England, who won the first test by 277 runs, almost took the upper hand in the first session on Day one after India won the toss and opted to bat. Moeen Ali was the architect for the visitors when he removed skipper Virat Kohli with a superb delivery. Ali struck a huge blow when he got one to dip and turn in sharply as Kohli going for a cover drive was bowled through the gate.
An ecstatic Ali along with other England fielders immediately ran off to celebrate their prized wicket while a stunned Kohli stood his ground in bewilderment. In fact, Kohli even went for a chat with non-striker Rohit Sharma to possibly enquire whether the bails were disturbed by wicketkeeper Ben Foakes.
However, replays showed otherwise as Kohli made the long walk back to the pavilion, dismissed on a duck for the 26th time in his international career.
Incidentally, Ali is the first-ever spinner to dismiss Kohli for a duck in international cricket. The last spinner to dismiss Kohli at a single-digit score in Tests is Tharindu Kaushal at Galle in 2015.
It was Moeen’s first Test wicket since August 2019, and the fourth time he had dismissed Kohli in 13 Tests.
— AmirCXN (@cxn_amir) February 13, 2021
However, Ali’s success prompted England’s fan group Barmy army to take a dig at the Indian captain’s reaction —
— England’s Barmy Army (@TheBarmyArmy) February 13, 2021
Meanwhile, it was Rohit Sharma who played some delightful strokes to notch up his seventh Test hundred as he steered India to 189/3 at tea.
Rohit, who has moved to 132 (178 balls, 16 fours, 2 sixes), and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane (36, 80 balls, 5 fours) helped the team recover from the early dismissals of captain Virat Kohli (0) and Cheteshwar Pujara (21).