India kicked off their tour of the West Indies with an impressive performance on the opening day of the first Test at Windsor Park. Led by the exceptional bowling of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, India bowled out West Indies for a mere 150 runs. In response, India’s opening pair of Rohit Sharma and debutant Yashasvi Jaiswal displayed great composure and ended the day with an unbroken 80-run partnership. Let’s dive deeper into the highlights of the day.
Ashwin’s Fiery Spell Rattles West Indies
Ravichandran Ashwin, back in the playing XI after being left out for the World Test Championship final, was the star of the day. The off-spinner claimed his 33rd five-wicket haul in Test cricket, finishing with impressive figures of 5-60. Ashwin’s wickets included the dismissals of Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Kraigg Brathwaite, Alzarri Joseph, debutant Alick Athanaze, and Jomel Warrican. He found able support from left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja, who chipped in with three crucial wickets.
Alick Athanaze Shines Amidst West Indies’ Collapse
Amidst the collapse of the West Indies’ batting lineup, Alick Athanaze stood tall with a gritty innings. The 24-year-old left-hander showed his temperament for Test cricket as he battled against the Indian bowling attack. Athanaze played with a mix of caution and aggression, displaying his potential as a future star for West Indies cricket. However, his innings came to an end when he top-edged a pull shot against Ashwin and was caught for 47 runs.
Rohit and Jaiswal’s Solid Opening Stand
When India came out to bat, Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal provided a solid start to the innings. Rohit took charge initially, scoring 30 runs, while Jaiswal took some time to settle in. However, once Jaiswal got going, he displayed his class and ended the day as the leading run-scorer for India. The opening pair’s unbroken 80-run partnership ensured that India finished the day in a commanding position.
West Indies Struggle Against India’s Spinners
The West Indies batsmen had a tough time facing India’s spinners, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Both spinners found turn on the slow Windsor Park pitch and troubled the West Indies batsmen throughout the innings. Rahkeem Cornwall and Jomel Warrican also bowled their spin with some success, but Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal showed great composure and dealt with the spinners comfortably.
Early Wickets and Captain’s Dismissal
Opting to bat first, West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite fell early in the innings. R Ashwin got the better of him, inducing a mistimed shot that was caught by Rohit Sharma at extra cover. Tagenarine Chanderpaul also fell victim to Ashwin’s guile as he was bowled after being beaten by turn. Ashwin’s early breakthroughs set the tone for India’s dominant bowling performance.
Jadeja’s Impact with the Ball
Ravindra Jadeja proved to be a valuable asset for the Indian bowling attack with his left-arm spin. He picked up three crucial wickets, including the dismissals of Joshua Da Silva, Jermaine Blackwood, and Kemar Roach. Jadeja’s accuracy and ability to generate turn troubled the West Indies batsmen and added to their woes.
Athanaze and Holder’s Resistance
While wickets tumbled around him, Alick Athanaze showcased his determination and skill with the bat. He formed a valuable partnership with Jason Holder, adding 41 runs for the sixth wicket. Both batsmen took the attack to the Indian bowlers, scoring boundaries and not letting the pressure build. However, Holder fell into a short-ball trap set by Mohammed Siraj and was caught at deep-backward square leg.
Collapse of the West Indies’ Innings
After the fall of Athanaze and Holder, the West Indies’ batting order collapsed quickly. Ashwin and Jadeja continued to trouble the lower order, picking up the remaining wickets. Alzarri Joseph could only manage four runs before being caught at short third man by Rohit Sharma off Ashwin’s bowling. Rahkeem Cornwall showed some resistance with two boundaries, but his dismissal triggered a quick end to the West Indies’ innings.
India’s Strong Position at the End of Day 1
With an impressive bowling performance and a solid opening partnership, India ended the day in a commanding position. They trail West Indies by only 70 runs with all their wickets intact. Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal will look to continue their excellent partnership on the second day and extend India’s lead. The Indian team will be aiming to build a substantial first-innings total and put pressure on the West Indies’ batting lineup.
India’s dominant display on the opening day of the first Test against West Indies showcased their superior bowling attack and solid batting lineup. R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were the heroes with the ball, while Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal provided a solid foundation with the bat. With three days remaining in the Test match, India will be looking to capitalize on their strong start and push for a victory. The West Indies, on the other hand, will need to regroup and come up with a strong response to challenge the Indian team.