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Viraaat is the first Indian captain to score overseas double ton
- by Vishaal Loganathan*
Viraaat is the first Indian captain to score overseas double ton



Off the final ball of the 102nd over of the Indian innings, Virat Kohli, the Indian captain, then batting on 163, creamed a cover drive wide of the fielder for four. The shot was class, much like his innings had been. Marlon Samuels was the fielder at cover, Jason Holder at mid-off, but both the fielders just turned their backs to the ball and walked away. No one wanted to go pick the ball up from the fence.

It was Darren Bravo who finally picked up the ball. It told you all you needed to know about how the day unfolded. India, Kohli in particular, were supreme with the bat, while the hosts were lacklustre at best with the ball.

The India captain etched his name in the record books with a finely-crafted maiden double hundred that left the West Indies battered. He became the first Indian captain to score a double century away from home. At the other end, R Ashwin, who was promoted to number five, slammed his third Test hundred, all against the West Indies, as India racked up a mammoth 566 for 8 before declaring. Amit Mishra, too, showed he can be a handy batsman lower down by cracking an attacking half-century towards the end of the innings.
A few overs before that sumptuous boundary and West Indies' lackadaisical approach to bringing the ball back, Shane Dowrich had put down a regulation catch behind the stumps. The catch would have sent back Ashwin on 43, and given the home side a break. Gabriel had managed to induce an edge off the batter, and the ball went straight to the keeper. He grassed the chance and Ashwin punished the side.

The drop was one of the four on Day 2, there were several misfields, too, as West Indies looked a side already beaten. The other three drops did not do much damage to the home team as it came just a little before the declaration, but it made apparent the kind of mental state the side was perhaps in.

If the day was miserable for Jason Holder's side, it was the exact opposite for the Indians, who saw their captain smack a scintillating double hundred.

The day started off with West Indies opting for the new ball and hoping to get back into the game with some early wickets. Kohli, who resumed at 143, quickly got to his 150 and continued to assert himself on the opposition. When Gabriel tried to bowl short, two men back for the lofted shot, Kohli went back and played the pull along the ground. When they pitched it up and bowled a tad wide, he hit the ball back straight or slammed it past the cover fielder.

Ashwin, at the other end, helped himself to a couple of sweetly-timed boundaries off Holder as the pair brought up its 100-run stand. His scoring slowed down considerably after the drop, scoring his next two runs off 34 deliveries, but his partner continued to score freely. Kohli went past his previous highest Test score of 169 (against Australia) with a four off Bishoo and closed in on his double hundred. A couple more delightful drives took him to 190.

Ashwin brought up his fifty with a fine back foot punch off Brathwaite. Kohli brought up his double ton in the last over of the morning session as he picked off Chase to the leg side. He went down on his knees and kissed the pitch after getting to the landmark.

Although West Indies enjoyed a slightly more successful session post-Lunch, India continued their dominance over the hosts in the first Test. West Indies managed to get the wickets of Kohli and Saha, but Ashwin proved that his move to No. 6 was a sound one by cracking his third Test hundred. He got to his hundred with a stylish clip for four in the 151st over.

It wasn't the perfect start to India's second session, having completely dominated the first. Kohli fell two balls into the session. A wide ball that kept slightly low took the inside edge and crashed into the off-stump, and Kohli walked back without adding anything to his 200.

West Indies did well to pull India back in the second session. After a phase when runs came freely for the Indians, the Ashwin-Saha pairing found it hard to score at a decent clip. Saha tried to break the shackles on a couple of occasions by stepping out to the spinners and trying to hit them over the top, but they resulted in just a couple of runs. Ashwin tried to exploit the vacant third man region, but some sharp fielding by the fielders ensured he did not always succeed. He moved into the nineties with one such shot, guiding Kraigg Brathwaite wide of point for four.

Saha, too, started getting a move on soon after. He hit Chase over the top for only the second six of the match thus far. The India wicketkeeper fell in an attempt to increase the scoring rate, and was out stumped to Kraigg for 40, bringing to an end a 71-run stand.

Amit Mishra came in and immediately went on the attack. He slammed Chase down the ground, before lifting Bishoo over mid-on for another boundary.

Ashwin brought up his hundred soon after, clipping Bishoo to mid-wicket for four. He fell going for a big shot soon after, but had already done his job with aplomb.

Amit Mishra's fifty and Mohammad Shami's big hits gave India some a late boost, one that was helped by Holder, Chase and Carlos Brathwaite dropping catches in quick succession. India declared at 566 for 8, immediately after Mishra fell to Kraigg.

With a little over an hour to play, India hoped to pick up some quick wickets late in the day, and the got their prize in the 15th over when Mohammad Shami got Rajendra Chandrika to edge behind.

West Indies ended the day at 31 for 1, trailing India by 535 runs.
 
Courtesy : *www.cricbuzz.com






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