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Record-breaking Kohli propels India to massive total

IMAGE: Virat Kohli hits a boundary. Photograph: BCCI

Captain Virat Kohli scored a record-breaking fourth double hundred as India’s batsmen came up with a dominating performance to pile up a massive 687 for 6 declared on the second day of the one-off Test against Bangladesh, in Hyderabad, on Friday.

At stumps on Day 2, Bangladesh were 41 for one after losing opener Soumya Sarkar’s wicket to fast bowler Umesh Yadav.

Kohli, who hit a magnificent 204, became the first batsman in the history of Test cricket to hit double centuries in four successive Test series.

In the process, he surpassed the legendary Sir Don Bradman and Rahul Dravid, both of whom had scored double hundreds in three successive series.

Virat Kohli

IMAGE: Virat Kohli celebrates after completing his double century. Photograph: BCCI

Kohli’s four double hundreds have come against West Indies (200), New Zealand (211), England (235) and Bangladesh.

India’s first innings total of 687 for six declared is also a world record as no team has ever scored 600 plus runs in three consecutive Test matches. The earlier two came against England at Mumbai and Chennai respectively.

The good news for India was comeback-man Wriddhiman Saha’s unbeaten 106 off 155 balls — his second Test hundred that justified team management’s immense faith in his abilities as he was preferred ahead of Parthiv Patel.

It was Wriddhiman’s century and Ravindra Jadeja’s 60 not out long handle that saw India score at an average of more than four runs per over.

Wriddhiman Saha

IMAGE: Wriddhiman Saha, right, celebrates his century with Ravindra Jadeja. Photograph: BCCI

Ajinkya Rahane, with his 82 off 133 balls, also got back among the runs after poor form and injury plagued him during the England series.

With the pitch offering some turn, Bangladesh batsmen will have an arduous task of saving the game, against the world’s top spin pairing of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, who have been a handful in the last few series.

Among the flurry of other records that Kohli broke, the significant one was scoring the maximum number of Test runs in a home season surpassing Virender Sehwag’s record.

The first session belonged to Kohli, who scored a double hundred in less than five hours laced with 24 boundaries and in 239 balls.

Kohli completed his double ton in the post lunch session before an arm ball from spinner Taijul Islam trapped him leg before wicket.

However, by then he ensured that India were firmly on course for a huge total in their first innings and put Bangladesh under pressure for the remaining three days.

Kohli, along with Rahane, added 222 runs in a little under 50 overs to build India’s total at a good rate on the second day.

Rahane missed out on a century with young Mehedi Hasan Miraz taking a spectacular one-handed diving catch off left-arm spinner Taijul Islam. He hit 11 boundaries in his innings.

India smashed 121 runs in the opening session and the  second yielded another 143 more due to Wriddhiman going on the offensive.

The Bengal stumper had hit six fours and two sixes in his 155-ball knock. The century came with a straight six down the ground off Bangladesh’s most successful bowler Taijul, who took three for 156.

The Wriddhiman-Jadeja stand added 118 runs in 25.3 overs. Jadeja’s 78-ball-60 had four boundaries and two towering sixes which landed in the second tier of the long-on stand.

Bangladesh suffered the ignominy of having five of their bowlers Taijul (3-156), Taskin Ahmed (1-27), Kamrul Islam Rabbi (0-100), Mehedi Hasan Miraz (2-165), Shakib Al Hasan (0-104), conceding more than 100 runs.

IMAGE: Bangladesh players celebrate the wicket of Virat Kohli. Photograph: BCCI

Earlier, Kohli started from where he had left off on Day 1 with two thumping boundaries off Taskin Ahmed. The first was an uppish slash while the second rocketed down the ground.

The stand-out shot of the session came in Taskin’s next over as he drove a full delivery straight down the ground past mid-on.

A couple of more boundaries off Taskin and a lofted boundary off Shakib Al Hasan brought about his 150.

Rahane, who had gained in confidence from some time spent at the crease on Day 1 opened up in the morning session. His 50 came when he smashed a full toss from Shakib Al Hasan over midwicket for a four.

Just when he was looking good for a hundred, it was Hasan who pulled off a spectacular catch in the covers.

But there was no stopping Kohli as he continued to send the Bangladeshi bowlers with a deluge of boundaries before a successful DRS appeal saved him.

On 180, he was adjudged leg before by the on-field umpire after a delivery from Hasan spun sharply hitting him low on the pads. However, the skipper promptly took DRS consulting his partner Wriddhiman Saha and got a favourable decision.

As if to celebrate the reprieve, he cover drove Hasan and then played a delicate late cut off Taijul for a four to charge towards his record breaking double hundred.

Shortly, after Jadeja had completed his fifty and Saha brought up his century, India declared their innings on a massive 687 for six in 166 overs.

With the ball, India took time to make the breakthrough as Umesh Yadav got Soumya Sarkar caught behind for 15 after the Indians took the DRS following the original appeal being turned down by the umpire.

Tamim Iqbal was unbeaten on 24 at stumps on Day 2, with Mominul Haque on one.

Source: Rediff