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#IndvsEng: Masterclass show again

Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara hit centuries as India wallop a listless England on the first day of the second Test.

#IndvsEng: Masterclass show again
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India's Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli run between wickets

Vishakhapatnam

Indian cricket has been on a debut spree. After handing Indore and Rajkot their first Test match status (the last two Tests India played), it was time for the port city of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh to revel in the stature and pride of hosting a cricket match in the longest format. And, the Dr YSR ACA VDCA Stadium embraced it in style along with Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara. 

It was, yet again, an exhilarating show by India’s two most reliable batsmen as the hosts, batting first after winning the toss, posted 317/4 at the end of day one with Kohli making a masterful unbeaten 151 (241 balls, 15 fours) and Pujara a stokeful 119 (204 balls, 12 fours and two sixes). 

In the process, Pujara also became the fourth fastest to score 3000 Test runs and the second fastest to 2000 Test runs in India. It was Pujara’s third century in as many Tests (101* vs NZ in Indore, 124 vs England at Rajkot), his tenth in his Test career, while Kohli notched up his 14th Test century. 

The duo added 226 runs for the third wicket as England toiled for 61 overs to get a wicket and chased the red cherry all over the ground in hot and humid conditions. With the pitch to assist the slower bowlers from Friday, runs on the board would be crucial. Kohli and Pujara have ensured that India have the early advantage. 

The home team was off to a horrid start losing K L Rahul (0) in the second over of the day when the batsman nicked Stuart Broad to Ben Stokes at third slip. Things became worse by the fifth over when James Anderson bowled a snorter to Vijay who could only offer a simple catch to Stokes at gully. Vijay (20) couldn’t get out of the line and ended up gloving the ball. 

Pujara survived two run-out opportunities and Kohli was dropped on 56 when Adil Rashid failed to hold on to a chance at long leg, as they made England pay for their mistakes. Pujara signalled India’s charge when he sent Zafar Ansari for 10 runs in two balls and made a mockery of Stuart Broad’s eight men on the offside by surgically bisecting the gap at backward point for a boundary. 

Kohli was harsh on Moeen Ali, who wasn’t introduced till the 40th over, by hitting him for three boundaries in an over in the third man and mid-on region as England skipper Alastair Cook ran out of ideas. In a 12-over period between overs 44 to 56, India almost scored at more than five runs an over. 

Pujara was out in 67th over when he chased a short and wide delivery from Anderson and Jonathan Bairstow made no mistake behind the stumps. 

Later, Ajinkya Rahane (23) added 68 runs for the fourth wicket before the Indian vice-captain edged Anderson to Bairstow in the 89th over, the first over with the second new ball. 

India made two changes from team that played in the first Test. Jayant Yadav got his first Test cap from Ravi Shastri and the off-spinner replaced Amit Mishra in the playing XI. As expected, Rahul partnered Vijay at the top, replacing Gautam Gambhir. 

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