Fifties from captain Rohit Sharma, Yashasvi Jaiswal, and Virat Kohli — playing his 500th international game — put India in control despite the West Indies fighting back in the second session, as the visiting side ended day one on 288 for four in the second Test on Friday at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad.
India went with one change for the marquee 100th Test between the two sides, with Mukesh Kumar making his senior debut. He replaced Shardul Thakur, who was injured.
West Indies had two changes in its XI: Shannon Gabriel came in for Rahkeem Cornwall, and 22-year-old Jamaican all-rounder Kirk McKenzie made his Test debut, replacing Raymon Reifer.
West Indies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite’s decision to bowl first on a flat surface, which lacked pace and offered little to no assistance to the fast bowlers, backfired in the first session when Indian openers forged a second successive century stand, scoring at nearly five runs an over.
AS IT HAPPENED - INDIA vs WEST INDIES SECOND TEST DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS
After a watchful start against Kemar Roach and Alzarri Joseph, who operated with the new ball, Rohit cleared the square leg fence off Roach in the fifth over for the first maximum of the innings.
Jaiswal then smashed Joseph for a four and a six in the next over, as India reached 50 inside 11 overs and 100 by the 21st. Meanwhile, Rohit reached his 15th half-century with a trademark pull shot off Roach over square leg for six.
Jaiswal followed suit, reaching his fifty with back-to-back boundaries against Joseph before Lunch.
Jason Holder, who looked good with his consistent line and length, gave the West Indies the first breakthrough just after Lunch when Jaiswal was caught by debutant Mckenzie on 57 at first slip after having added 139 runs for the first wicket. The left-hander was caught in the cordon while driving.
SCORECARD | INDIA VS WEST INDIES SECOND TEST DAY 1
Shubman Gill once again failed to impress at No. 3 and was caught behind off Roach for just 10.
Brathwaite’s decision to bring Jomel Warrican into the attack paid off as the left-arm spinner castled Rohit. He played down the wrong line after Warrican fired one on the middle that spun away enough to beat Rohit’s outside edge and crash into the off-stump, denying the Indian skipper his 16th Test ton. Rohit’s dismissal triggered a mini-collapse, which saw India slip from 139 for no loss to 155 for three.
Kohli, who was playing his 500th international match, and vice captain Ajinkya Rahane dug in to mitigate the damage.
The duo played out 12 overs before Gabriel clean bowled Rahane with an inswinger just before Tea to leave India at 182 for four after two sessions.
Kohli got to his 30th Test half-century with a boundary off Warrican. During his innings, Kohli surpassed South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis (25,534) to become the fifth-highest run-getter in international cricket. His unbeaten 106-run partnership with Ravindra Jadeja for the fifth wicket shifted the momentum back in India’s favour.
The onus will be on Kohli, who is eyeing his first Test hundred on foreign soil after 2018, to steer India to a formidable first-innings score when Day 2 resumes.
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