Virat Kohli's seventh Test double hundred powered India to a mammoth first innings total of 601/5 declared, before seamers struck thrice to pile on further misery for South Africa on day two of the second Test in Pune.
The Indian skipper marched on from his overnight score of 63*, combining with his deputy Ajinkya Rahane in a 178-run stand for the fourth wicket, before the latter was caught behind off Keshav Maharaj when on 59, to give the left-arm spinner his 100th Test scalp. The visitors had to wait for another 39.1 overs for their next wicket, and not before Kohli brought up his highest Test score of 254* and joined forces with Ravindra Jadeja for a stroke-filled 225-run stand for the fifth wicket.
Jadeja eventually skied one off Senuran Muthusamy, falling nine short of a well-deserved century, with his dismissal prompting the declaration. His innings included eight hits to the fence and two over it, but his brilliance was overshadowed on a day when Kohli showed his immense appetite for runs and the art of batsmanship, yet again. The second ranked batsman in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Rankings hit 33 fours and two sixes during his 336-ball stay, and completed 7000 Test runs in only his 138th Test innings while he was at it.
He has now crossed the 21000-run mark across all international formats in a staggering 435 innings and so becoming the fastest to the mark, surpassing yesteryear legends Sachin Tendulkar and Brain Lara who took 473 and 485 innings respectively.
It was a repeat from the first Test in Visakhapatnam for the visitors, as Maharaj and Muthusamy, their lead spinners, appeared below par yet again, conceding 196 and 97 respectively to earn a wicket each. Muthusamy had Kohli caught in the slips by skipper Faf du Plessis when the former was on 208, only for the replays to suggest that he had overstepped – not for the first time in an innings which included 11 no-balls.
Openers Aiden Markram and Dean Elgar, who walked in to bat with 15 overs remaining before the end of day's play, were back in the hut by the fourth over to leave South Africa reeling at 13/2. Umesh Yadav, who had played his last Test against Australia in December 2018, struck on his second ball, trapping Markram leg-before. He then had Elgar, previous game's centurion dragging one onto his stumps for 6.
Shami then carried on from where he had left off in Vizag, striking with his first ball to have Temba Bavuma caught behind for eight, by virtue of a review. Theunis de Bruyn and night watchman Anrich Nortje ensured that there were no more setbacks, as South Africa ended the day at 36/3, still trailing India by 565.
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