The hosting team West Indies finally got a well-planned start at the terrific opener of Test campaign against ‘Men in Blue’ on Thursday at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua. The destructive pacers of West Indies put up a great show against the strong batting side of India in order to stop them at 203/6 in the first innings of 1st Test match.
After winning the toss, Jason Holder decided to bowl first which proved as a right decision for his team as Windies toppled Blues with three big blows at an early start. India witnessed a grumpy start at the beginning of the game as the Blues lost three crucial wickets at a very early stage. Those three blows included the wicket of young opening batsman Mayank Agarwal (5 off 13 balls), second wicket of talented player Cheteshwar Pujara (2 off 4 balls) and the most important wicket of star skipper Virat Kohli (9 off 12 balls). After this, India’s hope to post a massive target against Maroons seemed to look in the doldrums.
Though, another explosive opener KL Rahul and experienced cricketer Ajinkya Rahane somehow held the reigns of drowning ship. Both the fantastic batsmen weaved the partnership of 68 runs for the fourth wicket in the game and after few hours Rahul was also sent back to pavilion with only 44 runs in an account. After Rahul’s shocking dismissal the responsibility for India’s win came on Rahane’s shoulders. The famous right-handed batsman performed exceptionally under pressure and scored much needed 81 runs off 163 deliveries before losing his wicket to Shannon Gabriel. This was followed by some gritty cameos by Hanuman Vihari and Rishabh Pant who helped their side to finish up on 203/6 at the end of the Day 1st.
The ace pacer of West Indies squad seemed to look quite satisfied with his performance in the first innings. He said,”it was a normal Antigua pitch, where you would always get some moisture early on and help for the fast bowlers. The ball came out pretty good today. I’m happy with how things have gone so far.”
It will be interesting to see how Windies will perform in reply to the invincible blues after presenting great bowling spells. If Indian men want to win this series they really need to buck up and claw back in the game with good batting skills. Otherwise, it will be very difficult for India to maintain their winning streak alive against West Indies in the ongoing test series also.