Chopra hits double top
Varun Chopra claimed scoring a double century for Warwickshire against Somerset was one of the finest moments of his career, before joking that “the only way is down now”.
Chopra’s stunning 210 was the cornerstone of Warwickshire’s mammoth 642 at Taunton, while Chris Woakes played his part with a run-a-ball 129.
They helped the visitors take charge of their LV= County Championship Division One clash - against the side tipped by many to become champions, no less - before moving into a seemingly impregnable position by reducing Somerset to 147 for six after two days.
Chopra, a former England Under-19s captain, scored a hundred and a half-century on his championship debut in 2006 for Essex, with whom he won the Friends Provident Trophy two years later.
However, he ranks his contribution over the last two days amongst his proudest achievements.
“It’s up there with my debut as the highlight of my career,” Chopra told ecb.co.uk. “It’s a career-best; I loved every minute of it but I suppose the only way is down now.
“It’s pleasing for both the team and myself to get off to a good start in the championship season. Once I got in I decided to keep batting for as long as I could.”
Chopra is more than halfway to matching the 409 runs he scored in nine games last season, his first since leaving his native Essex for Edgbaston.
Despite beginning the second day with 174 to his name, the 23-year-old revealed: “I thought I’d be shattered but I didn’t get a good night’s sleep. The adrenaline was still going from the day.
“It was nice to wake up and know you’ve got a few runs to your name.”
As for reaching 200 - the first player to do so this summer - Chopra added: “It’s a bit easier when you’ve got an extra hundred to your name.
“You don’t really get the opportunity much. There isn’t the pressure to get to that milestone; it was a matter of enjoying it.”
Although the figures suggest otherwise, Chopra admitted it was “a good challenge” facing Sri Lanka spinner Ajantha Mendis, who returned figures of 4-183 from 43.1 overs on a chastening Somerset debut.
“He’s a bit unorthodox,” said Chopra. “You don’t see too many bowlers with as many variations as he’s got.
“I enjoyed facing him and we’ve had a good gameplan to play him. I was lucky to get some runs against him, but he got me out in the end.
“It’s a great start to the season, and if I can build on that and have a good year and Warwickshire have a good year, then everyone’s happy.”