ADELAIDE: Stand-in captain Virat Kohli led a bold run chase on yesterday’s gripping final day of the opening Adelaide Test but, chasing a formidable 364 for victory, the tourists ultimately went down by 48 runs as they lost their final eight wickets for 73 runs.
Kohli’s 141, his highest Test score, raised hopes of an unlikely Indian win as the 26-year-old became just the fourth Indian to score centuries in both innings of a Test.
“If we were able to pull this off, today would have been one of the most special moments in my life,” said Kohli after the loss. “But I’m really proud of the way the boys played.”
Despite being set a daunting target to win on the last day on a wearing pitch, the tourists went for the win right from the get-go. No team had scored more than 315 runs and won in Adelaide since 1902, but Kohli almost singlehandedly guided India to an astonishing win with his second century of the match before being caught on the boundary rope in the 82nd over.
“At no point did we back off. And we are not going to back off either,” said Kohli. “If you see cricket like this for the rest of the series, it’s in the balance. The guys believe that. And unless you believe in something, there’s no chance of achieving it.”
Kohli added that he believes their attacking mindset helped them get so close. “If at any stage, we had in mind that we might play for a draw, we would have lost by 150 runs, to be honest,” he said. “So we went for it. That is what I am happy about.”
Dhoni, who missed the series opener because of a fractured thumb, will take over the captaincy for the second Test, starting in Brisbane on Wednesday. “I would be very happy that he is going to be fit and available for the second Test,” said Kohli. “It doesn’t matter if I have the ‘c’ in front of my name or not. That doesn’t change anything as far as my mindset is concerned.”
I may never play again: Clarke
Australia captain Michael Clarke, who was forced to retire hurt in the first innings but came back to score a century has said that he is unsure about what the future holds for him, according to ESPNCricinfo.
“The experts are looking at scans now, I don’t know exactly how long I’m going to be out for,” said Clarke. “I think the World Cup, our first practice game is eight weeks away, I’d love to take part in the tri-series, I’d love to take part in the World Cup but I just have to wait and see.”
Clarke added that there is a chance that not only will he not play in the World Cup but it may have been the last time he played. “There’s no doubt there’s certainly a chance [I will miss the World Cup], well there’s a chance I may never play again. I hope that’s not the case and I’ll be doing everything in my power to get back out on the park but I have to be realistic as well.”
Published in The Express Tribune, December 14th, 2014.