Roseau: It was complete performance by the Indian team by bat and ball in the first test against West Indies as visitors thrashed the hosts by an innings and 141-runs on Day 3 at Windsor Park on Friday.
It was Ashwin who utilised every bit of the extra bounce and spin that was on offer, making it difficult for the entire middle-order batters to read his variations, as well as line and length, and really a hard task to stay on the crease.
Most of the wickets fell into Ashiwin’s account as he ended Day-3 with the figure of 7-71. He solely ripped apart the entire middle order as well as the lower setup of the visitors.
His efforts with the ball ensured that the Indian team kick off the WTC25 cycle with 12 points in their bag.
Ashwin also set the tone of the final session of the day by dismissing Jermaine Blackwood with a flighted delivery which turned sharply once it landed on the surface. His delivery struck him on the pads and dismiss him at a score of 5(8).
Jadeja came in to inflict further wounds as he got the better of Reifer with a sharp delivery. The Windies were stuck to a score of 34 for a while as Indian spinners increased their dismissal count from 2 to 4.
Athanaze, who was West Indies’ saviour with the bat in the first innings, came in with hopes of playing another crucial knock for his team. Fate was also on his side as debutant, Jaiswal, dropped his catch in Ashwin’s over.
The spin duo tried to shake off the chance and once again made attempts to get a breakthrough. Siraj was brought into the attack and it took him just three balls to make his mark.
The pacer pinned Da Silva in front of the stumps to end his innings for a score of 13(27). After this, it was Aswi’s magic show as he dismissed the rest of the team to begin India’s West Indies tour and the WTC25 cycle on a positive note.
Earlier on Day 3, Virat Kohli and Jadeja resumed the second session with a bit of luck as they tried to further increase India’s lead.
Kohli once again rode on his luck and survived for the second time as he tried to drive the ball but found an edge that the wicketkeeper eventually dropped.
However, even with another lifeline Kohli failed to extend his stay for a long period as Cornwall forced the right-handed batter to play the flick shot, but the extra-bounce factor kicked in to surprise Kohli and his shot went straight into the hands of Athanaze.
Jadeja and Ishan Kishan from that point took over to extend India’s lead. India finally decided to declare for a score of 421/5.
Jadeja walked back to the dugout with a score of 37* while Kishan only managed to score a run after facing 20 deliveries.
West Indies came to begin their second innings with a trail of 271 runs. After impressing with the bat, Jadeja drew the first blood as he dismissed Chanderpaul for 7(28) by trapping him right in front of the stumps. A couple of overs later Ashwin joined the party a couple of overs later to dismiss West Indies skipper Brathwaite for 7.
Earlier in the game, having started the day on 312 for 2, Jaiswal and Kohli showed great patience throughout their 110-run partnership. Jaiswal was the first to bring up his 150, becoming the third Indian after Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma to do so on Test debut.
But in the 126th over, Alzarri Joseph provided the important breakthrough for West Indies as Jaiswal departed after a dream knock of 171 in his debut innings. Joseph managed to produce an edge from Jaiswal’s bat as Joshua Da Silva made no mistake behind the gloves to grab it.
Jaiswal’s wicket invited Ajinkya Rahane to the crease. Rahane got off to the mark early with a single. Virat Kohli continued to bat with his cautious approach. Seasoned batter Rahane departed for just three as Kemar Roach got his first of the night. A soft dismissal as Rahane pushed it on the cover where Jermaine Blackwood took an easy catch.
At this point, West Indies started to fight back and crawled back into the game now. Kohli brought up his half-century with a single off Jomel Warrican’s to reach the mark. The batting maestro took 147 balls to hit the half-century. He displayed great discipline in the innings but needed to break the shackles to up the run rate.
Ravindra Jadeja also started slow and scored three runs off 21 balls. On the other side, Kohli continues to bat with the same defensive approach to take India forward. Only six runs came off the last four overs for India. However, it did not take Jadeja to break the shackles and smashed Alick Athanaze for a maximum.
Kohli followed shortly after as he smashed Kraigg Braithwaite for a boundary. 13 runs came off the last overs as India decided to up the run rate before the Lunch break. Two wickets fell in the session as the 44-run partnership between Kohli and Jadeja took India to 400/4 at the time of lunch on day three.
Over the course of three days, India dominated the hosts in every session.
West Indies bundled out at a total of 150 runs on the first day. India’s batter fought for the remaining overs on Day 1, the entirety of Day 2 and the opening session of Day 3. Rohit and Jaiswal’s opening stand was enough to see off the trail and add some runs to their kitty for a solid lead before they lost their first wicket.
Jaiswal’s knock of 171 was the pick of the collective efforts from the Indin batters.
Brief score: West Indies 150 & 130 (Alick Athanaze 28, Jason Holder 20; Ravichandran Ashwin 7-71) vs India 421/5 d (Yashasvi Jaiswal 171, Rohit Sharma 103; Kemar Roach 1-50)