Jaiswal and Rohit drag India to 162-run lead against West Indies

July 14, 2023 in Sports

ROSEAU, Dominica (AP) — Centuries by newcomer Yashasvi Jaiswal and captain Rohit Sharma launched India’s 162-run lead against the West Indies on day two Thursday of a dragging first test.

Jaiswal carried his bat through the day to be 143 not out on debut. He and Rohit moved their opening partnership from 80 overnight to 229.

But after a middle-session pick up, India crawled to stumps on 312-2. Virat Kohli was with Jaiswal at 36 not out.

West Indies were successful in keeping the run rate down on a typically slow Windsor Park pitch by bowling tight, waiting 20 overs to take the new ball, and employing nine players to bowl.

Another playing his first test, West Indies middle-order bat Alick Athanaze, earned his maiden test wicket when he got Rohit and broke the massive opening stand.

Athanaze’s 13 overs of off-spin compensated for the absence of Rahkeem Cornwall, who bowled his third maiden over then walked off in the morning session due to a chest infection.

Jaiswal and Rohit were restricted to 66 runs in 32 overs in the first session. But that was enough runs to post India’s first 100-run opening partnership in 11 tests.

After lunch, Jaiswal and Rohit showed more intent without really getting their timing right. They passed West Indies’ total of 150 about six overs quicker, marking the first time India took a first-innings lead in a test without losing a wicket.

After the stand reached 200, Jaiswal became the 17th India man to score a test century on debut, matching Rohit, who was the 14th in 2013.

From the 215th ball he faced, Jaiswal paddle-swept a single to fine leg off Athanaze and celebrated exuberantly, raising his arms and leaping to punch the air.

Soon after, the batters owned the highest opening partnership outside Asia when they eclipsed the 213 by Sunil Gavaskar and Chetan Chauhan in 1979 against England at the Oval. This was only India’s third ever double-century opening stand outside Asia.

Rohit finally posted his 10th test hundred with a cover drive to the boundary, then was out next ball when he gloved Athanaze off his thigh to wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva. Rohit made 103 off 221 balls with 10 boundaries and two sixes.

Shubman Gill requested to drop in the order from opener to No. 3 and made only 6 when he was caught by Athanaze at short second slip off spinner Jomel Warrican.

India added 99 runs in the middle session and only 67 runs in 32 overs after tea.

West Indies used up their third and last review trying to get Kohli out on 9 but he didn’t touch the ball.

Without a review, West Indies rued what might have been when pacer Kemar Roach hit Jaiswal on his back pad on 133. West Indies appealed for leg before without success. Ball tracking showed it hitting leg stump.

Kohli, content to help Jaiswal grind things out, took 81 balls to hit his first boundary and punched the air. By stumps, he’d used up 96 balls to make 36.

Kohli was playing second fiddle to Jaiswal, who had the highest score by an Indian man on debut outside Asia, and counting.