Kohli ton gives India shot at domination
In the lead-up to this series, India’s captain Virat Kohli arranged a meeting with Viv Richards, to take his blessings, in the words of Richards. On the first day of the series, at a ground named after Richards, Kohli, a batsman who has been compared with Richards, showed all the intent that was a hallmark of Richards.
He picked five bowlers, going for specialists ahead of those who can bat; he went with Shikhar Dhawan, who brings the possibility of quicker runs than KL Rahul; and he chose to bat first when the first session on this pitch was the only one expected to offer bowlers any assistance on the first three days.
Most importantly, with India in a spot of bother at 74 for 2 and struggling to score freely, Kohli batted with similar intent, albeit against a limited attack that must have been close to tiring out, and scored an unbeaten 143, his 12th Test century and his first against West Indies to put India in a position to dominate, a goal they seemed to have set themselves at the start of the series.
To make it better for Kohli, his selection of Dhawan played off. Some considered him lucky to be playing in this Test, he enjoyed some luck against testing bowling at the start of the innings, but Dhawan helped India keep a disciplined West Indies attack at bay with his first half-century in eight innings. The two added 105 in 27.1 overs; the previous 74 runs had taken 27.4 overs.
India ended the day on 302-4 with Ravichandran Ashwin accompanying Kohli on 22. Devendra Bishoo, making a return to Test cricket, has so far claimed 3-108.
India 1st innings
M Vijay c KC Brathwaite b Gabriel 7
S Dhawan lbw b Bishoo 84
CA Pujara c KC Brathwaite b Bishoo 16
V Kohli* not out 143
AM Rahane c Bravo b Bishoo 22
R Ashwin not out 22
Extras (b-4, lb-2, nb-2) 8
Total (4 wickets; 90 overs) 302
Fall of wickets: 1-14 (Vijay, 6.2 ov), 2-74 (Pujara, 27.4 ov), 3-179 (Dhawan, 54.5 ov), 4-236 (Rahane, 67.2 ov)
Bowling: ST Gabriel 13-4-43-1 (1-nb), JO Holder 17-4-41-0 (1-nb), CR Brathwaite 15-3-46-0, RL Chase 17-0-54-0, D Bishoo 27-0-108-3, KC Brathwaite 1-0-4-0
Cover photo caption: Virat Kohli celebrates his 12th Test ton