Antigua: On the second day of the Test Match against West Indies, skipper Virat Kohli continued to shine with his bat as he scored his maiden double hundred in Tests against West Indies at the Sir Viv Richards stadium.
Kohli ringed in his double century in 281 balls, taking India's score to 404/4.
With this exceptional performance, the star batsman has become the first Indian captain to have scored a 200 outside India.
Putting India in a strong position, Kohli is batting alongside Ravichandran Ashwin and the two have crossed the 150-run stand.
Yesterday, leading from the front, the captain smashed his 12th Test century and crossed the 3000-run mark in his 42nd Test.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, India were off to a disappointing start, losing the wicket of opener Murali Vijay (7) few minutes after start of play and Cheteshwar Pujara (16) cheaply just after lunch. But Dhawan and Kohli put on a 105-run partnership for the third wicket to rescue the visitors.
The hosts struck just at the stroke of tea dismissing set batsman Dhawan to have India at 179/3 in 54.5 overs.
The fall of Vijay brought in No.3 Pujara, who along with southpaw Shikhar Dhawan (84) forged an unbeaten 58-run stand for the second wicket when the umpires called for lunch. But soon after lunch, leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo dismissed Pujara to end the 60-run partnership for the second wicket.
Pacer Shannon Gabriel drew first blood for the hosts with an accurate delivery on middle and off which climbed on Vijay, forcing him to nick and was well caught by Kraigg Brathwaite at second slip in his third attempt. Vijay consumed 26 deliveries for his seven runs which included a boundary.
Dhawan, who has been long due for runs started vulnerably getting a thick edge off a short ball from Gabriel but survived only to flourish with a flurry of shots on the off-side. The Delhi left-hander seems to have found his groove, with his knock coming off 74 deliveries and comprising four boundaries.
Pujara, meanwhile, stood rock solid taking 63 balls for his patient 14 on a pitch which had a bit of bounce for both spinners and pacers.
Earlier, keeping his five-bowler strategy intact, Kohli opted for three seamers in Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami while picking leg-spinner Amit Mishra alongside offie Ravichandran Ashwin.
For the hosts, skipper Jason Holder has decided to go in with six batsmen and four bowlers, with middle-order batsman Roston Chase making his debut.
After the dismissal of Vijay and Pujara, Dhawan and Kohli played on well to complete the 100-run partnership for the third wicket. Both the batsman completed their half-centuries and stayed on course for a big one. But the 105-run partnership came to an end in the 55th over when Bishoo struck for the second time in the day to dismiss the left-handed batsman and take the advantage away from India, who had so far had a good session.
After tea, Kohli kept his sublime form going as he along with Ajinkya Rahane (22) helped the visitors cross the 200-run mark with ease. But Bishoo showed his class yet again dismissing Rahane in the 68th over of the play to put breaks on India's scoring.
Despite wickets falling at other end, the skipper played his natural game and with night-watchman Ashwin, kept the run flow going and helped India cross the 300-run mark at end of day's play and stay on course for a big first innings total on the second day.
India have won both their previous two Test series against the West Indies in 2006 and 2011.
(With IANS inputs)