Cummins spell gets respect of the ‘King’
WHEN Virat Kohli smashed 20 runs from his first 10 balls, there were groans and shrieks all at once around the Perth stadium, depending on which country you were supporting.
The Indian captain came to the crease with his team in allsorts. The score was 2-8, his openers gone after both had their stumps shattered.
It was supposed to be a high-pressure situation, but the “King” went bang.
He hit Josh Hazlewood down the ground for four, off just his second ball. Kohli hit two more boundaries in the over, and the commentators started calling it a “masterclass”.
But then Pat Cummins came on to bowl.
The Aussie quick claimed Kohli’s wicket twice with the first four balls he bowled to him in Test cricket.
Circumspect isn’t a Kohli character trait, but in confronting Cummins, the Indian maestro had to seriously consider what he was doing.
Cummins bowled 28 balls to him in the second session, and conceded just three runs.
The bowling was good, Kohli had to be, too.
It had been an almost ridiculously low-scoring day to that point, as Kohli was kept quiet and Cheteshwar Pujara, who faced 104 balls for 23, was his usual stoic self.
Kohli reached his own 50 off 109 balls, a hard-earned, well-fought, crucial innings.
“Virat respects good balls and tries to put away the bad ones, like any good batsman does,” Aussie batsman Usman Khawaja said after play.
“I think Patty bowled well, I think all our bowlers bowled well. With any good batsmen, you just have to keep putting in the right place.
“He got away, but he has to start again tomorrow, so we’ve got another chance.”