Rajkot: Virat Kohli breezed to a 24th Test hundred while Rishabh Pant missed out after a blistering 92 as India amassed 556 for 7 shortly after lunch on day two of the series opener against the West Indies here on Friday.
Kohli, who was 72 not out overnight, took time to knock off the 28 runs needed for yet another hundred while his partner Pant (92 off 84), who resumed at 17, went all guns blazing.
A second Test hundred in his fourth Test was for the taking but Pant, attempting another six over mid-wicket, failed to pick the googly and top-edged it for a simple catch to Keemo Paul at backward point.
His entertaining innings was laced with eight fours and four sixes. Kohli who scored his 24th ton was out for 139 runs. He fell for Lewis.
India, aiming to bat only once in the game, scored 142 runs in 29 overs bowled in first session. With Pant picking boundaries at will, Kohli was in no hurry get to the hundred and when he did get there, the India skipper became the second fastest to 24 Test hundreds behind only Donald Bradman, who took 66 innings to Kohli’s 123.
Pant, who made memorable in his debut series in England, played his usual attacking game from ball one, flicking it nonchalantly through square leg to get going.
Kohli enjoyed his teammates’ fluent strokeplay from the other end as Pant raced to his half century with a four and six off pacer Paul.
He used his strong wrists to get to the desired elevation and distance. It was a sheer display of brute power. His eyes lit up when spinners were employed after first hour of the morning.
He welcomed Roston Chase with a four and six and did the same to Devendra Bishoo in the following over. Anything pitched up, he was quick to clear his one leg and deposit the ball over mid-wicket and long on.
The way Pant was plundering the bowlers, it seemed he would get to three figures before his skipper. But that did not happen as Kohli completed his century with a flick off his pads towards fine leg.
Pant was on 87 when Kohli raised his bat but the wicket-keeper batsmen ended up throwing it away as he went for another six.