Opener Murali Vijay and skipper Virat Kohli slammed centuries in the first innings of the one-off Test match against Bangladesh at Hyderabad as India dominated proceedings on day one. Vijay got to his ninth century with a sublime display of patience and skill while ‘King’ Kohli slammed his 16th Test ton by dominating the visitors from ball one.
After Kohli won the toss and elected to bat on a pitch that had a tinge of green and offered some seam movement to the new ball bowlers, Vijay took his time to get used to the pace of the pitch. He applied himself well initially and took a cautious approach to steady the ship after India lost KL Rahul on the fourth delivery of the morning.
However, once he got settled after surviving the first hour of play, he entered his comfort zone and added 178 runs for the second wicket with Cheteshwar Pujara which helped India build a strong platform. He played shots at will and kept the scoreboard ticking even when Pujara was seen buckling a bit under pressure. Though Vijay was lucky to survive a run out chance in the 16th over, he didn’t let it affect him and capitalised on it by bringing up his fifty. He then upped the ante and forged another partnership with his skipper after the departure of Pujara. His century stand with Kohli was the fifth between them this season. En route his ninth Test century, Vijay played 160 balls, hit 12 boundaries and a six.
On the other end was Kohli who walked in with the score at 180/2 and began from where he had left off in the England series. He scored two fours off his first three deliveries and it was enough to set his opponents on the backfoot. After a phenomenal 2016, Kohli showed no signs of complacency into the new year and looked solid at the crease from the beginning. The artistry and pure class from the Indian skipper was on display as he drove, flicked and also brought his deft touches into play.
He dominated the Bangladeshi attack for their wayward bowling and punished the loose deliveries with utter disdain. A smashing whip off through the mid-wicket region brought up his century in just 130 deliveries. In the process he equaled Mohammad Azharuddin’s record of nine centuries as a captain and is now only behind Sunil Gavaskar’s tally of 11.
With the scoreboard reading – 356/3 at the end of day’s play and Kohli unbeaten on 111 ably supported at the other end by Rahane on 45, India will look to pile on the misery further on the visitors who seem hapless and devoid of ideas as of now.