Kohli was not the only batsman to shine on Friday with young Rishabh Pant catching the eye with a quick-fire 92 in what was his maiden Test innings on Indian soil.
Here, we take a closer look at the wicketkeeper-batsman’s gutsy innings at Rajkot.
RUNS SCORED: 92
BALLS FACED: 84
The stage had been perfectly set for Rishabh Pant to do his thing following Prithvi Shaw’s debut ton. With the ever-reliable Virat Kohli giving him company at the crease, Pant was given the license to play his natural attacking style and the youngster didn’t think twice before taking the attack to the West Indies’ bowlers. Showing equal disdain for both spinners and pacers alike, the left-hander slammed the ball to all parts of the ground on day two of the Test.
He dealt primarily in boundaries with the flat wicket at Rajkot giving the bowlers no respite. Notching up his half-century with a stylish six off Keemo Paul, Pant was looking good for his second Test ton but fell eight runs short of the mark in the end after slicing a Devendra Bishoo googly into the hands of short third-man.
We all know how dangerous Pant can be when he is given the license to free his arms, as shown by his performances for the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL. With Kohli content to sit back and let the youngster do all the attacking in the morning session, there were fireworks aplenty in Rajkot as Pant turned on the style.
Making full use of his brute power, Pant went after everything in his swinging arc as the boundaries flowed. Just like a certain Virender Sehwag, the youngster showed no respect for lines and lengths as he went at over a run-a-ball. His fearless brand of batting paid dividends and was the reason India for India scoring a mammoth 142 runs in a single session.
In 2018 Test matches, Rishabh Pant scores at 4.52rpo.— Ben Jones (@benjonescricket) October 5, 2018
In 2018 ODIs, MS Dhoni scores at 4.04rpo.#INDvWI
You live by the sword, you die by the sword. While Pant had been middling many of his hits to the boundary fence, some of them came through streaky edges or mishits. His attacking approach looks great when it pays off but can look ugly when it doesn’t.
With the 21-year-old nearing a second Test ton, some caution would have been done him a world of good. The wicketkeeper-batsman unfortunately played one stroke too many in the end and ended up throwing away his wicket after trying to hit Bishoo out of the ground.
VERDICT – 8/10
It was a placid track at track at Rajkot on which most of the India’s specialist batsmen made merry. Pant, however, stood out from the rest of the pack with his attacking gung-ho and fearless approach. It is a testament to his remarkable hitting powers that in the 133-run fifth-wicket stand between him and Kohli, the India skipper only contributed 37 runs, with 92 coming off the bat of Pant.
A second Test ton would have been the icing on the cake for the Delhi youngster but he lost his head in the pursuit of quick runs. Nevertheless, his innings generated plenty of momentum for India and helped them consolidate their position against a hapless Windies. His 92-run blitz might have come on the comforts of a lifeless home track but Pant continues to show that he has a bright future ahead of him and that he could be India’s long-term answer to the wicketkeeping role.
India’s own Gilchrist in the making. Hate to label someone, but Rishabh Pant is the man. #INDvsWI— K Sudarshan (@SudarshanEMA) October 5, 2018
After Prithvi Shaw’s record debut ton put the hosts in a strong position on day one, it was Kohli’s turn to take centre stage on Friday.
Having put 72 runs on the board on day one, Kohli was content to sit back and let Rishabh Pant’s bat do the talking on day two.
The young wicketkeeper batsman batted aggressively in the morning session and dealt primarily in boundaries.
Kohli, on the other hand, was more circumspect in his approach and waited on the loose deliveries to pounce.
The 29-year-old ultimately brought up his 24th Test ton in the first session of Friday itself. The 123 innings taken by the right-handed batsman to reach the milestone is the second quickest in the history of the format, behind only the legendary Sir Donald Bradman of Australia.
Is there a greater run accumulator than Virat Kohli currently? pic.twitter.com/MzC5grhGUI— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) October 5, 2018
Kohli beat his idol Sachin Tendulkar to that accolade, taking two innings fewer than the former India batting maestro to notch up 24 Test tons.
The century at Rajkot also helped Kohli overtake Australian batsman Steve Smith’s tally (23).
Post-lunch on day two, Kohli registered another feat by bringing up his 1,000th Test run in the calendar year with a gorgeous straight drive off pacer Sherman Lewis.
This means that the India stalwart has now registered at least 1,000 runs in his last three calendar years. In 2016, he had scored 1,215 runs while in 2017 he had notched up 1,059 runs.
#ManOfTheMatch and @lahoreqalandars’s captain @imSohailAkhtar certainly did his team proud! The skipper led the squad to victory by scoring his very first century in T20 cricket and that too in just 56 balls! #AbuDhabiT20 pic.twitter.com/n5vedSbZvq— Abu Dhabi Cricket (@AbuDhabiCricket) October 4, 2018