"I think the game is still in balance right now". The next one was pitched up further and all the "run-machine" did was drove it straight, with equal elan past the mid-on fielder.
Whichever way the rest of the match unfolds the Proteas will know they have unleashed yet another exciting fast bowling talent who also has the heart and the temperament for the job.
Kohli continued to pile vital runs. The rough outside right-hander's leg-stump is more pronounced now and the off-spinner would be looking to make it play in home batsmen's minds.
South Africa, starting their second innings with a lead of 28, would have expected to see Ashwin in to the attack early, but Kohli went one step ahead and opened with the off spinner. It was quite slow, as it was two paced.
South Africa were 90 for two shortly after tea when rain stopped play, an overall lead of 118. Morkel finished with four for 60, and complained afterwards about a most un-Centurion-like pitch. Usually at Centurion, the wickets are caught behind. "You need to try a lot of things", Morkel said. The India skipper was also fourth-highest run-getter in Tests with 1059 runs a year ago, including three double hundreds. It was two paced.More news: Scotland sees big hit to its economy with no UK Brexit deal
"We lost a few early wickets yesterday as well, so he was playing an anchor role and till the end, he kept fighting".
For a bowling unit it can be a sobering thought that you bowled nearly as well as you wanted to a batsman, you got wickets around him, and still that particular batsman went at a strike rate of 65.38 despite a late slowdown, partly owing to wide bowling in the final 20 minutes. "We're well aware of that but we don't take any notice of it", said Morkel after the end of day's play on Monday. On the first ball of the 67th over, Kohli worked Ngidi towards midwicket to bring up a magnificent century, where he had stood tall against South Africa's discipline and extra pace even while everyone was losing their heads around him. He had hit only six fours, but his runs had taken only 78 balls, showing how well he picked the gaps even when he wasn't hitting the ball to the fence. It will not be easy to keep fending off the disciplined host pacers, but then, that is where the real challenge will be because exposing the tail to the new ball would mean immediate demolition. And it is vital how we play tomorrow. It was a very important inning.
Only opener Murali Vijay provided any lasting support for Kohli on Day 2 at SuperSport Park as South Africa's four-man pace attack worked its way through the Indian top and middle order.
Kohli (85 not out) looked positive from the outset and Vijay too started to gain confidence at the other as the duo handed the Proteas bowlers easily, adding 52 runs for the third wicket before tea.