Ishant Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin delivered early blows to West Indies in the opening day of the fourth Test match at the Port of Spain on Thursday. West Indies won the toss and decided to bat first, where they ended up being caught at a precarious position with 62/2 in 22 overs.
Brief Scores: West Indies 62/2 in 22 overs (Kraigg Brathwaite 32(72)*; Ishant Sharma 1/5)
Virat Kohli lost his third consecutive toss as West Indies opted to bat first on a wicket which is expected to provide assistance to the spinners. West Indies made one change to their lineup with Devendra Bishoo replacing Alzarri Joseph. Kohli, on the other hand, moved away from his 5-bowler strategy and dropped Ravindra Jadeja for Cheteshwar Pujara. Murali Vijay meanwhile replaced Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, as expected, extracted a lot of swing with the new ball, with the batsmen looking uncomfortable against him. On the other hand, Mohammed Shami was wayward, especially, with his length. The home side went off to a decent start with Brathwaite looking in good touch. The opening pair put on 31 runs before Ishant Sharma drew first blood for India in his first delivery of the match. The pacer started with a short of the length delivery and it rose to the rib cage of Leon Johnson, who could only fend it off towards short leg where Rohit Sharma took a diving catch.
Kohli brought Ravichandran Ashwin into the action in the 13th over, and the spinner was hit for two boundaries in his opening nine deliveries, the second of which arrived when Darren Bravo danced down the track and lofted one over mid-on for four runs. However, Ashwin responded immediately with a dream delivery.
Ashwin delivered a full-length ball which drifted and turned into towards Bravo. The ball landed on the middle stump, before spinning past Bravo’s defence and dislodging the off stump. At 48/2, West Indies were tottering in the middle, before they were saved by the rain. After the end of the 22nd over, the rain stopped play, and, eventually, play was called off for the day.
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