came from their newest No. 4 batsman. In terms of discipline - never mind the Cheteshwar Pujara run-out and his eventual dismissal - Virat Kohli matched Sachin Tendulkar. This is not a comparison between the two batsmen, but this hundred of Kohli was Tendulkar-like in its defence and its calculated stroke-play. Even Allan Donald, who is now South Africa's bowling coach and has had many a contest with Tendulkar in the 1990s, was reminded of Tendulkar.

"The one word that comes to my mind is responsibility," Donald said. "I think he [Kohli] showed great discipline and responsibility. It reminds me of Sachin Tendulkar when they came here in 1996. I was the first one to say back in 1996 that India didn't show much bottle, and that one person that jumps out and plays for the situation, plays for his team was Tendulkar. That's what came to my mind when I saw Kohli batting - the way he left the ball and when we were slightly off the line he punished the ball. He paced his innings very well. But for me, he was responsible today. He put up his hand today, and showed real fight. He was tight, and didn't give much away until the end."

An amazing statistic about Kohli's innings is that he left alone 61 of the 181 balls he faced, but still went at a strike rate of 66. More instructive was when he left them alone. He didn't offer a shot to 16 of the first 28 balls he faced after which he got a few loose ones and ran away with them. Then came lunch. A new innings began after the interval: he left alone 11 of the first 17 balls bowled to him. Then he got a short and wide delivery from Vernon Philander, and launched into it. In the next over he smack-pulled Dale Steyn and was back in a mood to score runs.

He was confident of his game, knew he didn't have a glaring weakness, read what the bowlers were trying to do, sussed out the pitch and match conditions, and wasn't going to throw a good start away. Taking singles was an important part of India's game today. Yes, M Vijay got caught at one end a bit, but you could see there was a lot of emphasis on not letting South Africa bowl at one batsman for a long time. It possibly resulted in the Pujara run-out - although they were also ball-watching a bit - but that only firmed Kohli's resolve further.

And then there were the shots. Crisp, clean, and loud and clear in the statement they made. The first two were pulls off Jacques Kallis and Steyn. This might have worked with Shikhar Dhawan, but won't with me, Kohli seemed to say. And he was given quite a few short balls, which failed to push him back. Another Tendulkar-like aspect of this innings was that Kohli was right forward when he played the forward defence.

The 18 fours that he hit - only one of them unintended - showed how much he punished the bad balls. It didn't matter if it was Steyn, Morkel or Philander. A loose ball was a loose ball. Steyn bowled a limp short ball, and Kohli dismissed it from his sight, later saying that he didn't remember many short balls bowled at him after that. The next ball Kohli left alone, and Steyn was in his face with verbals. Snarling bowlers is usually a sign that you are doing well. Morkel, who was the best bowler on the day with his steep bounce, was cut away for four when he bowled wide.

Against Imran Tahir and JP Duminy, though, it was open season. Tahir's first ball - he usually bowls the last over before lunch when South Africa are bowling on day one - was only slightly short, and Kohli rocked back to pull him. He added another boundary in that over. Who cares if lunch is around the corner? You are not going to get too many gentle legbreaks in South Africa and when you do, you make most use of them. Off the 27 balls bowled by Tahir, Kohli scored 31, including that trademark extra-cover drive which beat cover by a few feet and sweeper by several.

That century celebration, which Kohli possibly never wanted to end, showed how much this knock meant to him. He later said that even when he was in Australia, he used to think about getting a hundred in South Africa, because the senior players had told him how special it was. To put it in perspective, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly never managed one here. Kohli has done it in his first Test innings in the country.

There is a long way to go for India. Kohli knows he fell at the wrong time, and to a loose shot. He knows Tests in South Africa can turn in minutes because wickets can fall in a heap. One thing has been achieved, though: India know that they can compete. A message Tendulkar used to send across often in the '90s.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • CMIS on December 19, 2013, 13:29 GMT

    @Gerry_the_Merry your argument about number of matches is a double-edged sword. It is a mathematical reality that averages tend to go down with the number of matches played. For example, what if Strauss did not retire when he did and played another tour of South Africa, it can conceivably be argued that his form dip would probably have seen his average in SA against Steyn and Co go the same direction. The averages in SA (>500 runs) with only Gilchrist having an above 60 record hints that SA is a pretty difficult place to play especially as they have always had a strong seam attack since readmission. In that light I don't think an average of 46 over 15 Tests spanning five tours is anything to be scoffed at.

  • on December 19, 2013, 12:24 GMT

    @ Gerry_the_Merry: Fair points regarding Tendulkar . I agree that a high batting average is far more valuable than longevity. Tendulkar was certainly not the greatest, although he was very good. Also, his average in the 3rd and 4th innings of test matches was not really spectacular (Gavaskar was brilliant in this regard) and that would suggest that Tendulkar had a penchant for wilting under pressure? Tendulkar was quite good in most other regards though.

  • on December 19, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    Yeah! Kohli does remind one of Ponting, when he was at his best. That is the only similarity..Kohli does not get bounced out of night clubs like Ponting did , all over the world, once . This is typical pom-aus classification. They just classify the tracks that they cannot play on as " flat-tracks".

    Some Miah character was commenting thet India lost 5 wickets for 25 runs. My math may be wrong but 280 is still better than 49 all out.What do u say? Miah!

  • rt-uk on December 19, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    How could you even make such a comparison.. on-field & off, Tendulkar was such a jem, a role-model for youngsters & everyone; I dont think Kohli even qualifies.

  • Bonehead_maz on December 19, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    Haha , Alan Donald still baiting opposition, but has moved onto journalists. Taken hook line and sinker.

  • counterpoint87 on December 19, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    if its a tendulkar like innings.. then we are bound to lose this game too, there is no hope now. laxman never scored a hundred but his 96 in durban was one of the best innings played by an indian in sa. stop glorifying centuries. surely there is something higher that the accumulation of personal milestones.

  • xtrafalgarx on December 19, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    He looks nothing like Tendulkar. I didn't see Tendulkar in his early days, but this was a lot more aggressive than Tendulkar. To me he played more like Ponting than Tendulkar, he doesn't look like Ponting because he is wristy and looks like an Indian player, but his approach was very Ponting like with his pull shots and shot selection.

  • Sir_Ivor on December 19, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    I am not sure about the reasons for SamRoy's pessimism. India have always done reasonably well at the Wanderers . On the three occasions that they have played here they honourably drew in 92, almost won in 96 and won in 2006 with South Africa being destroyed by Sreesanth and Zaheer Khan. They did not play here in 2010.From what I have seen, the wicket does have cracks and batting last could be a problem.Then again the ball should reverse here and importantly, thunder showers are expected. This could pep up the Indian pacemen. It would be interesting to see how Shami and Ishant bowl because the former is playing on such a bouncy wicket for the first time and secondly,it did look like Ishant has turned the corner in the ODIs.One can never say what could happen but I think India have a good chance in this game. It has already been seen that the famed South African pace attack also can be handled with some resoluteness.Now is the time for the Indian bowling to show how good they are.

  • UNIVERSAL_CRICKETER on December 19, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    Doesn't Virat Kohli remind us of a young, aggressive & brash Punter.....Ricky Ponting...

  • on December 19, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    Stop this comparison with Tendulkar.Enough of eulogies now. Let us look forward. Kohli is altogether a different batsman and he is pleasing to eyes in full flow. Let him enjoy his cricket.

  • CMIS on December 19, 2013, 13:29 GMT

    @Gerry_the_Merry your argument about number of matches is a double-edged sword. It is a mathematical reality that averages tend to go down with the number of matches played. For example, what if Strauss did not retire when he did and played another tour of South Africa, it can conceivably be argued that his form dip would probably have seen his average in SA against Steyn and Co go the same direction. The averages in SA (>500 runs) with only Gilchrist having an above 60 record hints that SA is a pretty difficult place to play especially as they have always had a strong seam attack since readmission. In that light I don't think an average of 46 over 15 Tests spanning five tours is anything to be scoffed at.

  • on December 19, 2013, 12:24 GMT

    @ Gerry_the_Merry: Fair points regarding Tendulkar . I agree that a high batting average is far more valuable than longevity. Tendulkar was certainly not the greatest, although he was very good. Also, his average in the 3rd and 4th innings of test matches was not really spectacular (Gavaskar was brilliant in this regard) and that would suggest that Tendulkar had a penchant for wilting under pressure? Tendulkar was quite good in most other regards though.

  • on December 19, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    Yeah! Kohli does remind one of Ponting, when he was at his best. That is the only similarity..Kohli does not get bounced out of night clubs like Ponting did , all over the world, once . This is typical pom-aus classification. They just classify the tracks that they cannot play on as " flat-tracks".

    Some Miah character was commenting thet India lost 5 wickets for 25 runs. My math may be wrong but 280 is still better than 49 all out.What do u say? Miah!

  • rt-uk on December 19, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    How could you even make such a comparison.. on-field & off, Tendulkar was such a jem, a role-model for youngsters & everyone; I dont think Kohli even qualifies.

  • Bonehead_maz on December 19, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    Haha , Alan Donald still baiting opposition, but has moved onto journalists. Taken hook line and sinker.

  • counterpoint87 on December 19, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    if its a tendulkar like innings.. then we are bound to lose this game too, there is no hope now. laxman never scored a hundred but his 96 in durban was one of the best innings played by an indian in sa. stop glorifying centuries. surely there is something higher that the accumulation of personal milestones.

  • xtrafalgarx on December 19, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    He looks nothing like Tendulkar. I didn't see Tendulkar in his early days, but this was a lot more aggressive than Tendulkar. To me he played more like Ponting than Tendulkar, he doesn't look like Ponting because he is wristy and looks like an Indian player, but his approach was very Ponting like with his pull shots and shot selection.

  • Sir_Ivor on December 19, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    I am not sure about the reasons for SamRoy's pessimism. India have always done reasonably well at the Wanderers . On the three occasions that they have played here they honourably drew in 92, almost won in 96 and won in 2006 with South Africa being destroyed by Sreesanth and Zaheer Khan. They did not play here in 2010.From what I have seen, the wicket does have cracks and batting last could be a problem.Then again the ball should reverse here and importantly, thunder showers are expected. This could pep up the Indian pacemen. It would be interesting to see how Shami and Ishant bowl because the former is playing on such a bouncy wicket for the first time and secondly,it did look like Ishant has turned the corner in the ODIs.One can never say what could happen but I think India have a good chance in this game. It has already been seen that the famed South African pace attack also can be handled with some resoluteness.Now is the time for the Indian bowling to show how good they are.

  • UNIVERSAL_CRICKETER on December 19, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    Doesn't Virat Kohli remind us of a young, aggressive & brash Punter.....Ricky Ponting...

  • on December 19, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    Stop this comparison with Tendulkar.Enough of eulogies now. Let us look forward. Kohli is altogether a different batsman and he is pleasing to eyes in full flow. Let him enjoy his cricket.

  • Cool_Jeeves on December 19, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    @humdrum - Tendulkar played 15 tests over 5 tours to South Africa. Generally batsmen have played 6-10 tests in SA. I prefer to look at it from averages (else one could argue that Tendulkar is better than Bradman by virtue of having more centuries - but then again, you would already be thinking that, but stop - in that case Ponting, Kallis, Lara, Dravid, etc. are all better than Bradman).

    In SA, averages are (>500 runs) - Gilchrist 65, Gayle 54, Phil Hughes 53, Strauss 51 (he won a 5 test series single handedly for his team), S Waugh 50, Lara, Ponting, Tendulkar, Fleming all 46. So just open your eyes to numbers beyond aggregates and longevity.

  • on December 19, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    The best Test Innings I've seen from an Indian batsman in a VERY LONG TIME. Virat Kohli is the real deal.

  • stormy16 on December 19, 2013, 7:04 GMT

    I made the comment before the series on Kholi being a new generation player from India which is different in many aspects to even guys like Dravid and Dada. This is the generation where guys are not as overawed by Saffers and Aussies and importantly, has exposure to these pace bowlers thanks to the IPL and Champions league. They can all (well most of them anyway) play solid horizontal shots to counter the chin music but most of all, attitudes have changed and guys are no longer intimidated. Technique have never really been a major problem for Indians and Kholi's technique is as good as it gets and now, temperement he showed yesterady was good as any. Despite all this I thought this was a "learning" tour for the youngsters but to see Kholi deliver a brilliant hundered on the first day of the tour is unbelievable and a sign of things to come. I am not an Indian supported but know a good thing when I see one and Kholi is something very special.

  • SamRoy on December 19, 2013, 6:57 GMT

    What jimbond observed is ok. A score of around 325 should be competitive if bowlers bowl well. But with 35 year old zaheer and the repeatedly below par Ishant this match is firmly in SA's grasp.

  • on December 19, 2013, 6:55 GMT

    @venkateswarlu84 .. Pls read Donalds comments or Sir.Sachin and pls dont humiliate urself by saying even a kid can break Sir.Sachin records ... Sir.SRT was a baby when he faced Pakistan, in England and Australia and its for you newbeeis there are program showing Sir.SRT matches. Have you ever faced a leather ball on a true cricket pitch?? You are so iggnorant abt cricket and Sir.SRT. My advice, pls stop posting comments like you because all who reads ur comments are laughing at ur face and you are being humiliated ...

  • humdrum on December 19, 2013, 6:55 GMT

    Gerry_The_Merry : Apropos on the 'Tendulkar is god' mode, fully agree with you in the sense he is a wee bit short of it. I don't know of any international batsman in the last 20 years ( that's right ) who has 5 test match hundreds in SA other than Tendulkar. Please give me the benefit of your wisdom, if that is incorrect,because if it is true,how come batsmen brought up on fast,bouncy, seaming tracks have failed where a guy brought up on the 'roads' in India succeeded ? Food for thought.

  • dganger on December 19, 2013, 6:54 GMT

    Will you stop this Tendulkar thing now, I mean its enough

  • Satyendra1 on December 19, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    I do not know if it was Tendulkar like or not but it surely was a superb hundred. The financial might of the Indian cricket board has made them a bit arrogant but it doesn't mean that Indian players have to be criticized for their board's actions. Generally everybody plays well on their home turfs and Indian players are no exception to it. So how come they become flat track bullies when all they can do is play as well as they can on whatever playing field they are offered. Now when touring abroad, one of them has scored a fine century against a top notch bowling attack, we must give him his due credit. This is perhaps the most inexperienced batting unit of a top cricketing nation at test level in ages but still these guys have shown remarkable steel after the battering they got in the ODIs. Cant we just simply appreciate that instead of being so prejudiced. Criticize where its due but appreciate as well where its due !! Wish you all a sound mind and judgement !!

  • wakaPAK on December 19, 2013, 6:25 GMT

    I thought India would be folded under 100 but it was perhaps my (un)wishful thinking and of course the abysmal performance of India away in the last two series was on my mind; but what a fight by Indians especially the fearless Kohli; I thought he was softened up by SA pace battery in previous matches and he'd just nick one to the slip.... It was a day of persistence. SA was persistently aiming the fourth and fifth stump and moving the ball away from right handers and India was persistently leaving until the SA attack gassed out. M.Vijay though didnt score big but he did well by staying there and negotiating the new ball so Kohli didnt had to come earlier. I'd give him full marks. India might have successfully decoded the success of SA pace attack. Dont worry about scoring, leave as many balls as possible, the one which nips back would either fly over the stump because of the bouncy pitch or it might be that Steyn and Co have no fearsome inswingers and they rely on outswingers.

  • kumarcoolbuddy on December 19, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    @jimbond, I agree with you on one point that Kohli would have been in severe criticism had Dhoni and Rahane not built good partnership. Same people who said India was clueless in ODI series are now saying that today's match was okay. Which means India had improved only by using ODI series as practice matches unfortunately. Don't know if it is BCCI's fault or India's bad luck. Why was the SA bowling was few notches down? After India's only practice match was cancelled because of rain SA players said that it is advantage to SA and it would help them to win the test match. How do you want to comment on that?

  • KYN123 on December 19, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    nobody can take sachin's place , as a player and as a person

  • usernames on December 19, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    @jimbond: The other thing is that in the ODIs, there were pokes outside the off stump which made the bowling look better than it was. It's the same ball bowled slightly outside the off stump but you poke at it, and it doesn't get your edge, but it looks ungainly and people say the batsman is struggling. The same batsman leaves the same ball in tests and it's poor bowling.

    I'm not taking credit away from SA's bowlers -- they are, in fact, the best in the world. However, Kohli's 100 was a very good one. He was circumspect initially, then stabilized and paced his innings rather well. Batting is pretty funny... you can be in the best form of your life and it still takes one ball to get out.

    The only point I'm making is the scale/benchmark needs to be the same for both Indian batsmen and batsmen elsewhere. A Clarke 100 here in similar conditions would have been called a masterclass by many; if we were bowling and were in a similar situation, people will say SA played really well.

  • on December 19, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    @usernames: Well Said Super Likes....

    Where are SA Fans Now..Lolzzz

  • on December 19, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    Stop comparing kohli to SRT and stop comparing his knocks with that of SRT,it is like applying more pressure on virat let him play his game sit back quiet and enjoy the knock he plays.What is SRT like ton please explain.In test matches every batsmen who would like to get runs under his belt should play with agression with caution and kohli did that well and it is kohli's century(a quality Knock) and it is not SRT like century,had enough of your sachin comparisons.Move on.We got a century hit by a no 4 after 2011.

  • Cool_Jeeves on December 19, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    What a determined sycophant the author is. Get out of the Tendulkar is God mode man... let us enjoy some good batting against a good attack. But I guess we are cursed with memories of Tendulkar as long as anyone bats at #4. Perhaps we should send Ashwin at #4, just to be rid of the Tendulkar comparisons.

  • SamRoy on December 19, 2013, 5:53 GMT

    with one Shami and a half Khan, no probability of getting 20 protea wkts, has Ishant not failed enough?

  • on December 19, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    i dont thnk kohli is tendulkar-like more of a pointin-like as someone mentioned and i thnk the pointing-like will become more apparent as he grows and develops more in the future

  • usernames on December 19, 2013, 5:45 GMT

    @jimbond -- I agree they were struggling in the first two ODIs, but we also have to keep in mind that India were playing those matches without any kind of practice. We had two sitting ducks in Raina and Yuvraj and the fact that our bowling is horrendous made it look even worse than it was.

    Here's the thing: I'm not saying that our team is world beaters at the moment. They are obviously not and have a long way to go, but if we see improvement, we must acknowledge that something is going right. To be totally objective, even in this innings, Kohli struggled initially and so did Dhawan and Vijay. Scoring hasn't been very quick because the batsmen have been careful and the bowling good (not great, but decent).

    As for people criticizing Kohli if he got out today, yes, that would happen and I'm not one of those who would criticize him. It's important that there's a process even if there aren't immediate results. You win some, you lose some, but it's important to see if things are improving.

  • on December 19, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    Stop comparing kohli to SRT and stop comparing his knocks with that of SRT,it is like applying more pressure on virat let him play his game sit back quiet and enjoy the knock he plays.What is SRT like ton please explain.In test matches every batsmen who would like to get runs under his belt should play with agression with caution and kohli did that well and it is kohli's century and SRT like century,had enough of your sachin comparisons.Move on.We got a century hit by a no 4 after 2011.

  • VenkyN on December 19, 2013, 5:34 GMT

    @ jimbond : I watched every ball of the ODIs. Yes, the pitch for the first game was a little different, in addition to the bounce there was some lateral movement as well. The bowling not so much so. They pretty much bowled the same lengths here as in that game. But while on the subject of the bowling, and the pitch, did you notice anything that the Indians did yesterday that was different ? They were'nt chasing 358, or 280 and thus actually had the luxury or not having to play low percentage shots to keep up. And given that, they did play quite beautifully, leaving a very high percentage of what they did not have to play at.

    Robin Jackman actually made the observation that they Indians deserved a lot of credit, as they were leaving a lot of deliveries that the Pakistanis actually played at. Come to think of it, having watched the Ashes recently, I don't recall seeing either the English or the Australians leaving as well either.

  • VenkyN on December 19, 2013, 5:29 GMT

    @jimbond : Did you actually watch the England or Australia series ? Hint - how many batsmen in the current Indian top six actually played in England and how many in Australia ? Or do you belong to the group that says, "brown... must be Indian, they all look the same to me ?"

    The team that failed in England and Australia did not have anything to prove to anybody. They had gone to both places earlier and won games and played well over a few series. The reality was that age was catching up with most of them, and India as usual was savoring the high of the World cup and went in with even less than the usual abysmal preparation. Zaheer breaking down on day one of the England series, or Viru's pair, anyone ?

    There seems to be this irrational glee when India fails. The armchair commentators come out of the woodwork, with the "flat-track bully" paintbrushes. Yet when England fails to measure up against pace, or Cook and Bell are caught at the crease repeatedly, they are merely out of form.

  • satzzz on December 19, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    @jimbond Kohli and Pujara made look South African's bowling below their par. Match still on SA's hands? Dream on mate.

  • yoohoo on December 19, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    @venkateswarlu84 and all those people talking nonsense about tendulkar. I challenge you to go to the cricinfo statistics and add up the Test statisctics of Alistair Cook and Michael clarke and compare that to sachin. That is how great sachin was!

    Tendulkar - 200 tests - 329 innings - 15921 runs Cook + Clarke - 200 tests - 349 innings - 15942 runs

    We all know what kind of form Cook and Clarke have been in over the last few years, and yet all they could do was match tendulkar when combined!! and that too taking 20 innings more!

  • yoohoo on December 19, 2013, 5:03 GMT

    @usernames - Agree LOL!. For that last line, they will the 'pitch eased out' after the first nine wickets fell :).

  • jimbond on December 19, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    @usernames: If you have access to videos, compare this with the first two ODIs- where the Indian batsmen did not have any clue of what was happening- and you would know the differences in types of pitches and level of bowling.

    Style wise, SRK and Kohli couldnt be more different. Kohli would be closer in style to Ponting, but Ponting was stronger of the backfoot. And had Kohli got out on one of those short balls, the same guys would have been criticising him like the way that they are going after Dhawan.

  • bookie7600 on December 19, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    Guys, did you notice something! All the Pakistani & Bangladeshi fans are nowhere to be seen now! Wonder why and when they will strike again !! haha

  • legfinedeep on December 19, 2013, 4:37 GMT

    what is a tendulkar-like ton? seriously.

  • Philippe on December 19, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    @venkateswarlu84... has anybody stopped any player in world (of any team) to play for 24 years or same no. of matches as SRT played? you comment looks total non sense & shows you hv to cricketing knowledge.

  • usernames on December 19, 2013, 4:27 GMT

    @Jimbond: Yes, as soon as India scores, the pitch becomes playable, bowling a few notches below what it usually is, and pigs start flying.

    Can we just stop with these nonsense excuses? Oh, right, how can we: why let facts change your perception. SA was bowling quite well and India played them reasonably well. Not out of woods yet, no, but what we saw was encouraging.

    You guys are amazing. Play outside India and we will see... the team wins Champions Trophy... oh, well, those were India-like pitches... your real test is in South Africa... oh, let's not give them credit because we just decided we'll shell out a belter and bowl poorly. Or maybe make an excuse.

    What do you want to see? Kohli scoring a 300 from a score of 20/9 with Munaf Patel as his batting partner, against the world's best eleven, on the greenest pitch ever seen in world cricket, in 30 overs? Will that be enough for you to acknowledge he played well? Don't think so: you'll just say he's lucky even if he does all that.

  • Amarjitmadan on December 19, 2013, 4:12 GMT

    A very encouraging sign for the team and Virat himself. According to him his idol is Sachin and will remain one, certainly he is going on the same lines ie caution and controlled aggression which is the key in test matches. Good luck!

  • srikanths on December 19, 2013, 3:55 GMT

    Kohli definitely looks a great talent at test level too.To put things in perspective even the great Tendulkar struggled in SA in his early days, his stats of 1991-92 and 1996 tour were not great except for the 111 and 169.To score a test hundred against an excellent attack is great. But again, to add a further perspective, SA attack lacked imagination.They kept bowling well outside off stump and most of it outswingers which batsmen left alone. If they had been able to bring in a few plus bowled closer to the offstump that would have created doubts in the mind and made the Indian batsmen play more often. It was very predictable . To add another perpective to Kohli's knock,Dravid had just one hundred in SA in four tours and SRT 5 in 5 and Laxman none in 10 tests in SA.But the challenge for Kohli would be how he wud cope up when he gets in to a bad patch

  • naren1983 on December 19, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    Excellent Century by Kohli. He is here to prove a point that he is a world-class player and proved Daryll Cullinan wrong who said Kohli technique is doubtful. He took great responsibility at No. 4 and played for Situation much like Tendulkar. Not only him, others were also cautious about playing like Pujara, Rahane and even Dhoni leaving lot of deliveries outside the off-stump. But disappointed with Shikhar & Rohit, who played wrong shots and still bad to see Vijay getting out on these types of balls on many occasions. But Overall, India seems to take responsibility and ready for fight to win this test.

  • tests_the_best on December 19, 2013, 3:30 GMT

    Well played Kohli and India. Most Ind fans would have taken 255/5 at the start of the day. It was admirable how the Indian batsmen showed great discipline in leaving balls outside off stump and SA weren't bowling badly at all, just shows the desire to perform well.

    Along with the century in Adelaide, Kohli has now shown that his talent is not just for home pitches, something Dhawan, M. Vijay and Rohit have yet to prove. Looks like the no 3 and 4 spots are pretty stable for some time to come.

    Also quite heartening to see Rahane play well. Always thought he had the technique/temperament for overseas tests and he only proved that today. One thing though the team might consider is making him bat at no 5 or even as an opener given that India's overseas opening stands have averaged around 15 for the past few years.

    A score of around 325-350 should be competitive. After the batsmen, will the bowlers now provide a good account of themselves? Should be a very interesting second day.

  • jimbond on December 19, 2013, 3:27 GMT

    Please dont go ga ga over kohli- yet. His innings was okay, the bowling was a few notches below SA's usual range, and the pitch was playable. While the others did get out sooner, most Indian batsmen were able to stay at the wicket for a while- which is not what happened in England or Australia. Run out of Pujara was crucial- because this was one player who could grind out the attack, and nothing irritates the SA pacemen more than a player who could continuously blunt them. And Kohli did get out at a crucial period and had it not been for a good partnership from Rahane and Dhoni, India would be looking down the barrel by now, not that they are out of the problems yet. Unless India get to a score of 350 plus and then bowl well, this match is firmly in SA's grasp.

  • sandy_bangalore on December 19, 2013, 3:24 GMT

    I badly miss Tendulkar. Kohli is promising, but cricket without SRT dosent seem right

  • venkateswarlu84 on December 19, 2013, 2:59 GMT

    Tendulkar-like ton? For that matter kohli is far a better player than sachin. Even a kid can break all his records if u allow them to ply for those many yrs and with those many matches without dropping even when not performing. Plz come out of that hell and stop comparing everyone with this guy.

  • on December 19, 2013, 2:40 GMT

    Go Kohli! Proudly carrying the Khukhrain flag, like your ancestor Raja Porus Sabharwal!

  • sideee on December 19, 2013, 2:28 GMT

    Extremely impressed with most Indian batsmen as they were willing to fight it out. Very very happy for Kohli. This knock will not just have an impact on his confidence, it will also show the others in the team that it is possible. However, I feel Kohli is a bit like Sehwag after he gets his hundred. Plays like he has done his part after he gets to his 100. In conditions such as these, if you are in, you have to make it count. I hope he gets the big 100s in the near future. Good luck guys. Fight!

  • on December 19, 2013, 2:21 GMT

    Good one Sidharth. Virat announced his arrival long back..here he just put a further stamp to it. I loved " One thing has been achieved, though: India know that they can compete. A message Tendulkar used to send across often in the '90s. "...Hope others pick up and let us have a cracker of a game..!!!!!

  • PattyMcgoo on December 19, 2013, 2:20 GMT

    Will you please stop bringing up the ghost of Tendulkar. He has nothing to do with this match. Kohli is his own man. If you can't write an articlle without mentioning Tendulkar, you should stop writing. Stop living in the past man. Tendulkar is history. He is done. Let's talk about the present, about tomorrow.

  • on December 19, 2013, 1:09 GMT

    I don't know why people compare Kohli to Tendulkar. Kohli is original! He hots a ton that means, India wins! Tendulkar is the past. Kohli is the present. Live on it guys! Enjoy and savor!

  • on December 19, 2013, 0:46 GMT

    Very nice innings by Kohli. SRT200 will be quite proud today that he left the #4 spot Indian team filled with great stroke player in the form of Kohli.

    I wish best of luck to Kohli to play better innings in future.

    I did not miss SRT200 in this match. Nice batting replacement.

  • on December 18, 2013, 23:57 GMT

    As usual Kohli was to show the way that one has to face the atttack n take it to the opponents. We have many players yet to prove if given a chance.

  • BigINDFan on December 18, 2013, 23:41 GMT

    Win or lose Ind is saying they can compete. All they had to do is believe and back themselves like Kohli did. SA knows that this lot can compete and that they have to push the young team harder to win and not the cake walk they expected after the ODIs.

    It is time BCCI start watching matches and leave their idiotic board room squabbles and build in proper preparation time for the Ind team in SA, Eng and Aus. Was Lorgat and Srini worth the one-sided nonsense in the ODI series? Imagine one or two extra practice games and this test will be even better. Imagine a 3 test series that is 1-1 and final encounter.

    Instead we see a stupid series with WI and a nonsensical long ODI series with Aus. Even if SRT scored 10 runs in SA it would have been special. Or cut short the extra long Aus series and play a 2 test series against Aus.

    Hope the new generation matches or even surpasses the legends. They can create their own history!

  • on December 18, 2013, 22:43 GMT

    Lots of positiveness pumping in now,,,But was really awesome watching kohli,pujara and rahane bat so well,,,Long way to go!!! Test matches rock all time !!!!

  • chitti_cricket on December 18, 2013, 22:01 GMT

    There is nothing like Tendulkar in this, We just compare everything good with him since we all love him so much. We fans writers and commentators should stop now comparing with Tendulakr. This guy Virat in attitude, style, technique everything is different. Only comparison between them is both are coming at No#4 , that is it and that is it. Why because that adds extra baggage and expectations from players. When Gavasker retired we did the same mistake and started to compare every opener with him and till date don't have one, since people who came into replace him were bogged down by expectations of people. There are one in a generation sports persons and better we leave them alone and get on with life instead of comparing and hyping the expectation and destroying the people coming to replace them.

  • on December 18, 2013, 22:01 GMT

    It is good to see that Kohli has left the balls outside off stump because his only weakness is when he plays them..i would love to see Dhoni and Rahane carry on the good work and confidence tomorrow and seal the match in the first session by not loosing more than 1 wicket if not nothing..way to go..

  • cricmatters on December 18, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    Kohli is by far the best batsman in the Indian lineup both in terms of technique and temperament however he has to fix two mental issues. Since most players now play more than their fair share of T20 and one day matches, the running between wicket to take a quick single almost becomes their second nature. He commits to Yes calls too early and then changes his mind. Gifting your wicket away to a run out in a Test match is unpardonable. Second thing he needs to look at is after reaching a ton, he almost gets into party mood and his shot selection becomes very questionable.

  • on December 18, 2013, 20:51 GMT

    Brilliant article, loved it. Always thought Kohli was a limited overs type of players but his test credentials have been emphatically put out there! He isnt a flat track bully but an all round player. He or Amla will break Sachin's records.

  • on December 18, 2013, 20:51 GMT

    Well Said...Jai Tendulkar...

  • on December 18, 2013, 20:26 GMT

    Its feels great that Virat again showed today what he is capable off mentally. But could we just let him be VIRAT KOHLI instead of constantly comparing him to SRT. Will always feel a player certain innings had similarity to some great innings by greats at same or different batting no. or similar Bowling spells.

    I will rather want them to play as Virat and Pujara then to be copies of SRT and Dravid.

  • on December 18, 2013, 20:14 GMT

    There is inconsistency in the reporting of Kohli's statements. In the other article it mentioned he was thinking about South Africa while playing ODIs in India AGAINST Australia, whereas here it says he was thinking about South Africa IN Australia.

  • aashrit on December 18, 2013, 20:12 GMT

    Go india Go!! show the No1 team that we can compete and will not let them easy victory.

  • xylo on December 18, 2013, 20:02 GMT

    oh please.... Kohli made a Kohli-like ton, not a Sachin-like ton. We all know how Sachin would have performed if he had been on this tour.

  • on December 18, 2013, 19:58 GMT

    For people like me Sehwag's flamboyance's absence has left a huge gap...for me it was first 10 overs of Indian batting innings or more if sehwag survived and first spell of zaheer that was so exciting about tests...I miss that too much.

  • InsideHedge on December 18, 2013, 19:55 GMT

    Doesn't Donald mean 1992?

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • InsideHedge on December 18, 2013, 19:55 GMT

    Doesn't Donald mean 1992?

  • on December 18, 2013, 19:58 GMT

    For people like me Sehwag's flamboyance's absence has left a huge gap...for me it was first 10 overs of Indian batting innings or more if sehwag survived and first spell of zaheer that was so exciting about tests...I miss that too much.

  • xylo on December 18, 2013, 20:02 GMT

    oh please.... Kohli made a Kohli-like ton, not a Sachin-like ton. We all know how Sachin would have performed if he had been on this tour.

  • aashrit on December 18, 2013, 20:12 GMT

    Go india Go!! show the No1 team that we can compete and will not let them easy victory.

  • on December 18, 2013, 20:14 GMT

    There is inconsistency in the reporting of Kohli's statements. In the other article it mentioned he was thinking about South Africa while playing ODIs in India AGAINST Australia, whereas here it says he was thinking about South Africa IN Australia.

  • on December 18, 2013, 20:26 GMT

    Its feels great that Virat again showed today what he is capable off mentally. But could we just let him be VIRAT KOHLI instead of constantly comparing him to SRT. Will always feel a player certain innings had similarity to some great innings by greats at same or different batting no. or similar Bowling spells.

    I will rather want them to play as Virat and Pujara then to be copies of SRT and Dravid.

  • on December 18, 2013, 20:51 GMT

    Well Said...Jai Tendulkar...

  • on December 18, 2013, 20:51 GMT

    Brilliant article, loved it. Always thought Kohli was a limited overs type of players but his test credentials have been emphatically put out there! He isnt a flat track bully but an all round player. He or Amla will break Sachin's records.

  • cricmatters on December 18, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    Kohli is by far the best batsman in the Indian lineup both in terms of technique and temperament however he has to fix two mental issues. Since most players now play more than their fair share of T20 and one day matches, the running between wicket to take a quick single almost becomes their second nature. He commits to Yes calls too early and then changes his mind. Gifting your wicket away to a run out in a Test match is unpardonable. Second thing he needs to look at is after reaching a ton, he almost gets into party mood and his shot selection becomes very questionable.

  • on December 18, 2013, 22:01 GMT

    It is good to see that Kohli has left the balls outside off stump because his only weakness is when he plays them..i would love to see Dhoni and Rahane carry on the good work and confidence tomorrow and seal the match in the first session by not loosing more than 1 wicket if not nothing..way to go..