India vs West Indies Highlights, 1st Test: ‘Five star’ Ashwin puts India in commanding position on Day 1 | Cricket News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Ravichandran Ashwin made a triumphant return to the cricketing arena following his disappointment in the World Test Championship final last month. The seasoned Indian spinner claimed his 33rd five-wicket haul, leading India’s charge against a lacklustre West Indies team on the first day of the opening Test.
Ashwin lived up to his status as the top-ranked Test bowler in the ICC rankings, decimating the West Indies batting lineup with figures of 5 for 60 in 24.3 overs. His spell was complemented beautifully by the ever-reliable Ravindra Jadeja, who claimed 3 for 26 in 14 overs, making life miserable for the home team’s batters.
As it happened: India vs West Indies, 1st Test Day 1
With ample time for batting remaining in the day, captain Rohit Sharma (30 not out, 65 balls) and debutant Yashasvi Jaiswal (40 not out, 73 balls) formed a solid opening partnership, adding 80 to reduce the first innings deficit to a mere 70 runs heading into the second day.

The new opening pair looked comfortable at the crease, with the pitch offering little assistance to the bowlers. Sharma displayed his trademark “Nataraja” pull-shot and unleashed elegant straight drives, while Jaiswal showed composure beyond his years, playing close to his body for the majority of the evening.


However, the standout performer of the day was undeniably Ashwin, whose exceptional artistry proved too much for an undercooked West Indies batting lineup. The slow and two-paced track provided ample turn and bounce, which Ashwin expertly exploited. His performance also marked a significant milestone, as he became the third Indian bowler, after Anil Kumble (956 wickets) and Harbhajan Singh (711), to reach 700 scalps across all formats in international cricket.

Furthermore, Ashwin achieved a unique distinction by dismissing both father and son. Having dismissed Shivnarine Chanderpaul on his Test debut in 2011, he now sent his son, Tagenarine, back to the pavilion.
Apart from debutant left-hander Alick Athanaze’s responsible knock of 47 off 99 deliveries, none of the Caribbean batters displayed the necessary technique to survive on the slow-turning pitch. Ashwin expertly varied his pace, mixing in sliders and deliveries angling across right-handers while utilising drift to perfection against the left-handers.
Supporting Ashwin’s brilliance, Mohammed Siraj (1 for 25 in 12 overs) played a tireless role, consistently hitting a beautiful fuller length during the first session. Post-lunch, he switched gears and peppered the batsmen with well-executed bouncers to keep the pressure on. His spectacular diving catch at mid-off to dismiss Jermaine Blackwood off Jadeja’s bowling further highlighted his contributions.


The decision to bat first on a track that offered turn and bounce right from the start backfired for the West Indies batsmen, most of whom lacked the required patience and adaptability. Shardul Thakur (1 for 15 in 7 overs), operating as the third seamer in overseas conditions for the first time, continued his knack for picking up wickets, while Jaydev Unadkat (0 for 17 in 7 overs) supported the bowling attack commendably.
West Indies openers Tagenarine Chanderpaul (12 off 44 balls) and captain Kraigg Brathwaite (20 off 46 balls) found themselves under immense pressure in the face of relentless pace from Siraj and Unadkat. Ashwin capitalised on the situation, intelligently slowing down his deliveries and making effective use of drift to trouble the opening pair.
Ultimately, Ashwin’s mastery was on full display throughout the day, leaving the West Indies batsmen floundering. The slow turner proved to be their undoing, with only Athanaze showing resilience amidst the turmoil.
The second day of the Test promises to be equally captivating as India looks to extend their advantage and tighten their grip on the match.
(With inputs from PTI)


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