Player of the Match
Player of the Match

India close in after Kohli's epic double-hundred

Is Kohli best in the world? (4:04)

Sourav Ganguly and Jonathan Trott with Raunak Kapoor compares Virat Kohli's form with contemprory cricketers (4:04)

England 400 and 182 for 6 (Root 77, Bairstow 50*) trail India 631 (Kohli 235, Vijay 136, Jayant 104) by 49 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

With his sublime 235 off 340 balls, with 25 fours and a six, Virat Kohli became the first Indian to three double-centuries in a year. As soon as he left the crease and England were in to bat the pitch began to look like a minefield.

The visitors were trailing by 49 runs at stumps and had only four wickets in hand to mount a challenge. Their plight - especially after scoring 400 in the first innings - was largely due to one man. And it was to see that man bat that people thronged to Wankhede stadium.

Kohli broke a slew of records. The most runs by an Indian in a series against England - Rahul Dravid was left behind. The most runs in an innings by an India captain - MS Dhoni was left behind. In 2016, he has made 1200 runs at an average of 80 and a strike-rate of 60.

Making the day sweeter for India was Jayant Yadav, who made 104 off 204 balls in a record stand of 241 for the eighth wicket. He had the highest score at No. 9 (211) and was part of the largest eighth-wicket partnership (392) in Indian first-class cricket. Having replaced the man with whom he put on that partnership - Haryana's Amit Mishra - he came to hold the corresponding records for India in Test cricket too.

The spotlight wouldn't budge from Kohli, though. A crunching straight drive in the first over of the day converted his fourth successive hundred into a 150-plus score. In the 162nd, he only rolled his wrists on a straight delivery, but it skipped away to the backward square leg boundary. The timing was such that it beat England's best fielder Ben Stokes, and the placement was such that it was well to the right of the man.

Kohli batted for over eight hours. The concentration it must have taken, the mental and physical strain he must have felt to play an innings of such quality on a difficult pitch was finally on view as he walked off for lunch with a tired smile on his face. In the dressing room, everyone from the support staff to his team-mates patted him on the back. When he came out in the second session, he biffed Chris Woakes back over his head for a six and ran like mad for a single next ball.

The shot the fans cared about most came a little earlier. A gentle little flick in the 165th over, all along the ground, to the left of midwicket. It raised Kohli's 200. Smart phones were out to record the moment. Anil Kumble's camera didn't miss it either. A little slice of history to put in the back pocket. In all of Test cricket, only five men have made three or more double-hundreds in a year: Don Bradman, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Brendon McCullum and now Kohli.

England's response to that innings came from Joe Root. If it hadn't been for his firebrand style of play England may never have reduced their deficit to 49 at stumps. Root made 77 off only 103 balls against two of the best spinners in the world on a surface that had become rank.

Considering it had waited 312 overs to do so should make it immune to criticism. Besides, it's pace was true. That meant batsmen picking length early and looking to score first and defend second would flourish. Root exemplified those characteristics well as he swept the spinners hard and stepped down the track often to take balls on the full and paste them through the covers. India were forced to pull the close catchers out and Root inside edged Ashwin to short leg when there was no one there. He fell lbw to Jayant in the last hour of play, deceived into going back to a full delivery because its pace was quicker and trajectory was flatter.

These are the kinds of tricks that made India such a force in their own conditions. That and their accuracy, which separated them from England's, especially where the scorecard was concerned.

Anything on the fourth day at Wankhede would turn. A straight line drawn on it would come out a semi-circle. India turned to spin in the eighth over and Ravindra Jadeja got the ball to turn square thrice in a row. Close catchers buzzed around the batsman like mosquitoes, and puffs of dust erupted even off the undisturbed parts of the surface let alone the rough.

Alastair Cook was the visitors' best bet at playing time. Two overs before tea, however, he went back in an effort to flick a good length ball with the turn through square leg. But Jadeja, by virtue of being quicker through the air, had the England captain hurrying into his shot, losing his shape and out lbw. It was Jadeja's 100th wicket in his 24th Test; equal fastest to the mark with Ryan Harris and Lance Gibbs and one match slower than Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Saqlain Mushtaq.

Moeen Ali came out to bat with four men crowding him. He picked one of them out, extra bounce making his little nudge off the hip carry to M Vijay's right at leg gully. In the five minutes to tea, England had lost two wickets to add to Keaton Jennings' golden duck.

Jonny Bairstow resisted with an unbeaten 50, producing some memorable moments. He tried to shoulder arms to a ball from R Ashwin pitching about four feet outside the line of off stump only to have it strike him on the stomach. He went to cut the same bowler and was beaten by the turn that was so sharp it went past the wicketkeeper's left. His use of DRS was pristine as well. He was given out twice in the space of five overs but used the technology to save himself. Not everyone enjoyed Bairstow's street-smarts though. Umpire Bruce Oxenford actually threw his head back in exasperation at the second review, which was asked for so quickly he possibly knew he had made a mistake and giving the batsman out caught at short leg.

England were very nervy in the last 15-20 minutes minutes, into which India squeezed five overs. Indeed, Jadeja finished one in a minute or so to give Ashwin a go at the nightwatchman, Jake Ball, and did him with a topspinner to end the day. They had lost Ben Stokes prior to that, reverse sweeping the ball onto his boot for second slip to catch it on the rebound.

It was a bit cruel all this happened to England on the same day they conceded 180 runs at 4.44 runs per over.

India's overnight lead was 51. They had got seven wickets and if the remaining three had fallen quickly, Cook and his men may have felt they still had a chance. In 34 overs on the fourth morning, there wasn't a single breakthrough. When India were finally all out after lunch, they had pulled ahead by 231 runs.

Kohli was the ninth wicket to fall when his lofted drive carried to deep extra cover. Plenty of England players came to congratulate him, including Stokes and Bairstow. All at the Wankhede stadium were on their feet.

His partner for much of the day, Jayant, had begun by scything a half-volley from Rashid through the covers and then the ensuing short ball was cut behind point. He was more than a match for an inswinging yorker from Ball in the 149th over and the good length delivery that followed was driven to the cover boundary with some style.

Jayant seems to think like a top-order batsman. He spotted mid-on was up with Moeen bowling around the wicket in the 155th over, danced down the track and lofted the ball over the fielder's head. Cook put a long-on in for the next ball and the batsman tapped a single to him. Jayant outscored Kohli in the first hour, 42 runs to 36, en route to sweeping records of his own.

Having allowed the opposition's eighth wicket to post more than 200 runs for the first time since 1908, England were able to knock India's No. 10 and 11 quickly enough. Small mercies.

Captain Kohli's series


No. of India captains to score 500+ runs in a series before Kohli. Gavaskar did it twice - against WI (732, '78-79) and v ENG (500, '81-82).

Match unfolds


Runs scored by India in the first and the second sessions. While they lost just the wicket of Pujara in the 1st session, the 2nd session saw four of their wickets fall.

England's rare breed


Last time an England legspinner took more wkts in a series than Rashid. Tich Freeman took 22 wickets v SA at home. Vijay's was Rashid's 19th in the series.

Vijay's rare hundred


No. of Test 100s by India openers at Wankhede in last 20 years before Vijay's - Sehwag v WI, 2002. Gavaskar (5) is the only other opener to get a hundred.

Captain Kohli's 2016


No. of India captains with 1000-plus runs in a year before Virat Kohli. Tendulkar (1997) and Dravid (2006) are the ones to do it before him

Pujara bowled


No. of times Pujara has been bowled in Tests. His bowled %age of 26 is 2nd highest for any batsman in top six in the last 20 years