Windies vs India, 1st Test: Key takeaways from Day 1
The Indian cricket team is in a spot of bother after ending a rain-hit Day 1 at 203/6. For Men In Blue, the vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane made a superb 81. On the other hand, Kemar Roach (3/34) was the pick of the bowlers. The visitors will need to forge a partnership to post a decent total. Here are the key takeaways.
India's top order and skipper Virat Kohli failed collectively against Windies. Mayank Agarwal (5), Cheteshwar Pujara (2) and Kohli (9) couldn't get going. Mayank and Pujara were drawn to pitched up deliveries outside the off-stump as they managed to edge them to the wicket-keeper. Kohli played a loose shot to be caught. Only KL Rahul (44) showed some character in his comeback.
Rahane was watchful all along as he battled his poor form to strike a superb fifty. The senior cricketer's approach away from home is a known factor and he delivered this time. He took his time and helped the side get along after the early blows. This innings will do a world of good to Rahane. Unfortunately, he missed out on a big score.
Rishabh Pant may be out of sync in white-ball cricket, but the youngster plays more sensibly in the longest format. Pant has an average of 22.9 in ODIs and 21.57 in T20Is. But when it comes to Tests, he is averaging above 50. The southpaw remained unbeaten on 20 and saw out the day. He took his time and didn't play rash shots.
Fans were aggrieved not to see Rohit Sharma and R Ashwin in the starting XI. Ashwin, in particular, is a world-class bowler. He enjoyed strong form recently in County cricket. His success against WI has been immense and it was baffling to see him sit out. Rohit's quality means that he deserves a place. But he isn't being backed in Tests.
Roach and Shannon Gabriel bowled excellent at the top to leave India reeling at 25/3. Rahul and Rahane then added a crucial 68-run stand. Rahane got along with Hanuma Vihari to stitch a 72-run partnership for the fifth wicket. Windies hit back to dismiss them in quick succession. It was Roach and Gabriel that did the damage. Team India has serious work to do.