By Prarthana Mitra
As the opening Test of the series entered its third day, India dominated and outclassed the past the Test cricket titans, winning by an innings and 272 runs, registering their biggest ever win in Test cricket on Saturday.
After the men in blue were done with their visiting opponents in Rajkot, West Indies which displayed a cluelessness throughout the tournament did not know what hit them. With this emphatic win, India, however, has an early 1-0 lead in the two-match Test series. Friday’s success owes itself to a collective impeccable performance from Indian bowlers in both innings, that sent the Windies packing with 181 and 196 runs in the first and second innings respectively.
West Indies lost 14 wickets over the third day, looking utterly helpless in the face of Indian spinners like Kuldeep Yadav (5-57) who claimed his maiden five-wicket haul and drove the biggest blow to their batting order in the second innings. The wrist spinner took their batting order apart, as the rival batsmen failed to read his delivery every time. Ravindra Jadeja (3-35) and Ravichandran Ashwin (2-71) too picked crucial wickets at regular intervals, lending a hand in India’s decidedly historic win.
Kieran Powell with 83 runs, was the lone warrior on the Windies front, but his campaign proved insufficient in the face of tumbling wickets and in the absence of support from the other end. At the press conference, West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite accredited their loss to the lack of batting partnerships, adding that India played well and showed them how to bat.
Enlivened by the bowling effort, Indian captain and skipper Virat Kohli enforced an equally powerful follow-up performance after the Windies’ listless and casual run on the crease. Post-match, he hailed Prithvi Shaw as a “different quality” player and said his performance in the tournament validated the BCCI’s campaign to push the teenager’s entry into the Test team. Mumbai-based Shaw scored a century on Test debut this week and was adjudged Man-of-the-match on Friday.
Kohli also credited the pace duo of Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav for putting the opposition under pressure. Under Kohli’s captaincy, India ended the first leg of the campaign victoriously within three days. This is reportedly also India’s 100th Test win at home.
Prarthana Mitra is a staff writer at Qrius.
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