Ashwin and Jaiswal shine as India takes control on day one against West Indies

An exceptional performance by R Ashwin and Yashasvi Jaiswal with the ball and the bat respectively, helped India take control against West Indies

Ashwin and Jaiswal shine as India takes control on day one against West Indies

In a day dominated by the Indian cricket team, R Ashwin’s exceptional performance with the ball and Yashasvi Jaiswal’s impressive debut batting display put India in a commanding position on the opening day of the first test match against West Indies at Windsor Park. Ashwin claimed his 33rd five-wicket haul in test cricket to bundle out the West Indies for a paltry 150, while Jaiswal, in partnership with Rohit Sharma, guided India to an unbroken 80-run opening stand.

Returning to the playing XI after being left out for the World Test Championship final, Ashwin made an immediate impact. He dismissed Tagenarine Chanderpaul and Kraigg Brathwaite in the first session, followed by Alzarri Joseph and debutant Alick Athanaze in the second, before wrapping up the innings with the wicket of Jomel Warrican. Ashwin received excellent support from Ravindra Jadeja, who contributed with three crucial wickets.

Amid a batting collapse, the young Athanaze emerged as the sole resistance for the West Indies. Just last month, Athanaze marked his ODI debut with a blazing half-century. On this day, the left-hander showcased his temperament for test cricket as well. Displaying a mix of caution and aggression, Athanaze fought valiantly as wickets tumbled around him. However, his innings came to an end at 47 when he top-edged a pull against Ashwin, resulting in his dismissal.

When India came out to bat, Sharma initially dominated the scoring, while Jaiswal took some time to settle. Jaiswal eventually opened his account with an elegant cut shot for four off Joseph. As the innings progressed, Jaiswal grew in confidence and outscored his captain by the end of the day.

Despite facing spinners Rahkeem Cornwall and Jomel Warrican, who found some turn on the slowing pitch, Sharma and Jaiswal handled them with relative ease. In the final over of the day, Jaiswal even exhibited his flair by executing a reverse sweep for four off Warrican.

Earlier in the day, West Indies captain Brathwaite won the toss and elected to bat first on a pitch with noticeable moisture. Mohammed Siraj troubled Brathwaite’s outside edge multiple times in a single over, but he occasionally strayed down the leg side. Jaydev Unadkat, on the other hand, displayed discipline and conceded only four runs in his first four overs.

Ashwin’s introduction into the attack in the ninth over proved fruitful. He almost dismissed Chanderpaul on his very first ball, but the outside edge eluded the fielder at short leg. However, Ashwin didn’t have to wait long for his breakthrough. Bowling from around the wicket, he deceived Chanderpaul with a delivery that turned sharply and hit the top of the off stump. This dismissal added to Ashwin’s impressive record of dismissing father-son pairs in test cricket, making him the fifth bowler to achieve this feat.

Continuing his attack from around the wicket, Ashwin struck again by removing Brathwaite, who attempted to loft the ball over mid-on but instead found Sharma stationed at extra cover to take the catch.

Shardul Thakur, making his presence felt, got Raymon Reifer caught behind in his first over, courtesy of a remarkable low catch by debutant Ishan Kishan. Thakur also had a chance to dismiss Jermaine Blackwood, but the leading edge narrowly eluded a diving Shubman Gill at cover.

However, on the last ball before lunch, Blackwood miscued a shot against Jadeja, resulting in a stunning one-handed catch by Siraj, who leapt in the air behind his body to complete the dismissal.

Shortly after lunch, Joshua Da Silva became Jadeja’s second victim. Da Silva’s attempt to cut Jadeja resulted in an outside edge that Kishan eventually caught on the second attempt.

During the second session, Ashwin’s deliveries caused significant trouble for Athanaze and Jason Holder. However, the duo capitalised on loose deliveries and displayed a fearless approach, adding 41 runs for the sixth wicket to take West Indies past the 100-run mark.

The partnership was finally broken when Holder fell into a short-ball trap set by Siraj, pulling the delivery straight into the hands of deep-backward square leg. Athanaze, looking set for a half-century, was then struck on the helmet by a bouncer from Siraj as he momentarily lost sight of the ball.

Joseph, sent in ahead of Cornwall, could only manage four runs before Ashwin caught him at short third. Meanwhile, Athanaze missed out on his fifty when he mistimed a short ball from Ashwin, failing to execute his shot effectively.

With West Indies struggling at eight wickets down, Cornwall struck two boundaries off Ashwin in the first over after tea. However, the resistance didn’t last long as Kemar Roach and Warrican fell to Jadeja and Ashwin, respectively, bringing an end to the innings just 25 minutes into the final session.

India’s dominant performance on the opening day gives them a significant advantage in the first test match. With Ashwin’s spin wizardry and Jaiswal’s promising debut, India has firmly dictated the terms, putting them in an excellent position to further assert their control in the remaining days of the match.

An engineering student enthusiastic about cricket and other sports. Blogs regularly on sports as well as fashion, food and fitness.

Leave a comment
scroll to top