Thick pollution stopped play in the India-Sri Lanka Test shortly after Virat Kohli reached 245, his highest Test score.
In the post-lunch session, at least five of the Sri Lankan fielders came out wearing masks. Fast bowler Lahiru Gamage expressed concerns to his team, leading to a 17-minute delay as a physio came out to attend to the players.
His pace partner Suranga Lakmal then walked off, leaving only 10 Sri Lanka players on the field.
Virat Kohli, the India captain who fell for 245 during this stop-start period, then declared, indicating, though that his players would continue in the field.
Pollution in Delhi has been a major health concern in the recent winters. In November this year, the government had declared a public health emergency, schools were shut for a week, and the Delhi half marathon almost didn’t go ahead.
The incident detracted from Kohli’s magnificent performance with the bat as he helped India to 536-7. It was his third successive hundred and second successive double hundred, having scored 104 not out in Kolkatar, and 213 in Nagpur.
It did not come easily, though, for on occasion he had to be treated for a lower back ailment. Kohli will be rested from the ODI series to ensure he is fit for the South Africa tour in January.
Having hit no double-century in his first five years of Test career, Kohli has now managed six such double-tons. Until 2015, he had 11 hundreds from 72 innings in 41 Tests with highest score of 169. Since then, within 18 months, 33 innings and 22 Tests, he has converted six of his nine centuries into doubles. He joined Virender Sehwag and Tendulkar to hit six double-hundreds for India.