VIRAT KOHLI led a record-breaking day for India as they piled up the runs on day two of the second Freedom Series Test against the Standard Bank Proteas at Pune on Friday and, then, in a repeat of the first match, got rid of three of the visitors’ top order before the close of play.
The Proteas closed the day on 36/3 from the 15 overs that were possible before time was called in response to India’s mammoth total of 601/5 declared.
Kohli set the standard for the day, both in terms of his stroke play and his running between the wickets, to score his seventh Test double century and, by the time he made his declaration, he had reached a career best 254 not out (336 balls, 33 fours and 2 sixes) and also made the highest individual score by an Indian Test captain.
When he reached his individual double century, he also reached the landmark of 7 000 Test runs and was involved in two record partnerships for India in Test matches against South Africa.
These were the 178 he put on for the fourth wicket with Ajinkya Rahane (59 off 168 balls, 8 fours) and the 225 he put on for the fifth wicket with Ravindra Jadeja (91 off 104 balls, 8 fours and 2 sixes).
Kohli delayed his declaration in an attempt to let Jadeja reach his century but the batsman holed out on the boundary attempting to get there quickly.
India lifted their run rate to score 245 runs in their final session of batting as the South African attack came under the pump.
Kagiso Rabada was not able to add to his three wickets from the first day while the two left-arm spinners conceded nearly 300 runs between them.