New Delhi: The stage was set for a thrilling match at Visakhapatnam after the Rajkot draw. By the close of Day 1's play at Virat Kohli's favourite ground, hosts India have taken control of the match with skipper himself unbeaten on 151.
The day's play at Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium also had other memorable moments, and feats achieved not only by cricketers but by a fleet-footed canine too.
Here are five talking points:
1. Dog Tales: Cricket matches in India, no matter how tight the security arrangements are, often witness interventions from the over enthusiastic crowds. But there are instances also when dogs forced stoppages. It happened in Vizag today. The dog, which went onto become an Internet sensation, forced the umpires to take an early tea break even as an anxious Cheteshwar Pujara was waiting to complete his hundred. Every dog has it's day. Indeed, it was one such day.
2. Landmark Day: It was a landmark day. Both Virat Kohli and Joe Root – probably the two most hottest batting talents – made their 50th Test today. In his 50th Test, Kohli hit his 14th Test hundred. The skipper, thus, became the sixth Indian to hit a century in 50th Test. The day also witnessed Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara reaching 3000 Test runs, 20th and 21st Indians to do so respectively.
3. Vizag Special: Vizag has become Kohli's second home ground. His record, in all formats, in this coastal city almost touches a bradmanesque average of just below 100. His lowest score in Vizag is 65. Having scored in a sequence of 118, 117, 99, 65, before the match, everyone expected Kohli to put a cherry on top. And he did it, in style, by killing the English ghost. He was unbeaten on 151.
4. Anderson vs Kohli: James Anderson's return allowed English fans to indulge in wishful thoughts. The Lancashire quick, having dismissed the Indian skipper five times prior to this match, is the most successful bowler against Kohli in Tests. But England's greatest bowler met a different Kohli in Vizag. The Anderson injection, however, resulted in three wickets, out of four which India lost today.
5. Pujara's Act of Dissent: For obvious reasons, Cheteshwar Pujara is compared to Rahul Dravid, the great Indian wall. But today, Pujara committed an act of dissent by hitting a six, to reach his hundred. After that dog stopped play early when Che was on 97, the Rajkot-batsman took the matters into his own hands, and hit a Adil Rashid short ball for a six over deep mid-wicket. A well-timed pull shot, but unbecoming of Pujara. It was his third hundred in three successive matches.