NORTH SOUND, Antigua: Virat Kohli continued his efficient and energetic accumulation of runs to bring up his maiden first-class double hundred, but his dismissal in the first over after lunch brought West Indies some relief as 108 came off 35 overs in the second session.
Promoted to No. 6, R Ashwin enjoyed some luck in the first hour of the day before strolling to his third hundred against West Indies, taking his average against them to 76.2.
Kohli’s intent helped no doubt by a flat pitch and tiring bowlers foiled West Indies’ plan pretty much from ball one: bowl defensively and ensure your stacked-up batting line-up has less time to survive. Kohli himself batted at 4.2 an over.
Apart from Shannon Gabriel, no bowler – there was only one more specialist in the side – actively looked out for wickets, relying on frustrating batsmen. However, captain Kohli, India’s first to score an away double, took risks and made the bowlers bowl to him because he was driving the wide ones too.
Gabriel, though, should have had a wicket added to his one from day one early on the second day. Shane Dowrich had waited for 423 overs over three Tests for his first opportunity for a dismissal, but Gabriel produced the outside edge from Ashwin for a sitter, his eagerness to celebrate led to the sitter’s being grassed. West Indies still managed to keep Ashwin quiet – at one point he went 40 balls for four runs – but Kohli kept finding a way around the defensive lines.
Cover driving, as usual, remained the feature of Kohli’s innings. When he gave the treatment to Devendra Bishoo in the 105th over, the boundary took him past his previous best of 169; it was his 50th run through the covers. A sign of how well he batted came in how, in the 113th over, he played perhaps the only ungainly shot of his innings, a half-sweep across the line to deep midwicket. Turned out he had picked the rare wrong’un from Bishoo, and was actually playing with the spin.
Slow pitch, fielders in front, no pace to work with, and West Indies finally had a quiet session. Ashwin didn’t look in any hurry, Wriddhiman Saha tried to break the monotony, succeeding on a couple of occasions before getting stumped to finally give Dowrich a maiden Test dismissal. Overall, though, West Indies refused to attack, which could also give India scoring opportunities, and India didn’t seem overly bothered with the slow going.
Seven minutes before tea, with a back-foot punch through midwicket, Ashwin brought up his hundred, reminding you of the shot of the day, a back-foot punch through mid-on for four. Amit Mishra’s enterprise at the other end 23 off 39 brought India some quick runs. A push for declaration, and the declaration itself, were expected to brighten up proceedings post tea.
Courtesy : TheNews