virat Kohli shapes strong Indian start
Virat Kohli Skipper’s unbeaten 143 and Dhawan’s steely 84 steer visitor to 302 for 4 at close on day one of first Test
Virat Kohli was unbeaten on 143 at the end of Day 1
On a day that should have belonged to Shikhar Dhawan and could’ve gone to West Indies, Virat Kohli took ownership of proceedings in commanding fashion at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. India, having won an important toss, closed Thursday’s(July 21) first day’s play of the first Test on 302 for 4, Kohli’s unbeaten 143 headlining a strong performance.
While Kohli did all he could to shut the door on the opposition bowling, it was Shannon Gabriel who breathed early life into the game, bending his back to generate significant pace and bounce on a surface that would eventually prove to be anything but threatening. Gabriel, running in with a relaxed, loping approach at the Curtley Ambrose End, repeatedly hurried both openers with deliveries that reared from a length and sailed through to the wicketkeeper.
While Dhawan appeared less sure of himself, it was M Vijay who paid the steepest price, a brute of a lifter taking the edge and ballooning up toward the slips cordon to be caught by Kraig Brathwaite after a little juggling.
Cheteshwar Pujara, at No. 3, set his stall out for a long stint out in the middle, defending with determination and displaying the kind of self-denial that irritates and infuriates bowlers in equal measure. While Pujara was doing what he does best, Dhawan found a new gear.
Once Gabriel went out of the attack, having breached the 150kmh mark in an initial spell of 4-2-6-1, things got decidedly easier for the batsmen. Carlos Brathwaite and Jason Holder lacked the ammunition to consistently apply pressure and slowly but surely, India’s renaissance got under way. To give credit where it was due, West Indies’ bowlers stuck to their brief, and bowled with the kind of discipline that made every run a hard-earned one.
Returning from the lunch break at 72 for 1, India was well placed. But cricket is nothing if not capricious, and a rank long-hop from Devendra Bishoo, the leg-spinner who was not handed the ball at all in the first session, provided the breakthrough immediately after the break. Pujara, overeager to send a short one packing through mid-wicket, was through his pull early, the ball spearing off the outside edge to gully.live cricket streaming On match eve, Kohli had pointed to India’s tendency towards lapses in concentration caused by breaks in play, and this turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Pujara, who had seen off 66 balls for 16, fell to the 67th, a delivery that he would hit to the fence in his sleep nine times out of ten.
Kohli set to work immediately, and he looked well set even while fresh to the crease. Like vintage wine, Kohli has just become more mature and multi-layered as a batsman with every passing year, and the authority with which he controlled the tempo of the game had the man whose name the stadium bears purring with delight. Leaving the ball alone with aggressive decisiveness, defending with soft-handed surety and punching with precision, Kohli was in the kind of mood in which he is rarely denied.