India vs West Indies 2016: Virat Kohli immensely satisfied after maiden first-class double hundred
India’s Virat Kohli carried on his scintillating form in the shorter formats of the game into the Test arena as well smashing his maiden first-class double hundred to put India in a commanding position against the West Indies at the end of the second day’s play of the first Test at Antigua. Expressing immense joy at crossing the milestone, Kohli applauded his fellow batsmen for their useful contributions which helped the visitors post a mammoth total of 556/8 before declaring their first innings.
In addition to Kohli, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin also crossed the three-figure mark, his third against the West Indies, while Shikhar Dhawan made 84 before Amit Mishra added to the hosts woes with a knock of 53. Kohli made a point to congratulate all the above batsmen as well as wicketkeeper Wridhiman Saha, who made 40, claiming that his side values Test cricket immensely and was happy to make a good start playing their first Test for more than seven months.
“Test Cricket is the most important format as far as I am concerned and the whole of the team is concerned, so when you do well in Test Cricket, it gives you the job satisfaction like nothing else. I am really happy for this moment,” Kohli told bcci.tv in an exclusive interview. “The batsmen decided to take up the responsibility. As captain, I would never ask the players to do what I cannot do myself first and I have always believed in that.”
Kohli, who had a forgettable debut tour of the Carribean back in 2011, scoring only 56 runs in three Tests, expressed relief at the manner in which he was able to turn around his fortunes this time around.
“I made my debut here and it wasn’t a memorable series for me. Coming back here and getting a double hundred gives me a lot of satisfaction purely because of the fact that I have missed a couple of big scores in the past. I know I have the ability to get big hundreds,” he said.
“When you perform for a certain period of time, people are going to expect things from you, but I take that up as a blessing. If people expect me to go out there and perform, it is because they like the way I play. They want me to do well so that the team can do well. I always wanted to be in that position so I have no complaints about it. I rather feel happy about it and I feel grateful that I am in this situation,” he added.
Having made the decision to go in with five bowlers and six batsmen, Kohli felt the onus was upon him to lead from the front and was happy that he was able to deliver.
“Playing five batsmen is a bit of an added pressure on the batsman but that is what we want to take up as a challenge. I knew if I stay long enough at the crease, I will get the runs I required and the team requires at the same time, and ended up scoring at a very good rate,” Kohli said.
“We had very important contributions by Shikhar (84); understanding the responsibility. Ashwin batted beautifully and got a hundred (100) as well. Saha (40) contributed well and Mishra made 60 odd (53) in the end. All in all, it was a very good batting effort by everyone and something that we can be proud of. It is a bit of an added pressure (on the batsmen) but something that is what you want at this level of cricket,” he added.