This was a Test series which was dubbed as a close encounter considering the recent performances of West Indies at home. The Test though on the first morning did give that impression. West Indies after winning the toss put India in on a seam friendly wicket and had the visitors on the rope at 25/3. The Indian middle-order which hasn’t been performing consistently has stepped up when needed, led by the brilliant Ajinkya Rahane.
Rahane who has been in really poor form recently, stitched partnerships first with KL Rahul and then Hanuma Vihari to take India to safety from a precarious position. The Indian lower order then rallied with the brilliant Ravindra Jadeja who scored a fifty to take India to a good 297. That total was a really good one on that wicket and considering the quality of India pace attack, it was a really big score.
For West Indies though Roach was absolutely brilliant but did not receive much support from rest of the bowling attack. The other pacers were good but lacked consistency which meant the Indian batters were scoring freely despite losing wickets at the top. When West Indies came on to bat, the Indian pacers were on the money and had West Indies on the ropes soon.
The hosts stuttered along to 222 in their first innings thanks to a good 39 from the skipper holder. Ishant Sharma though was brilliant taking 5/43 and was helped immensely by Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammad Shami who picked two wickets each. Jasprit Bumrah picked one wicket and in the process got to 50 Test wickets in just 11 Tests.
India got a good lead of 75 and in the second innings despite losing quick wickets at the top helped by a hundred from Rahane again, India piled up 343/7 before declaring their innings. Hanuma Vihari once again was among runs with a brilliant 93 and captain Virat Kohli scored 51 as well. This was a good batting performance by the Indian batting unit as the pitch wasn’t the easiest to bat on as evidenced by the performance of West Indies in the second innings.
West Indies started their innings in the pursuit of an improbable 419 to win the first Test and immediately found themselves in trouble. Jasprit Bumrah bowled an incredible new-ball spell and blew the West Indies batting away with an incredible spell of 5/7. West Indies were eventually bowled out for 100 giving India a massive 318 run victory. Ishant Sharma once again picked up 3 wickets to add to his fifer in the first and Mohammad Shami picked another 2 wicket haul. The Indian pace trio continues to march on and accounted for all the ten West Indian wickets in the second innings.
This would be a satisfying start to the Test series for the Indian captain but for Holder though this cannot be a more disappointing result considering their brilliant performance against England a few months ago. Holder criticized their batting and wanted his batters to take more responsibility with the bat and he would be hoping he gets that from his team in the second Test. The second Test will take place at Sabina Park on the 30th and the Indian team will go into that game supremely confident.
India 297 (Rahane 81, Roach 4/66) & 343/7 (Rahane 102, Chase 4/132) beat West Indies 222 (Chase 48, Ishant 5/43) & 100 (Roach 38, Bumrah 5/7)