India make steady start against Windies

2016-07-21 18:43
Cricket bat (File)

North Sound - Shikhar Dhawan curbed his natural aggression in compiling an unbeaten 46 as India reached the lunch interval on the opening day of the first Test against the West Indies at 72 for one at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Thursday.

Famed for his unrestrained attacking instincts in all forms of the game, the left-handed opening batsman displayed admirable restraint against bowling that lacked any real pace and potency, with the notable exception of Shannon Gabriel.

With skipper Virat Kohli choosing to bat first on a surface devoid of any consistent pace and bounce to really threaten the batsmen, Gabriel still caused alarms for the Indian opening pair.

His raw pace removed Murali Vijay for just seven after half-an-hour's play when the right-hander fended at a lifting delivery for Kraigg Brathwaite to take the catch at the second attempt at second slip.

Cheteshwar Pujara looked untroubled on joining Dhawan at the crease with the pair putting on 58 runs for the second wicket by the interval. Pujara resumes in the afternoon session on 14.

Having opted to go into the match without uncapped fast-medium bowler Miguel Cummins, the only other pace threat available in the West Indies pre-match squad of 13, it was left to captain Jason Holder, fellow medium-pacer Carlos Brathwaite and debutant Roston Chase to do the bulk of the work in support of Gabriel.

Chase, the 24-year-old Barbadian who earned selection on the basis of a consistent domestic season with the bat, delivered eight overs of uncomplicated off-spin.

Particularly surprising was him being used ahead of the lone frontline spinner in the side, Devendra Bishoo.

While the West Indies have packed their side with batting, India opted for a bowling attack comprising three pacers and two spinners, omitting Ravindra Jadeja in preference for Amit Mishra to work in tandem with Ravichandran Ashwin as specialist slow bowlers.

West Indies have not defeated India in Test cricket for 14 years since the end of the 2002 series in the Caribbean and are the decided underdogs for the first meeting with these opponents on home soil for five years.

Read more on:    india  |  west indies  |  cricket


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