» Cricket » Kohli, Vijay hit centuries as India dominate Day 1

Kohli, Vijay hit centuries as India dominate Day 1

February 09, 2017 17:37 IST

Virat Kohli

IMAGE: Virat Kohli celebrates after completing his century. Photograph: BCCI

Captain Virat Kohli and opener Murali Vijay pulverised a hapless Bangladesh attack into submission with majestic hundreds as India reached a commanding 356 for three on Day 1 of the one-off Test in Hyderabad, on Thursday.

Kohli, who was unbeaten on 111, registered his 16th Test hundred after Vijay had stroked 108 to help India dominate the opening day after they had elected to bat first.

Vijay put on 178 runs for the second wicket with Cheteshwar Pujara, who hit 83, to rally India after they had lost an early wicket.

Murali Vijay

IMAGE: Murali Vijay celebrates after completing his century. Photograph: BCCI

En route his ninth Test century, Vijay played 160 balls, hitting 12 boundaries and a lovely six down the ground off left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan. The only glitch in his otherwise blemish-free innings was a near run-out possibility when he was on 35.

Kohli continued his golden run with the bat as he got off to a brisk with a few boundaries before settling down and showing patience when Bangladesh spinners looked to dry up the runs with some defensive field settings.

He eased to his hundred with a powerful flick off young spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz through midwicket for a four.

Cheteshwar Pujara

IMAGE: Cheteshwar Pujara hits a boundary. Photograph: BCCI

Pacer Kamrul Islam repeatedly bowled short and was hit for as many as 13 fours in the 91 runs that he conceded in 17 overs.

The platform was set when in-form Pujara and Vijay added 178 runs for the second wicket. The Vijay-Kohli partnership for the third wicket produced 54 runs and the unbroken fourth-wicket stand with a fit-again Ajinkya Rahane (45) saw the hosts add 122 runs.

Once Vijay was bowled round the legs trying to play the sweep shot off left-arm spinner Taijul Islam (one for 50), Kohli took it upon himself to push the scoring rate in the post-tea session.

The intensity and the urgency to score quickly was evident as India upped the ante in the second session that yielded 120 runs in 31 overs. The final session of play was even better as India amassed 150 runs in 32 overs.

Pujara, who was playing second fiddle to Vijay, will rue his luck as it was a soft dismissal with an outside edge being snapped up by skipper Mushfiqur Rahim with rookie off-spinner Hasan being the gainer. Pujara hit nine boundaries in his patient 177-ball knock and missed out on a deserved century.

IMAGE: Ajinkya Rahane hits a boundary through the off-side. Photograph: BCCI

By aggregating 1605 runs in this first-class season, which includes Tests as well as other four-day matches, Pujara also broke a 52-year-old record held by Chandu Borde.

This was the seventh time that the Vijay-Pujara duo was involved in a century stand and is now joint second along with Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid. The highest number of century partnerships is eight. It is jointly shared by Mohinder Amarnath-Sunil Gavaskar and Rahul Dravid-Virender Sehwag.

For Vijay, his love affair with Bangladesh bowling continued as he had scored 150 in Fatullah during the previous meeting between the two teams. That he loves the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Uppal was evident as it was his second successive ton at the venue, having scored his career-best 167 at this very ground in 2013.

An easy pitch with a bowling attack lacking experience came to the fore as Bangladesh bowlers fizzled out post the first hour. Save Taskin Ahmed, who showed a lot of heart on a slow track, the other bowlers, including the experienced Shakib, lacked incisiveness and discipline to trouble a batting line-up that is potent at home.

IMAGE: Murali Vijay is bowled by Taijul Islam. Photograph: BCCI

In the post lunch session, it was Vijay who launched an offensive by taking on the opposition's best bet Shakib.

Having hit Kamrul Islam for three boundaries in the first session, the veteran Tamil Nadu opener again unleashed a pull shot with Rabbi using the short ball to no effect.

He then hit a huge straight six off Shakib before he duly completed his hundred with a square cut off Kamrul Islam which fetched him two runs.

Earlier, opting to bat, India suffered an early jolt when opener Lokesh Rahul, who was bowled off an inside edge, for two in the first over before Vijay and Pujara steadied the hosts.

After a few quiet overs, Pujara got India's first boundary off Kamrul through the point region, in the sixth over.

Once part-time medium pacer Soumya Sarkar was introduced as the first-change bowler in the 11th over, Indian batsmen opened with Pujara whipping him for a boundary.

A cautious Vijay then showed his range of strokes using Kamrul's pace and extra bounce to good effect. He pulled the pacer thrice for boundaries through midwicket.

Vijay looked in good touch and Pujara's defence seemed impregnable as Bangladesh bowlers were outbatted in the second hour.

With both Vijay and Pujara gaining in confidence, Bangladesh started to lose their grip after a good first hour and runs started to come a bit more freely.