It took Indian captain Virat Kohli over five years to score a double century in Test cricket. The right-hander from Delhi had already slammed quite a few centuries in the five-day format but his first double ton came on this day against West Indies at North Sound, Antigua.
Kohli became the first Indian captain to score a double hundred away from home in the red-ball format. It might have taken him some time to reach that landmark but Kohli now has seven double centuries, most by an Indian batsman.
Kohli, who made his Test debut in June 2011, had played 41 Tests before India toured West Indies in 2016. The Delhi lad was just six runs away from the 3000-run mark and was averaging just over 44. Kohli already had 11 Test centuries by then, with 169 against Australia in Melbourne being his highest score.
FIRST OF SEVEN!
Kohli walked in to bat on Day 1 of the first Test after India had lost M Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara. The two batsmen got out cheaply but Shikhar Dhawan at the other end was looking fluent. Kohli however batted with intent and added 105 runs in 27.1 overs; the previous 74 runs took 27.4 overs.
The surface was flat and slow but Kohli managed to score freely and along with Dhawan started to dominate the West Indies bowling attack. In the process, Kohli brought up his fifty in 75 deliveries. Dhawan was dismissed for 84, while Ajinkya Rahane fell to legspinner Devendra Bishoo after scoring 22.
India were 236 for 4 at that stage and R Ashwin was promoted up the order ahead of Wriddhiman Saha. The two batted with complete authority and put on 168 runs for the sixth wicket to put India on top. Kohli was unbeaten on 143 by the end of Day 1. He was outstanding through the covers and completed his double hundred just before the end of the first session on the second day.
However, Kohli, who smacked 24 fours in his innings, couldn't carry on and was knocked over by Shannon Gabriel for 200. Meanwhile, Ashwin got to his century, while Saha and Amit Mishra also chipped in down the order as India amassed 566/8 (decl) in their first innings. The visiting side then bowled West Indies out for 243 and 231 and won the match by an innings and 92 runs.
Kohli didn't contribute much in the next two games but India managed to win the four-match series 2-0. The final Test at Port of Spain was washed out.
Following his maiden double hundred in West Indies, Kohli once again scored 211 against New Zealand in Indore later that year. If that was not enough, he smashed 235 against England in Mumbai a month later to finish with three double centuries in the space of six months.
He started off 2017 with a fine 204 against Bangladesh in Hyderabad. Later that year, he struck 213 and 243 in successive Tests against Sri Lanka at home. And, his seventh double ton (254*) came against South Africa in Pune in 2019.
The Indian skipper is now joint-fourth in the list of most double tons in Tests with England's Wally Hammond and Sri Lanka's Mahela Jayawardene. Only Don Bradman (12), Kumar Sangakkara (11) and Brian Lara (9) have more Test double centuries than Kohli.