Skipper Virat Kohli hit his first double century in Tests on Friday, reaching the milestone in 281 balls against West Indies at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua as India declared after registering a mammoth 566/8.
The captain led the visitors’ charge on the second day of the first Test of the four-match series, before being castled on the second ball after the lunch break.
Kohli top scored for India with a 283-ball 200. Ravichandran Ashwin was the other major contributor with 113 off 253 deliveries, scoring his third Test hundred.
Resuming from his overnight score of 143, Kohli continued his march without any discomfort. He crossed the 150-mark off 208 balls as the 100-run partnership with Ravichandran Ashwin came up in the 96th over.
For live scoreboard: West Indies vs India 1st Test Day 2 Scoreboard
There was a short spell when Devendra Bishoo (3-131) was introduced into the attack, as the runs calmed down. But as soon as the two batsmen got accustomed to his spin again, the scoring rate went up once again.
Kohli reached the milestone at the stroke of lunch and was ably supported by Ashwin.
The previous Indian captain to score a double century in a Test match was Mahendra Singh Dhoni. In 2013, he hit 224 against Australia in Chennai.
In the past few years, Kohli’s consistency have forced critics to compare him to Sachin Tendulkar. At 27, Kohli is now the golden boy of Indian cricket, having scored heavily in all formats of the game.
Kohli’s previous highest score in Tests was 169, which he posted against Australia in Melbourne in 2014. The double century was also first for Kohli at the first-class level, with his previous highest being 197.
He registered the highest score by an Indian captain when he reached the 193-run mark, going past the previous mark set by Mohammad Azharuddin, who made 192 against New Zealand at Auckland in February 1990.
The departure of the well-set Kohli early in the second session did not have any effect on India’s batting as Ashwin completed his ton to put India on 512/6 at tea.
Among the West Indies bowlers, leg-spinner Bishoo was the most successful with figures of 3/163 from 43 overs.
With the second ball after lunch, West Indies finally struck as pacer Shannon Gabriel got Virat Kohli to edge one on to his stumps. The delivery kept a little low and the Indian skipper was tricked.
Wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha next walked out into the middle to join Ashwin and both ensured they had another strong partnership.
Saha was adventurous. Time and again he skipped down the track to loft the spinners. He was out stumped after getting to 40 off 88 balls. The Ashwin-Saha stand yielded 71 runs for the sixth wicket.
Earlier, resuming at the overnight score of 302/4, Kohli and Ashwin proceeded to strengthen India’s position with some sensible batting.
Playing on a pitch well suited for batting under the sunny Caribbean sky, the duo studiously avoided taking too much risk, focussing instead on keeping the run rate ticking on at a steady slow rate.
They were helped on in no small measure by the toothless West Indies bowling attack. Except for Gabriel and Bishoo, the other West Indies bowlers seemed quite ordinary and never looked capable of taking wickets.
Kohli and Ashwin managed to find the gaps at regular intervals and the latter brought up his half-century in style, sending a Brathwaite delivery to the point boundary with a sublime punch off the back foot.