Hyderabad: Virat Kohli’s record double hundred and Wriddhiman Saha’s career second hundred (106 not out) drove India to a mammoth total of 687-6 declared in their first innings against Bangladesh on the second’s day’s play of their one-off cricket Test here on Friday. In reply, Bangladesh scored 41/1 by the end of play.
Kohli, resuming the day at a personal score of 111, became the first batsman to score double hundreds in four consecutive Test cricket series, surpassing the record set by Australian legend Don Bradman (1930-32) and compatriot Rahul Dravid (2003-4).
Saha also shone bright, scoring his second century in Test cricket. He shared two crucial partnerships — 74 for the sixth wicket with Ravichandran Ashwin (34) and unbeaten 118 with Ravindra Jadeja (60 not out), as India declared their first innings at 687-6.
In reply to the huge Indian score, Bangladesh scored 41/1 — trailing by 646 runs at stumps at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here.
Tamin Iqbal (24) and Mominul Haque (1) were at the crease when the umpires dislodged the bails for the day. Bangladesh lost opener Soumya Sarkar (15) to pacer Umesh Yadav in the 12th over when the score was 38.
The visitors face an uphill task to survive the Indian onslaught on Saturday. The pressure has already been created by the home batsmen who showcased excellent batting skills over the two days.
On Thursday, India were put on a firm footing by opener Murali Vijay (108) and Cheteshwar Pujara (83). Kohli remained unbeaten in 111 after the first day, with Rahane giving company on 45.
Kohli and Rahane on Friday began from where they left on the first day, giving no chance to the toiling Bangladesh bowlers. Rahane registered his 10th fifty.
A wicket for the visitors looked unlikely till Rahane played away from his body and was caught superbly by a diving Mehedi Hasan at short cover off the bowling of Taijul Islam Hasan.
Bangladesh couldn’t quite capitalise after achieving the unlikely wicket. Wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim missed a stumping chance of Saha off the bowling of Taijul. The Indian glovesman advanced far out of his crease, missed the ball but Mushfiqur, standing too far back from the stumps, failed to knock down the bails in time. Saha was on four when he got the reprieve.
At the other end, Kohli continued to maul the visitors, managing to complete his fourth double hundred just after tea.
Prior to this one-off Test, Kohli’s double tons were 200 against the West Indies away in July, 211 vs New Zealand at home in October and 235 against England in December.
He also joined Australian duo of Bradman and Michael Clarke and former South African opening batsman Graeme Smith in scoring four double tons as a captain.
The 28-year-old fell after being dismissed with a leg before decision by left-arm spinner Taijul Islam. His innings was studded with 24 fours out of the 246 deliveries he faced.
The wicket, however, didn’t come as a relief for the visitors as Saha and Ravichandran Ashwin punished them with a quickfire stand of 74 runs in 15.2 overs.
With the team pushing for a huge score before the declaration, Ashwin made most of the occasion by scoring 34 runs in 45 deliveries.
Right-hander Saha also played attacking cricket, remaining not out on 106 which included seven fours and two sixes. This knock will help Saha further consolidate his Test spot, filling in the void created by former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Saha shared an unbeaten 118 partnership for the seventh wicket with Jadeja, who smacked 60 not out off 78 deliveries.
The partnership was just what India required to finish their first innings. They scored at a fast clip as left-hander Jadeja milked four fours and two sixes.
For Bangladesh, Islam picked up three wickets, while off-spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz took two wickets.