India captain Virat Kohli hammered a listless New Zealand attack with a superlative double hundred as the hosts piled up a mammoth 557 for five on the second day of the third Test in Indore, on Sunday.
Kohli stroked his way to a career-best 211 and was brilliantly supported by Ajinkya Rahane, who also notched up his highest score of 188 as the home team gained a clear upperhand on a pitch that will only get difficult to bat with passage of time.
At stumps, New Zealand were 28 for no loss with Martin Guptill (17 not out) and Tom Latham (6 not out) at the crease.
Kohli struck 20 hits to the fence while Rahane was equally dominant in his innings that was laced with four sixes and 18 boundaries.
The duo decimated the New Zealand attack to pile on a huge fourth wicket partnership of 365 -- the highest-ever for India for the fourth wicket against all teams.
When Kohli declared the Indian innings half-an-hour before close, Rohit Sharma (51 not out in 63 balls) and Ravindra Jadeja (17 not out) were at the crease after adding a quick-fire 53 runs in 59 balls for the sixth wicket.
Rohit cracked his third successive half-century of the series hitting sixes and three fours to score some quick runs at the end.
The day's proceedings belonged almost entirely to Kohli, who surpassed his previous best of 200 against West Indies at North Sound while Rahane eclipsed his previous best of 147 against Australia in Melbourne.
It was the second double century by Kohli in the space of six Tests and three months. He is the only Indian to hit two double centuries as a Test captain.
The duo's complete domination of the clueless New Zealand bowling attack enabled India to add 98 runs in 30 overs in the second session after they had added 91 runs in the pre-lunch session after resuming at the overnight 267 for three.
Both batsmen exerted complete sway over the visitors' attack and were hardly beaten before they fell early in the post tea session.
They made the visitors chase leather for more than three sessions after joining forces in the post lunch period of play on day one yesterday with the score on 100 for three.
When the partnership was broken by off-spinner Jeetan Patel, who trapped Kohli leg before the wicket as he tried to flick in the first over after tea, the Indian score had advanced to 465 and the stand had consumed nine minutes under eight hours and lasted 673 balls. Kohli, himself, had spent a total of 539 minutes at the crease to put his team in a commanding position on the second day.
The duo also eclipsed the previous fourth wicket Indian record of 353 by Sachin Tendulkar and V V S Laxman compiled against Australia at Sydney in January 2004.
Rahane perished soon afterwards, chasing a wide ball from left arm pace bowler Trent Boult and edging behind after a stay of 514 minutes to miss a golden chance to join the double century makers' list by 12 runs.
It was the Mumbai batsman’s eighth three-figure knock in his 29th Test. For New Zealand all the bowlers struggled to not only get among the wickets but also stem the flow of runs and in the endeavour Boult (2 for 113) and Patel (2 for 120) emerged as the most successful ones while left arm spinner Santner picked up 1 for 137.
Kohli reached his double century with a single to long leg off Matt Henry who had rapped him on the pads when he was on 194 only for his and teammates' concerted and loud appeal turned down by the umpire.
This was one of the rare occasions that the ball beat the bat during the course of the day's play. It took the Indian captain 347 balls and 516 minutes stay to reach the landmark with the help of 18 hits to the fence.
The well-set fourth-wicket pair stepped on the gas and attacked the New Zealand bowling with gusto from the beginning of the post-lunch session.
Both batsmen looked totally at ease when handling pace of spin on a track that continued to play easy and staved off the Kiwis after having come together at the fall of Cheteshwar Pujara on Day 1.
Rahane continued to use his feet beautifully against the spin bowlers and danced down the track to smack off spinner Patel over the straight field for two of his four sixes.
Before lunch the Mumbai batsman became the second player from either side to notch up a century after Kohli.
Commencing the day at 267 for three, Kohli and Rahane were hardly troubled as they kept the scoreboard moving at a fair clip.
Rahane, 21 short of the coveted century landmark, faced a short-ball barrage from Matt Henry before reaching his eighth ton in his 29th Test with a single to long leg off Trent Boult.
He answered back Henry in his own coin, by going on the attack and hooked the fast medium bowler for a four before the next ball, also dug in short, struck him on the side grill of the helmet.
Undaunted, he batted on while Kohli -- resuming on his overnight score of 103 -- too took the attack to the opposition by square cutting and straight driving Henry for fours off successive balls.
Rahane proceeded to complete his own century in an unruffled manner as New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson brought on Boult to replace Henry. He reached the landmark in 210 balls and with the help of one six and 11 fours.
Rohit also continued his good form in the series, hitting a brisk 51, while Jadeja made 17 not out. Interestingly, India were handed a five-run penalty after Jadeja was penalised after two warnings for running on the pitch while batting out in the middle.
Guptill and Latham managed to see off the nine overs bowled by the Indians before stumps without any dramas.