Led by Ajinkya Rahane, assisted by Hanuma Vihari and Virat Kohli and then finished by Jasprit Bunrah, India vindicated the tag of number 1 Test side in the world by hammering West Indies by 318 runs in the first Test.
Ajinkya Rahane ended his drought of century and then Jasprit Bumrah’s relentless spell which included his newest weapon – the deadly out-swinger, sent the hosts hurtling for 100 in just under a session.
With this win, India registered the biggest win in overseas conditions with runs being the parameter. Also, this India’s fourth biggest victory.
The previous biggest overseas victory had come in Galle in 2017, by 304 runs. Incidentally, four of the five biggest Test wins for India in terms of runs have come under the captaincy of Virat Kohli.
Set a target of 419 runs, West Indies were sent packing in just 26.5 overs for a paltry 100 runs.
After resuming the day at 185 for three, Rahane scored a patient 102-run knock but young batsman Hanuma Vihari (93) missed out on his maiden Test ton by just seven runs. India declared their second innings at 343 for seven, the moment Vihari was dismissed. They raised a 135-run partnership for the fifth wicket after India lost skipper Virat Kohli (51) early during the fourth day’s play.
Kohli’s scalp did not help West Indies much as Rahane and Vihari gradually took the game away from the hosts with their confident yet contrasting batting.
It was Rahane’s first Test hundred since his 132 against Sri Lanka in August 2017 while Vihari threw away a golden opportunity to get his maiden hundred in only his fifth match.
Rahane’s patient knock came off 242 balls with just five shots to the fence but Vihari paced his innings nicely. The Hyderabad batsman hit 10 fours and a six in his 128-ball knock with an impressive strike rate of 72.65. However, in an attempt to get some quick runs, he pulled Holder but could not connect the ball and the under-edge was easily taken by Hope.
Before that Rahane too fell while trying to score quickly, getting caught by Holder off Shannon Gabriel.
Off-spinner Chase (4/132) was the most successful bowler for the hosts as he got rid of Rishabh Pant (7) after dismissing Kohli (51).
India lost Kohli in the opening session of the fourth day when his leading edge off Chase flew to John Campbell, who took the catch on second attempt.
That ended the fourth-wicket partnership between Kohli and Rahane that yielded 106 runs for India. The other overnight batsman Rahane was joined by Vihari, who easily worked the ball around in gaps to keep the scoreboard ticking.
As soon as the new ball was available, pacers Roach and Gabriel operated in tandem but before that West Indies part-timers had bowled 41 overs in this innings alone.