The 29-year-old batsman scored his first Test century on English soil on Thursday when he hit 149 in a masterclass innings as India reached 274 in their reply to 287.
Kohli is unbeaten on 43 in the second innings going into the fourth day on Saturday with the tourists needing 84 runs for victory and having five wickets in hand.
Earlier this summer, Kohli had signed up for a pre-tour stint with Surrey only for a neck injury to rule him out. But former India skipper Gavaskar feels it’s the other Indian batsmen who must consider playing county cricket after their poor showings in Birmingham so far.
“Kohli made a mockery of the thinking that he needed to play county cricket to get a big score in England,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for Times of India.
“Kohli is an exceptional talent and can get runs even if he wakes up in the middle of the night.
“More than him, it is the other guys who have lesser talent who needed to spend more time playing against the red ball, as was seen by the way they struggled against the moving ball.
“Even if India go on to win the Test and the series, the decision to play just one three-day game in the fortnight’s gap has clearly not helped the other batsmen. More than Kohli, it’s the others who need more time against the red ball. Kohli can’t rescue the team every time.”
Morning, Tyrone Bell here with everything you need to know this Saturday.
The word thrilling is over-used in modern sport but the First Test between England and India at Edgbaston has certainly earned that adjective.
It has been thrilling from the opening ball right to the end of play on the third day.
The hosts led by just 13 runs on the first innings as India were saved by a superb 149 by Virat Kohli and some poor England catching.
England then stumbled to 180 in their second dig, with young all-rounder Sam Curran carrying out a rescue mission of his own with a breath-taking 63 off just 65 balls.
This left India with a target of 194 and overnight they were poised at 110 for five wickets with the danger man Kohli still there on 43.
The match is poised for a thrilling climax today.
To read more on yesterday’s brilliant day of cricket click HERE.
The transfer window grinds on with deals being done all over the globe.
Also a move for Yerry Mina makes sense for Manchester United says Matt Monaghan.
In other news Cristiano Ronaldo had caused quite a stir unfollowing former club Real Madrid on Instagram.
Elsewhere in the cricket universe leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane picked up three wickets as Nepal beat Netherlands by one run to register their first ever win in the format on Friday.
Chasing 217 for victory, the Dutch were well placed at 114-2 before they lost seven wickets for 71 runs. Leg-spinner Lamichhane took 3-41 from his 10-overs to play his part in a famous win.
To read more on the historic victory click HERE.
FEATURE OF THE DAY
The Crusaders stand on the brink of their ninth Super Rugby title when they take on the Lions from Johannesburg in the final in Christchurch today (11:35 UAE time).
Alex Broun looks at what makes this champion team so great.
SOCIAL MEDIA ROUND-UP
84 to get. Five wickets in hand. The pot-stirring genius Virat Kohli standing firm. England hungry and desperate. What a Test. 8pm tonight. Can't wait.— Robert Craddock (@craddock_cmail) August 3, 2018
63 vital runs from only 65 balls & what a way to go to your maiden Test fifty.— England Cricket (@englandcricket) August 3, 2018
Well batted Sam Curran - Game on @edgbaston
Our @Schroders Selection from the afternoon session.#EngvInd pic.twitter.com/W7SUQppdRW
WHAT’S ON TODAY
England v India – Day Four of First Test (14:00)
Super Rugby Final: Crusaders v Lions (11:35)
Pre-season friendly: Liverpool vs Napoli in Dublin (18:00)
First of all, I need to own up to an error in judgment. When England left-arm seamer Sam Curran made his Test debut against Pakistan at Leeds in June, I did not believe he was ready for Test cricket.
With his slight build and spirited-at-best bowling action, Sam did not turn heads during the game against Pakistan. There was no great pace, extravagant movement or bounce to suggest the 20-year-old could be a force to be reckoned with in Test cricket. Fast bowlers need to have a certain physique and pace to consistently challenge the best batsmen on all conditions in Test cricket. I had believed, at that time, that his brother Tom could have been a better option because he offered more pace and bounce.
When India prepared for the first Test in Birmingham, surviving the new ball against James Anderson and Stuart Broad was their main concern followed by the incisive bowling of all-rounder Ben Stokes. The medium to fast-medium left-arm bowling of Curran would not have been on top of the minds of India batsmen.
In the first innings of England’s batting, Curran’s 71-ball 24 helped England post 287 in the first essay and he then returned to not only break a dangerous looking opening stand of 50 but also ran through the Indian top order. His late left-arm swing proved more than a handful as Indian batsmen struggled to pick his line or length.
SAM CURRAN is the first England player to score a fifty and have a four-fer in his career before turning 21. (27th player overall)— Deepu Narayanan (@deeputalks) August 3, 2018
Took them a small matter of 1000 Tests to have one in the club. #ENGvIND
Then came his most defiant effort of the Test. With England down and almost out at 87-7 in the second innings and all main batsmen dismissed, Curran brought the hosts back into the match. And the icing on top of an amazing cake for Curran was the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane in the second innings.
Runs and wickets are always good but it’s the way Curran went about accumulating them in Birmingham that has stood out. With the bat and ball, he knew exactly what needs to be done. His run-scoring was a result of uncluttered thinking. With the ball, he knew where to bowl at batsmen and rarely veered from his line of attack.
“I remember me as a 20-year-old, and I didn’t know what was going on … I was in awe of everyone,” James Anderson said of Curran on Friday.
“But he knows exactly what he’s doing, how to set batsmen up, and we saw he has talent with the bat as well.”
There was concern, in some quarters, that Curran’s build might not be able to stand up to the demands of Test seam bowling over a longer period of time. But his batting has developed very well and he already has 11 first-class fifties along with 119 wickets from 42 games. A future as a batting all-rounder is a distinct possibility.
That Sam is a gritty character shouldn’t come as a surprise as the Zimbabwe born lad has seen quite a lot at an early age after his family was evicted from their farm in the African nation during the regime of Robert Mugabe. To come through such a situation at make it to the Test team while being a teenager shows that Sam is made of some pretty stern stuff and can handle most things that cricket can throw at him.