Kolkata: Virat Kohli might have his reservations about Day-Night Tests, but the Indian captain showed no signs of discomfort when it came to negotiating the heavily-lacquered pink ball as he slammed his 27th hundred in the traditional format to help India reach 289/4 at tea on Day 2 of the second Test against Bangladesh here on Saturday.
Kohli got to the landmark, his 70th international ton and 20th as captain, by tucking Taijul Islam for two runs past square leg - becoming the first Indian batsman to reach three figures in a day-night Test.
Bangladesh concussion substitute Taijul eventually sent back the India skipper for 136 with a stunning outfield catch. Taijul returned to the XI alongwith Mehidy Hasan as substitutes for Nayeem Hasan and Liton Das, both of whom pulled out due to concussion fears after being hit on the helmet in India’s pink ball debut in Kolkata.
Taijul, a left-arm spinner, made it count with a wicket of Ajinkya Rahane for 51 and then played a big hand in Kohli’s prized wicket off paceman Ebadat Hossain.
Kohli, who completed his 27th Test century in the first session, flicked a sliding leg-side delivery from Ebadat to be caught by a diving Taijul at fine leg.
Taijul seemed to have misjudged the ball before he leapt to his right and remained airborne while taking the catch with both hands.
It was Ebadat’s third delivery with the second new ball that Bangladesh took in the 81st over.
A disbelieving Kohli returned to a standing ovation from the packed crowd at Eden Gardens that remains sold out for the first four days of the spectacle.
The 31-year old Kohli, who now has back-to-back tons at Eden Gardens with the last coming against Sri Lanka in 2017, took 159 balls to get to his century in 234 minutes after being on 59 at Stumps on first day.
The right-handed batsman shifted gears after getting to his hundred and hit Abu Jayed for four consecutive fours to go into the break on 130 from 187 deliveries (17x4).
Kohli and Rahane started from where they left on Day 1, milking the Bangladesh bowlers for boundaries with nonchalant ease.
The tourists’ ground fielding was in shambles to add to their woes as both Kohli and Rahane displayed their full repertoire to entertain the motley crowd.
The ball lost shape had and had to be changed in the 59th over of the innings after it hugged the fence 30 times to underline India’s sheer dominance.
Rahane brought up his fourth consecutive score of fifty or more by tickling left-arm spinner Taijul Islam for a single down the leg side. The India vice-captain got to the landmark in 65 balls and was looking on course for a big one.