Its Big Thing To See
Windies continued to look flat as India cruised to 506 for 6 at Lunch on the second day of the first Test in Rajkot on Friday (October 5). Virat Kohli, unbeaten on 120, looked at ease while Rishabh Pant (92) attacked to put the visitors on the defensive as India added 142 in the session after starting on 364 for 4.
Pant overshadowed Kohli with some authoritative strokeplay as the Indian captain had no hesitation to take a backseat and enjoy the show from the other end. Windies started the day with a new ball and the chance to make the Indian duo grind for their runs. Instead, what panned out was a disappointing show from the pacers – Shannon Gabriel and Sherman Lewis. The latter did try to unsettle Pant with short deliveries but failed to find accuracy. The left-hander made merry and picked up runs with ease to get going.
Kohli, starting the day on 72, was content to milk the singles. There were, of course, trademark drives and pushes but he left the attacking to his partner. He took 47 deliveries to get to his 24th Test ton when he flicked Devendra Bishoo to the fine-leg fence in the 107th over of the innings. He also became the fastest to 24 Test tons since Don Bradman – taking 123 innings to get to the mark. While the innings looked subdued, at no stage did Kohli look out of sorts. He ensured India stayed on course for a total of more than 600 with the Windies bowling lacking creativity or any bite.
Pant scored half-century off 56 deliveries and then picked up the ante with ease. He, however, fell short of his second consecutive ton trying to take on Bishoo. After his half-century, the next 42 runs were scored off just 28 balls. He tried to go for a big one over long on but misread the flight. The leading edge landed with Keemo Paul at point and brought an end to the 133-run fifth wicket stand. Pant failed to become the first Indian wicketkeeper to score back to back centuries and is also the first Indian batsman to get dismissed in the 90s in his maiden innings in India.
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