HomeCricketIndia-West Indies, 1st Test, Day 1

India-West Indies, 1st Test, Day 1

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Team India did not get off to the start they wished to begin their World Test Championship journey. India’s first match of the ICC World Test Championship against West Indies on Thursday saw Indian batting line up collapsing on day one at Antigua. Only a couple of fine knocks saved India as they ended rain-curtailed day one with 203/6 in 68.5 overs on board at IND-WI 1st Test.

Top-order collapse but Ajinkya Rahane Shines

IND-WI 1st Test saw India lost the toss and was sent to bat first by the Windies. The opponents made good use of the most of the green track, overcast conditions, moist pitch and the heavy wind that was blowing from one side of the wicket. Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara were too quick to go. Kemar Roach, the Caribbean pacer took the responsibility in the 5th over and sent back the duo in the same over. Even Virat Kohli did not last for long and was dismissed by Shannon Gabriel for good delivery. India was crawling with 25/3. The 25 runs added by India are the 2nd fewest for them in the first innings of an away Test series. In 2018-19 Test series in Australia they were three down for 19 runs in the opening session.
Once Kohli was gone India was visibly in a terrible situation. Ajinkya Rahane Shines and proves a lot especially due to the preference he was given by the team management over the ODI deputy Rohit Sharma. Reduced to 25 for 3 within eight overs, the visitors needed some respite from the men on the crease.

The revival by Rahul and Rahane

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The out of form batters took the challenge gracefully and replied to the circumstances. KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane added 68 runs for the fourth wicket. While Rahul was the more elegant player, the latter turned out to be a more solid one after having a bit edgy initially.
The Indian opener scored 44 runs and hit five fours in his knock came in 97 deliveries. In the 35th over Roston Chase brought the breakthrough and Rahul was unfortunate to be caught down by Shai Hope. The best part of Rahane was that he was not perturbed by the dismissal and carried on. An able partner in Hanuma, Ajinkya Rahane shines with him and continued the momentum. Vihari was another name who was again picked ahead of Rohit Sharma in the squad. Vihari added 32 runs off 56 balls before he became the third prey of Roach for the day. Before walking off he completed 6000 runs in first-class cricket when he reached his individual score of 17 runs.
Ajinkya Rahane Shines, at the other end, looked stable and determined to get to his hundred for the first time in two years. But almost at the end of the day, he misjudged a Gabriel delivery and was bowled for 81. His knock off 163 balls saw him hitting 10 classy boundaries that proved why he was the perfect choice for the match. Rahane became the 50th player from India to amass 10000 runs in first-class cricket. He completed this milestone when he went past his individual score of 44. Moreover, Rahane has a batting average of 89 in Test cricket against the Windies. He smashed 445 runs in seven Test innings against them including a hundred and three fifties. As a part of visiting team, his average goes up to 108 as he accumulated 324 runs from five innings with a century and two fifties.
Team India was at this point slumped to 189/6 in 60 overs. Rishabh Pant (20) and Ravindra Jadeja (3) walked in and ensured no more wickets for the day. The good part is certainly the recovery done by Rahul and Rahane after the top order fell for the swing and pace. But this should be taken as a warning for the team management as India lost three top wickets too quickly at the beginning. After Rahane and Vihari, this is a chance for Pant to rise at the moment as he was also preferred ahead of Wriddhiman Saha as a keeper-batsman.

India vs West Indies, 1st Test, Day 1 Brief Scores

India (203/ 6 in 68.5 overs) at Stumps vs West Indies in Antigua
Ajinkya Rahane (81), KL Rahul (44), Hanuma Vihari (32); Kemar Roach (3/34), Shanon Gabriel (2/49).

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