Virat Kohli completed a superb double century as India posted 404/4 at lunch on the second day of the first Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium here on Friday. The Indian skipper was unbeaten on 200 at the break, with 24 boundaries studding his 281-ball stay in the middle. The maiden double century for the Delhi lad, it was also the first double hundred by an Indian captain overseas.
Ravichandran Ashwin gave the Indian skipper able support from the other end with a patient half-century. The off-spinner was unbeaten on 64 off 162 deliveries with eight hits to the fence.
Among the West Indies bowlers, leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo was the most successful with figures of 3/131 from 35 overs.
Right-arm pacer Shannon Gabriel was the only other West Indies bowler who has managed to claim a wicket so far with figures of 1/56 from his 17 overs.
It has been a tough, fruitless struggle for the other West Indies bowlers with pacers Jason Holder (0/83) and Carlos Brathwaite (0/67) toiling on without any success along with off-spinner Roston Chase (0/57).
Resuming at the overnight score of 302/4, Kohli and Ashwin proceeded to strenghen India’s position with some sensible batting. Playing on a pitch well suited for batting under the sunny Carribbean 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.
This was the seventh Test half-century for the 29-year-old from Chennai. Kohli was also going great guns at the other end. The Indian skipper, who resumed the second day on a personal score of 143, reached the 150-run mark with a superb pull off Gabriel for a boundary.
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 Indian seemed to slow down a bit and became more cautious as the double century approached, eventually reaching the landmark with a single off Chase.
India 1st innings: M Vijay c KC Brathwaite b Gabriel 7 S Dhawan lbw b Bishoo 84 CA Pujara c KC Brathwaite b Bishoo 16 V Kohli* not out 200 AM Rahane c Bravo b Bishoo 22 R Ashwin not out 64 Extras (B-4, LB-2, NB-5): 11 Total (For 4 wickets in 119 overs): 404 Fall of wickets: 1-14, 2-74, 3-179, 4-236. Bowling: ST Gabriel 17-5-56-1, JO Holder 24-4-83-0, CR Brathwaite 22-5-67-0, RL Chase 20-1-57-0, D Bishoo 35-1-131-3, KC Brathwaite 1-0-4-0.