Team India enjoyed the perfect start to the
new ICC World Test Championship cycle as they dominated the West Indies on day
one of the first Test in Dominica. Ravichandran Ashwin picked up his 33rd
five-wicket haul in Test cricket, while Ravindra Jadeja chipped in with three
scalps to help the Men in Blue skittle the West Indies for 150 before Rohit
Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal added an unbroken 80-run stand before stumps to
bolster India’s position in the Test.
Jaiswal took 16 balls to get off the mark
on his Test debut, while Rohit survived a close lbw shout in the second over,
with the umpire’s call coming to his rescue after being pinned on the pads by
Alzarri Joseph. However, other than that one moment of indecision, it was plain
sailing for the two openers. Rohit opened his account with a trademark swivel
pull against Alzarri Joseph and brought up the half-century partnership with a
six off Jomel Warrican.
Jaiswal, meanwhile, grew in confidence as
his innings wore on and even played a reverse sweep in the last over of the
day, finishing on 40* to cut West Indies’ lead to just 70 at stumps.
Earlier, the Indian spinners shined on a
day one pitch offering significant turn after the hosts won the toss and opted
to bat. The West Indies openers survived a probing new ball spell from Mohammed
Siraj and Jaydev Unadkat, but Ravichandran Ashwin produced the first
breakthrough in his third over of the day, finding the top of Tagenarine
Chanderpaul’s off-stump with a perfect off-spinners delivery.
Ashwin also accounted for Kraigg Brathwaite
soon after. The skipper skied one to Rohit Sharma at cover before Shardul
Thakur had Raymon Reifer caught behind in his opening over, handing Ishan
Kishan his maiden catch in Test cricket. Ravindra Jadeja rounded up India’s
profitable morning with the wicket of Jermaine Blackwood on the stroke of
Lunch, with Mohammed Siraj taking a stunning one-handed diving catch at mid-on
to remove the right-hander.
Jadeja also accounted for Joshua de Silva
after the break with some extra bounce, leaving the West Indies reeling at 76
for 5. Jason Holder and debutant Alick Athanaze finally offered some resistance
through the afternoon, pouncing on a few poor deliveries from the Indians to
take the score past 100.
However, the hosts couldn’t keep the
Indians at bay for too long as Holder picked out Shardul Thakur at deep square
leg to end the 41-run stand. Alzarri Joseph and Athanaze perished soon after
while looking to take on Ravichandran Ashwin, the latter missing out on a debut
half-century by just three runs. The visitors wrapped up the final two wickets
without too much damage after Tea, with Jadeja adding a third and Ashwin
completing his five-wicket haul to bowl the West Indies out for just 150.