Kuldeep leads dominant India to its biggest Test win

Kuldeep Yadav bagged his maiden five-wicket haul in the longer format as India went 1-0 up in the two-match series by wrapping up the first Test inside three days.

India went 1-0 up in Rajkot, beating Windies by a massive margin of an innings and 272 runs.   -  VIVEK BENDRE

Test cricket, unlike the T20s, is a real test of character. That’s one lesson, the West Indies perhaps learnt early on their tour to India.

The visiting side was put to a spin test with Kuldeep Yadav bagging his maiden five-wicket haul in the longer format as India went 1-0 up in the two-match series by wrapping up the first Test inside three days - with a dominant victory by an innings and 272 runs. 

READ| As it happened

The third day pitch in Rajkot was still good to bat on, but the spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep was even better. In the first innings, it was Ashwin's (4-37) spin and guile that skittled the West Indies for 196 in reply to India's 649 for 9 (decl).

However, Kuldeep improved on his first innings figures, where he conceded 62 runs in his 10 overs for one wicket.  Following on, openers Powell and stand-in skipper, Kraigg Brathwaite put up a 32-run partnership, but Ashwin got the breakthrough, removing Brathwaite for 10, caught at short-leg by Prithvi Shaw, in the penultimate over before the lunch.

There was a bit of resistance from Kieran Powell who scored 83 off 93 balls but found no support at the other end once Kuldeep was introduced into the attack. And the decision of sending him back early from the England tour to prepare for the series, proved right as he ran through the Windies line-up to hand India its biggest innings win ever.

The local boy Ravindra Jadeja too chipped in with three scalps. In the first session of the day, Chase stitched a 73-run stand with Keemo Paul (47) after consolidating the innings, but with Ashwin in full flow, the lower order capitulated.

Ashwin, regaining his old flair would be too tough to pick for any tailender batsman. Sherman Lewis and Shanon Gabriel looked clueless and gifted their wickets away to the offspinner. With inexperience hurting this West Indies side, a defeat looked palpable and in the process failing to take deep to the fourth day of the Test match.

For India - Rajkot conquered, now over to Hyderabad!