Virat Kohli slams maiden Test century in England

The India captain notched his maiden Test ton in England and despite not getting any support, Kohli helped India reduce the deficit.

Virat Kohli celebrates after scoring his maiden Test hundred in England.   -  Getty Images

Much of the talk leading up to the Test series was Virat Kohli's poor run of scores on his first tour of England, in 2014.

Kohli in 10 innings had made only 134 runs with a top score of 39. However, the Indian skipper on Thursday slammed a brilliant century on Day two of the first Test at Edgbaston to silence his critics.

India was nine down with Kohli batting on 97 and as England packed the field, Kohli steered a Ben Stokes short and wide outside-off delivery to the right of backward point to notch his maiden Test ton in English soil and 22nd overall.

In India's first innings Virat Kohli dropped anchor with his first Test half-century, bringing up the milestone in 100 balls.

He walked in to bat when India was two for 54 and was very much the lone man standing on a day when the other Indian top-order batsmen failed to play innings of substance.

With the ball seaming and swinging around, Kohli had a big test of his technique, particularly those delivered on a fourth-stump line and moving away from him.

But the India captain made a conscious effort to watch the ball closely, get into the line of the ball even when he left it and curbed himself from driving even if the ball was on a driveable length.

The battle between Kohli and James Anderson — which the cricket world had been looking forward to — was absorbing to say the least.

Anderson probed Kohli with his outswingers, the odd one slanting into the right-hander, and the Indian captain was up to the task most of the time.

With wickets falling around him and the English bowlers maintaining a consistent line and length, a watchful, circumspect Kohli missed out on a few scoring opportunities.

His intent to occupy the crease was clear and his presence in the middle was important for him and the team. Something which Kohli managed, forging important partnerships with Ajinkya Rahane (41 runs for the fourth wicket) and Hardik Pandya (48 runs for the fifth wicket) and ensuring India got as close to England's first-innings total of 287.

The ball after getting to a half-century, Kohli's tendency to reach out to ball outside off-stump surfaced. And, off Ben Stokes, he edged behind to Dawid Malan, standing at second slip.

Malan grassed the ball that was dying on him as Kohli and India could breathe a sigh of relief.