Roseau (Dominica) Debutant Yashasvi Jaiswal showed remarkable temperament while skipper Rohit Sharma eschewed his natural flair as their twin tons in a record opening stand put India in complete control of the first Test against the West Indies here on Thursday.
India galloped to 245 for two at tea against at the final break of the second day of the opening Test.
Jasiwal (116 batting off 244 balls) and Rohit (103 off 221 balls) after a sedate first session upped the the ante in the post lunch session with an aim to bat West Indies out of the game on a slow turner which will get worse as the match progresses. India already enjoy a lead of 95 runs.
The India skipper was out immediately after scoring his 10th Test hundred when his defensive prod off debutant Alick Athanaze’s off-break ballooned up for keeper Joshua Da Silva to complete an easy catch.
Shubman Gill’s (6 off 10 balls) first game as No. 3 didn’t start off well as he paid the price for sitting in dug out with pads on for nearly 76 overs.
After 41 long years, since India’s 1982 tour of England where Suru Nayak and Sunil Gavaskar opened, there were two Mumbai men opening for the country and put up the best ever stand of 229 against the West Indies, beating previous best of 201 set by Sanjay Bangar and Virender Sehwag back in 2001.
Jaiswal became the third Indian opener after Shikhar Dhawan (vs Australia in 2013) and Prithvi Shaw (vs West Indies 2018) to score a hundred on Test debut.
It was old fashioned Test match batting where two quality batters literally groundout a tired bowling attack that didn’t have much firepower to trouble the duo.
Jaiswal’s maiden ton came off 215 balls while Rohit took 220 balls as there was no purchase on the track but slowness did make stroke-making difficult.
It was not an easy proposition for batters like Rohit and Jaiswal, who love hitting through the line as the Windsor Park pitch got even slower on the day with most of the deliveries stopping and coming onto the bat.
The ball was gripping off the surface and till the giant Rahkeem Cornwall (0/22 in 11 overs) was bowling his off-breaks, scoring wasn’t easy but once he developed a niggle, the little sting that was there in West Indies’ bowling also vanished in thin air.
The Indians scored 66 in the first session but scored 99 runs in the second.
Jaiswal, who has hit 12 boundaries so far had only hit one in the morning session in addition to his six on first evening. In the post-lunch session, he struck another five hits to the fence.
His technique, especially back-foot play against slow bowlers like left-arm orthodox Jomel Warrican (1/66 in 23 overs) was commendable.
The West Indies pacers Alzarri Joseph (0/56 in 11 overs) and Kemar Roach (0/31 in 11 overs) were rendered ineffective due to lack of pace. Jaiswal pulled Joseph to complete his fifty with a four and his skipper flicked the same bowler over deep mid-wicket for a regal six.
Their centuries came off contrasting styles — Jaiswal tapping it behind square off Athanaze for a single while Rohit caressed a full toss through covers for a boundary.