by Elton Gomes
At the close of Day 1 of the first Test between India and West Indies at Rajkot, hosts India were 364/4 after 89 overs with skipper Virat Kohli and Rishab Pant unbeaten of 72 and 17 respectively against a lacklustre West Indian bowling attack.
Debutant Prithvi Shaw stole the headlines by making a century. The opener hit 134 off 154 balls after losing his partner K.L. Rahul in the very first over. Rahul was trapped LBW by Shannon Gabriel off the last ball.
However, Shaw remained undeterred and played one of the most dominant innings for an Indian opener in recent times. Shaw became the youngest Indian to score a hundred in a Test match after Sachin Tendulkar.
Shaw and Cheteswhar Pujara (86) manged to post a 206-run stand as India seemed to dominate over a rather toothless Windies attack. The exits of Jason Holder and Kemar Roach have heavily affected the Windies, and their absence was largely felt during the game.
Pujara scored his 19th Test fifty in the 23rd over. Interestingly, it’s the first time he has reached fifty before lunch on the first day of a Test. But he then departed in the 42nd over, after being caught off Sherman Lewis’ last ball. Pujara became Lewis’ maiden Test wicket.
Team India manage to add runs
Indian captain Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, took over from Shaw with a patient 105-run partnership despite West Indies bowlers maintaining a tidy line and length to restrict the flow of runs in the final session of play.
India, who had manged to score 232/3 at tea, managed to pile on another 132 runs in 38 overs of the evening session with Kohli and Rahane batting cautiously.
The world’s number one Test batsman, Kohli scored his half-century against Bishoo and was getting dangerous with each passing ball. However, Rahane lost his wicket to off-spinner Roston Chase after he got caught behind in the final few overs of Day 1.
Although India have endured losses in South Africa and England, they continue to remain the number one side in the Test format. The Men in Blue will look to secure an easy win over the West India. A victory over the Windies will serve as a morale-booster for the Virat Kohli-led side, which will soon prepare to take on Australia in November.
On the other side, West Indies will attempt to create an impression in one of the toughest places to tour. They will look to defy the odds and manage to defeat India – something which they haven’t done since 2002.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius
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