Senior batter Virat Kohli will have to shoulder plenty of responsibility during India’s Test series in West Indies, which begins at Windsor Park in Dominica on Wednesday, July 12.
The 34-year-old is the most experienced batter in the Indian team. Having played 109 Test matches, he has scored 8479 runs at an average of 48.72, with 28 hundreds and as many fifties.
Kohli, however, does not have a great record in Tests in West Indies. In nine matches in the Caribbean, he has scored 463 runs at an average of 35.61. Of those runs, 200 came in one innings during the 2016 Test in North Sound. He will thus be keen to improve on his red-ball record in West Indies during the ongoing tour.
Returning to West Indies, though, is still special for the veteran batter for a different reason. It was here that he made his Test debut back in June 2011.
How Virat Kohli fared on his Test debut in West Indies
Kohli made his Test debut in Kingston in the first Test of the three-match series during the 2011 tour. It was not a memorable first game for the right-handed batter. He was dismissed for 4 in the first innings, caught behind while playing a loose stroke outside off stump off Fidel Edwards’ bowling.
There was not much joy for the debutant in the second innings as well. Kohli was caught down leg off a short ball from Edwards for 15. While the umpire raised his finger, the batter was not convinced with the verdict and expressed his disappointment.
While Kohli failed to make an impact in his debut Test, the visitors went on to win the game by 63 runs. India posted 246, batting first after winning the toss as Suresh Raina scored 82 and Harbhajan Singh 70. For West Indies, Edwards claimed 4/56, while Ravi Rampaul (3/59) and Devendra Bishoo (3/75) also impressed.
India’s bowlers did well to restrict West Indies to 173 in 67.5 overs. Pacer Praveen Kumar, also on debut, claimed 3/38, while Ishant Sharma picked up 3/29. Spinners Amit Mishra (2/51) and Harbhajan (2/51) also did a good job.
Rahul Dravid, the current coach of the Indian team, scored a hundred in the second innings. His 112 saw the visitors post 252 and set a target of 326 for West Indies. India’s bowlers again stood up and held the Windies to 262. Kumar (3/42), Ishant (3/81), and Mishra (2/62) starred again, while Harbhajan and Raina claimed one scalp apiece.
Kohli thus began his Test career on a victorious note although he could not make a significant contribution.