Jadeja hits maiden hundred as India declare at 649/9


Rajkot, Oct 5 (PTI) Ravindra Jadeja ended a long wait for maiden Test ton as India declared after putting up a mammoth 649 for nine at tea on day two of the series opener here.
Jadeja struck an unbeaten 100 off 132 off balls as India extended their domination with the bat against a struggling West Indies.
His whirlwind effort in front of home crowd came after skipper Virat Kohli (139 off 230) completed his 24th Test hundred in the morning.
Jadeja had to wait till his 38th Test to reach three figures, having made his debut back in December 2012. Batting alongside with No. 11 Mohammad Shami, he experienced the nervous 90s before finally getting to the milestone in final over before tea.
It has been a good last 30 days for the southpaw, who scored a gritty 86 in the final Test in England before making an impressive ODI comeback with the Asia Cup in Dubai.
Jadeja enthralled the sparse crowd at SCA stadium with aerial hits which came mainly off the spinners. He ended up with five boundaries and as many sixes.
India scored 143 runs in the session scoring at close to 4.5 runs an over. Captain Kohli did not last long post the lunch break and Jadeja gave the innings further impetus.
Earlier, Kohli and Rishabh Pant (92 off 84) had taken India to 506 for five at lunch.
Kohli, who was 72 not out overnight, took time to knock off the 28 runs needed for yet another hundred while his partner Pant, who resumed at 17, went all guns blazing.
A second Test hundred in his fourth Test was for the taking but Pant, attempting another six over mid-wicket, failed to pick the googly and top-edged it for a simple catch to Keemo Paul at backward point. His entertaining innings was laced with eight fours and four sixes.
Kohli had the company of Jadeja when lunch was taken. India, aiming to bat only once in the game, scored 142 runs in 29 overs bowled in the morning session.
With Pant picking boundaries at will, Kohli was in no hurry get to the hundred and when he did get there, the India skipper became the second fastest to 24 Test hundreds behind only Donald Bradman, who took 66 innings to Kohli’s 123.
Pant, who made memorable in his debut series in England, played his usual attacking game from ball one, flicking it nonchalantly through square leg to get going.
Kohli enjoyed his teammates’ fluent strokeplay from the other end as Pant raced to his half century with a four and six off pacer Paul.
He used his strong wrists to get to the desired elevation and distance. It was a sheer display of brute power.
His eyes lit up when spinners were employed after first hour of the morning. He welcomed Roston Chase with a four and six and did the same to Devendra Bishoo in the following over.
Anything pitched up, he was quick to clear his one leg and deposit the ball over mid-wicket and long on.
The way Pant was plundering the bowlers, it seemed he would get to three figures before his skipper. But that did not happen as Kohli completed his century with a flick off his pads towards fine leg.Pant was on 87 when Kohli raised his bat but the wicket-keeper batsmen ended up throwing it away as he went for another six over deep mid-wicket only to be holed out at point.

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