Rajkot: India pulled off their biggest win over West Indies in recent times, inflicting on the hapless visitors, an innings and 272-run humiliation inside three days in the first match and take a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series here Saturday.
Left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav (5/57) registered his maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket as West Indies succumbed to the guile of India’s spin trio who shared the 10 second innings wickets among themselves.
It was a complete dominance from India right from day one, first they amassed a mammoth 649/9 (decl) in the first innings with debutant Prithvi Shaw, skipper Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja registering centuries before bowling out the visitors twice on day three.
While Ravichandran Ashwin (4/37) was the pick of the bowlers in the first innings, Kuldeep was all over the opposition batsmen in the second innings on way to a maiden five-wicket haul in Tests.
Resuming the day with an overnight first innings score of 94/6, West Indies lasted an hour and 10 minutes mainly because of the efforts of Roston Chase (53, 79b, 8×4) and Keemo Paul (47) who ended up sharing a 73-run stand for the seventh wicket. Ashwin ran through the tail on a pitch offering plenty of turn, as the visitors could add only 87 runs to their total to be bowled out for 181 before lunch.
Following on, the tourists did hardly any better in their second innings as Kuldeep, Jadeja (3/35) and Ashwin (2/71) laid bare their spin frailties. Braithwaite (10) was first to go off Ashwin to open the deadlock for India in the second innings before Kuldeep made a mockery of West Indies top and middle-order to bundle them out for 196 runs in 50.5 overs in the final session of the day.
The opposition batsmen, who needed to bat for time, seemed to be in a hurry to finish the game. Punishing a loose ball is fine but they went for far too many strokes and paid the price for their recklessness.
Kuldeep thrived on that, mixing it up nicely to fox the batsmen. After he trapped Shai Hope (17) in front for his first wicket, he removed the highly-rated Shimron Hetmyer (11) who went for a wild slog across the line to be caught at short third man. He used his googly to send back Sunil Ambris (zero), who stepped out without having any idea of the way the ball will turn.
By tea Saturday, it became clear that the game will be done and dusted inside three days with the West Indies batsmen cutting a sorry picture at 185/8 and it was just a matter of time as Jadeja and Ashwin shared the last four wickets to set up a memorable victory. Opener Kieran Powell (83, 93b, 8×4, 4×6) was the only West Indian batsmen to make a significant contribution in the second essay.
The second and final Test starts in Hyderabad from October 12.
- Kuldeep’s 5/57 is his maiden 5-wicket haul in Tests. His earlier best was 4/40 against Sri Lanka last year
- It was also India’s best in terms of innings victory. Their previous best was against Afghanistan which India won by an innings and 262 runs in July
- 100 – Overs India took to bowl West Indies out in both the innings