2nd Test: Kohli, Agarwal half-centuries help India consolidate
Mayank Agarwal (L) and Virat Kohli added 69 runs for the third wicket. (AFP Image)

Virat Kohli batted with fluency and brought up a half-century to steer India to 157/3 at tea on the opening day of the second Test against West Indies in Antigua. After an attritional first session, where debutant Rahkeem Cornwall picked up his maiden Test wicket, India lost Mayank Agarwal early into the second and looked like stuttering. But two familiar names – Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane came together to put India back on track with the session bringing 85 runs for the loss of one wicket.

READ: India vs West Indies, 2nd Test, Scorecard

Agarwal resumed proceedings post lunch with a couple of streaky boundaries, one an inside edge for four and other through the slip cordon that brought up his half-century. In the next over, Roach seemed to have provided the breakthrough with the umpire adjudging Agarwal out caught behind before a review saved him. However, the next over, Agarwal was goaded into trying to cut a ball that was too high and close to his body to cut. Once again, Cornwall was back in action and India were 115/3.

READ: Debutant Cornwall off the mark

Kohli, however, was a different man in the second session. After crawling to 5 off 30 before lunch, Kohli was helped by a Gabriel half-volley which he gleefully flicked for his first boundary. And he never looked back. The shots began to come freely. Cornwall was slapped through point and so was Holder. A struggling Gabriel was Kohli’s biggest gain, who repeatedly offered the India captain freebies which were punished. Four off his seven boundaries came off Gabriel, including the one that took him one short of a half-century.

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Roston Chase troubled Rahane initially. A cut fell just short of the fielder at point and the ball almost rolled back on to the stumps after Rahane prodded forward to defend. It was Gabriel who allowed India’s vice-captain to get moving and together with Kohli, Rahane had added 42 important runs.

Earlier, Cornwall made his Test debut even special by getting his maiden wicket in the form of Cheteshwar Pujara. With patches of grass, Jason Holder had no second thoughts about fielding in a bid to repeat produce to repeat of Antigua, and even although it wasn’t as rewarding as the first spell, West Indies did not make life easy for India’s top order.

KL Rahul struck a couple of handsome boundaries in the first over from Kemar Roach and Agarwal did the same to Gabriel. Gabriel and Roach explored the hard bounce and with the ball moving viciously off the surface, India’s openers were dealt a tough time.

Holder brought himself and started with a wicket maiden –Rahul squared up with a good length delivery and edging for Cornwall to take his first Test catch, at first slip. The stand between Pujara and Agarwal crawled – India scored 14 in the next ten over before Cornwall had his moment under the sun. The big guy bowled slightly off and Pujara, rocking on the backfoot chopped to Shamarath brooks at backward point.

Brief Scores: India 157/3 (Mayank Agarwal 55, Virat Kohli 52*; Jason Holder 2/26) vs West Indies