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Virat Kohli played a significant innings of the day. He was slow to start and was overshadowed by Suresh Raina, he paced his innings brilliantly. He played two straight drives that would have made Tendulkar proud. But it was a pull off Doug Bracewell that made the crowd rise to its feet.
Raina may look at this knock as a turning point in his Test career. He played good strokes, and there were none of those swipes and hoicks he uses in the shorter formats. He wasn’t severely tested by the short ball, but he played them competently and displayed his growing confidence with a controlled pull, Bracewell being the victim again.
Kohli played two cover drives that would have gone to boundary but for Brendon McCullum. He stopped it inches from the rope with acrobatic saves both times. The crowd appreciated the effort every time the replay was shown on the giant screen.
Test matches in Bangalore have always had good crowds. After defeating Australia in 2010, MS Dhoni even went on to say that the Bangalore crowd was the 12th man. I was a bit apprehensive about the crowd turnout for this game, considering that New Zealand was a low-profile team. But because the ticket prices were low (gallery tickets were Rs 50), a lot of people turned up and in the ensuing chaos to enter the stadium, I missed the remainder of the New Zealand innings. The noise generated by the spectators more than made up for the few unoccupied seats in the stadium.