India captain Virat Kohli asserted characteristic dominance, as the Proteas went without a wicket in the first session on day two of the second Test at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.
Resuming on 273-3 overnight, the hosts climbed to 356-3 at the lunch break on Friday.
Kohli moved to an unbeaten 104 en route to the 26th century of a prolific Test career. He now has as many as Australia’s Steven Smith, but from 14 extra innings. One more and he will equal former Proteas captain Graeme Smith’s tally of 27 Test tons.
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Three of the talismanic Indian’s Test tons have come against South Africa. The first was 119 at the Wanderers in Johannesburg in 2013 – and the second 153 at SuperSport Park in Centurion last year.
Kohli was well supported by vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane during an unbroken 158-run alliance for the fourth wicket.
Day one saw first Test double-centurion Mayank Agarwal welcome another three-figure contribution, after Kohli had won the toss and opted to bat first. This is Kohli’s 50th Test as captain. Only Test retiree Mahendra Singh Dhoni has more.
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India: Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami.
South Africa: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Theunis de Bruyn, Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Senuran Muthusamy, Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje.
Photo: Gallo Images