Antigua, July 21 (IANS) India overcame a poor start to reach 72/1 at lunch on the opening day of the first Test against the West Indies at the Sir Viv Richards stadium here on Thursday.
India were off to a disappointing start, losing the key wicket of opener Murali Vijay (7) cheaply, after skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat.
The fall of Vijay brought in No.3 Cheteshwar Pujara (14), who along with southpaw Shikhar Dhawan (46) forged an unbeaten 58-run stand for the second wicket when the umpires called for lunch.
Pacer Shannon Gabriel drew first blood for the hosts with an accurate delivery on middle and off which climbed on Vijay, forcing him to nick and was well caught by Kraigg Brathwaite at second slip in his third attempt.
Vijay consumed 26 deliveries for his seven runs which included a boundary.
Dhawan, who has been long due for runs started vulnerably getting a thick edge off a short ball from Gabriel but survived only to flourish with a flurry of shots on the off-side.
The Delhi left-hander seems to have found his groove, with his knock coming off 74 deliveries and comprising four boundaries.
Pujara, meanwhile, stood rock solid taking 63 balls for his patient 14 on a pitch which had a bit of bounce for both spinners and pacers.
Earlier, keeping his five-bowler strategy intact, Kohli opted for three seamers in Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami while picking leg-spinner Amit Mishra alongside offie Ravichandran Ashwin.
The batting line-up relatively remains the same with Dhawan and Vijay at the top followed by Pujara, Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane. Stumper Wriddhiman Saha will bat at No.6.
For the hosts, skipper Jason Holder has decided to go in with six batsmen and four bowlers, with middle-order batsman Roston Chase making his debut.
India have won both their previous two Test series against the West Indies in 2006 and 2011.
Brief Scores: India 72/1 (Shikhar Dhawan 46 not out, Cheteshwar Pujara 14 not out, Murali Vijay 7, Shannon Gabriel 1/18) vs West Indies