He made 149 in India's first-innings 274 and steadied India after they slipped to 78-5 on Friday at Edgbaston. The match between the two old foes of cricket, that eventually went Australia's way, was christened as a "Test" match, paving the way for two thousand plus matches in that format which has remained for a hundred and forty-one years.
England pace battery, led by Stuart Broad, gobbled up half the Indian batting line up under favourable overcast conditions as the visiting batsmen were either reckless with their shot selection or got too good deliveries to counter.
Several cricket experts had said that the England tour was Kohli's final frontier.
Kohli has also played more balls in this single match than he managed in the entire five-match series in 2014.
The right-hander thanked his lucky stars as he was dropped twice on a score of 21 and 51 by Dawid Malan at slip.
"I've been encouraged the way I've bowled at him in this game so far, found the edge a few times in the first innings - and on another day I could have got him for 20, and then we're not talking about how brilliant he is". We can get him (Kohli) out.
"But that's not the case".
"In the first innings, we wanted to take the ball away from the left-handers".
Earlier, all rounder Sam Curran followed up his first innings haul of four wickets by scoring a solid half century to guide England to 180 all out in their second innings. I was in awe of everyone.
Asked if he can credit how quickly Curran has risen to the challenge in just his second Test, Anderson said: "I can believe it, yes, because he's a really impressive lad".
The former looked to play more conservatively, while Bairstow opened up a bit to score at any opportunity he got. "I just go with my gut feel and situation of the game", he said.
India ended day three on 110-5, still needing another 84 runs to win, with Kohli unbeaten on 43.
"I'm only in my second game, but I think it was a little eye-opener for me, watching the way he bats and how precise you've got to be with your lengths (to him)".
The Lancashire swing bowler added: "It's a really exciting place to be, because you know we could do something special tomorrow by winning this".
And before Thursday´s close, India captured the prize wicket of Alastair Cook, England´s all-time leading Test run-scorer, for a duck when, for the second time this match, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin bowled him with a superb delivery that pitched on middle and hit the off-stump.
England moved into a strong position on an enthralling day of Test cricket at Edgbaston despite a century from India skipper Virat Kohli. Four years ago, he played 288 balls from 10 innings and scored 134 runs.
"He is someone who always gives you positive energy and that is a big thing as captain". The India/England five Test encounter may not be labelled as a blue riband series like the Ashes or India versus Pakistan but the approach of both teams just goes to show that this will (hopefully) be a series to remember.
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