Kohli puts India in charge | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 23, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:00 AM, July 23, 2016

Kohli puts India in charge

Ravichandran Ashwin made the West Indies pay dearly for an early reprieve in completing a third Test hundred as India continued to pile on the runs in reaching 512 for six in their first innings at tea on the second day of the first Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Friday.

Dropped on 43 by new wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich off fast bowler Shannon Gabriel in the morning session, Ashwin played the supporting role to his captain, Virat Kohli in a 168-run fifth-wicket stand that drained the enthusiasm from the home side before lunch.

However Kohli's dismissal off the second ball of the afternoon session, bowled by Gabriel for 200, his first double-century in Test cricket, put the focus squarely on the all-rounder.

He made the most of the promotion to number six in the batting order for the first time in his Test career, reaching three figures just before the interval with a boundary off tiring leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo.

Going into the final session of the day in partnership with fellow spinner Amit Mishra (23 not out), Ashwin's innings of almost six hours at the crease had included 12 fours off 244 deliveries.

All three of his Test hundreds have come against the West Indies.

Following the loss of Kohli, wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha contributed 40 to a 71-run stand for the sixth wicket before he became Dowrich's first wicketkeeping victim in Test cricket, being stumped off the bowling of part-time off-spinner Kraigg Brathwaite.

Yet that success was of little consolation to Dowrich and his teammates after the earlier error which allowed the overnight fifth-wicket stand between Kohli and Ashwin to prosper through the first two hours of the day's play when 102 runs were added.

With the notable exception of Gabriel, all the West Indies bowlers were made to look pedestrian especially by the excellence of Kohli's batting on a pitch that has almost nothing by way of encouragement in pace and bounce.

His almost complete dominance of the bowlers extended through the morning as he continued to march his side forward at the expense of flagging opponents.

By the time he had fallen to Gabriel immediately upon the resumption in the afternoon, his six hours at the crease had occupied 283 deliveries, striking 24 boundaries.

Apart from the personal milestone, Kohli is the first Indian captain to score a Test double-century away from home.

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