Antigua: It seems stars are favouring India’s test captain as Virat Kohli has become the first Indian captain to score a double century abroad as the visitors took firm control of the first Test against the West Indies with a solid batting display here.
Kohli (200 off 283 balls) eased to his maiden double hundred before Ashwin (113 off 253) struck his third Test ton to help India amassed 566 for eight declared, and then reduce the West Indies to 31 for one in 16 overs at the end of the second day’s play.
Kohli is now tied with Mohammad Azharuddin for most centuries (5) by an Indian captain abroad.
With India declaring post tea, pacer Mohammad Shami, who is back in action after a long layoff, removed Rajendra Chandrika before the close of play on day two.
The hosts trail India by 535 runs at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
A sloppy effort in the field also made matters worse for the home team.
India, who began the day at 302 for four, were allowed to score freely by the West Indian bowlers, so much so that tail-ender Amit Mishra raced to 53 off 68 balls towards the end of the innings, lasting 161.5 overs.
The visitors continued to bat on after being placed at 512/6 at tea, and Ashwin came out again with Mishra. While the former was accounted for Kraigg Brathwaite, Mishra went on to play some attacking strokes and reached his 4th Test half-century off 67 balls.
Mishra was out immediately afterwards, holing out to midwicket off Brathwaite again, as the innings was declared closed in the 162nd over.
Shami was the unbeaten batsman on 17, and he made good use of being dropped twice to strike some lusty blows.
The West Indies’ openers nearly saw out the testing overs before the close of play. Both Chandrika (16) and Brathwaite (11 not out) didn’t seem to be looking for runs, and instead decided to play for time, leaving as many deliveries as possible. Just as they looked set to finish the day without loss, Shami managed to induce an edge off Chandrika, who was caught behind.
Earlier, Ashwin put on 71 runs with Wriddhiman Saha (40 runs) in the post-lunch session. Their stand came after Kohli had scored his maiden Test double hundred to put his side in command.
(With PTI inputs)