Cum­mins spell gets re­spect of the ‘King’

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT - RUS­SELL GOULD

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.”

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