Monday, July 15, 2024

1st Test: Jaiswal, Rohit hit centuries as India dominate West Indies; lead by 162 runs

Debutant opener Yashasvi Jaiswal and skipper Rohit Sharma struck centuries as India maintained their upper hand in the first Test against West Indies, reaching a dominant position of 312/2 in their first innings and a lead of 162 runs at the end of the second day here.

Debutant opener Yashasvi Jaiswal and skipper Rohit Sharma struck centuries as India maintained their upper hand in the first Test against West Indies, reaching a dominant position of 312/2 in their first innings and a lead of 162 runs at the end of the second day here.

On a day of consolidation for the visitors, Jaiswal struck his maiden century in 215 balls (11×4) while Rohit Sharma (103) compiled his 10th Test hundred off 220 balls (10×4, 2×6) as India pressed home their advantage after bowling out the West Indies for a paltry 150 thanks to a splendid 5-60 haul by seasoned off-spinner R. Ashwin on the opening day.

At the end of the second day at Windsor Park on Thursday, Jaiswal was batting on 143 with former India skipper Virat Kohli (36 not out) keeping him company, West Indies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite used nine bowlers in all but they could manage to claim only two wickets as Jaiswal and Rohit Sharma held the fort for India.

On Thursday, the young left-handed opener Yashasvi Jaiswal become the 17th Indian player to score a century on his Test debut while captain Rohit Sharma got his tenth hundred in the format as the visitors reached 245/2 at tea.

It was a day of domination for India as for the first time in Test cricket, they managed to take a first-innings lead without losing a wicket, though West Indies struck back by taking two wickets in the last 15 minutes before the tea break.

While reaching their respective centuries, Jaiswal and Rohit brought up India’s first 200+ opening partnership against West Indies in Tests through their mammoth 229-run opening stand.

Apart from his usual attacking shots, conventional as well as unconventional, the left-handed Jaiswal looked in control even when he was being tested. He took 16 balls to get off the mark on day one with a fantastic upper-cut for four and began day two by leaving Jason Holder’s deliveries five times in a row, apart from showing patience when spinners Warrican and Cornwall were beating the edges of the bat.

After a quiet start to the session, Rohit dazzled everyone by chipping a Jason Holder delivery over the bowler’s head for four. Jaiswal got going by driving late behind square and cutting off Holder to take two boundaries in quick succession.

Despite Jomel Warrican changing his angle to round the wicket, Jaiswal wasn’t unperturbed and made room to drive past mid-off for four. Though the ball was changed, Jaiswal pulled off Alzarri Joseph with ease to collect another boundary.

After Rohit edged off Kemar Roach for a boundary, Jaiswal reached his Test century on debut with a sweep past fine leg off fellow debutant Alick Athanaze’s part-time spin in the 70th over, with the wide happiness on his face and a gentle bow expressing his emotions on an unforgettable day in his cricketing career.

Jaiswal then drove Kemar Roach behind point for four, and after the ball was replaced again, Rohit drilled a drive over the bowler’s head for a boundary. Rohit brought up his century by drilling an Athanaze full toss through cover for four and acknowledged the applause with gentle raise of the bat.

On the very next ball, Rohit pressed forward to defend and was undone by extra bounce on the ball hitting his gloves and the wicketkeeper Joshua da Silva moved across to complete the catch, giving Athanaze his first Test wicket as he fell for 103.

Shubman Gill swept well off Warrican for four, before the left-arm spinner got one to turn away and take the outside edge on defence to second slip, to depart for six, till Jaiswal and Kohli took India to safety till tea break came.

Brief scores:

West Indies 150 trail India 312/2 in 113 overs (Yashasvi Jaiswal batting 143, Rohit Sharma 103, Virat Kohli batting 36; Alick Athanaze 1-33, Jomel Warrican 1-82) by 162 runs.

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