India vs West Indies: A perfect mismatch
India won the first Test match against the West Indies pretty comprehensively by an innings and 272 runs. By no means, it was even close to a contest as the match got over inside 3 days. Obviously, India started as overwhelming favorites in this Test and the Test series as well but the Windies team should have at least showed a fight. In the whole game, the never showed a fight or even looked like a showing up a fight. They just looked clueless under pressure. Even R Ashwin was surprised by the lack of fight from the Windies team. To be honest, it was a perfect mismatch!
The Windies weren’t helped by the fact that their fast bowler Kemar Roach had to go home and even their captain Jason Holder got injured at the wrong time. Losing the toss didn’t help their cause either, but these can’t be excuses for such a huge loss. The Windies team management won’t be happy with such a performance. There are a lot of areas which their team needs to work on and they have a few days’ time to do it before the next Test.
India as always, was clinical at home. It was a perfect Test match for them as most of the batsmen scored runs and the bowlers took wickets. The only player to miss out was KL Rahul as he got out on a duck. He missed out on a golden opportunity as the conditions were in the favor of the batsmen.
Prithvi Shaw put up a show as he scored a century on his debut in no time. He never looked like a batsman on debut. His hundred set up the tone for the rest of the innings. He was at his attacking best. Pujara too in his company scored briskly. As usual Virat Kohli was amongst the runs. He is making a habit of piling on the runs. He has now scored 1000 Test runs in 3 consecutive years. Pant continued his good form from the final England Test as he played an entertaining innings. The star though was the local boy Ravindra Jadeja, who scored his maiden Test century at his home ground. He is slowly and steadily making a case for the first choice spinner ahead of Ashwin.
West Indies' bowlers couldn’t do much as they struggled throughout the innings. Devendra Bishoo who took the most number of wickets conceded over 200 runs. Even when Windies batted there weren’t a lot of noteworthy performances. Barring the fifties from Powell and Chase no other batsman spent much time at the crease. At times, even their approach wasn’t that great. They tried to attack their spinners even before getting settled. That approach didn’t work as they lost wickets at regular intervals. They will be hugely disappointed with their batting effort as they were effectively bowled out twice in a day.
On the other hand, India’s bowlers were absolutely brilliant. Ashwin in the 1st innings and Kuldeep in the 2nd spun a web around the Windies batsmen. Kuldeep Yadav became only the second bowler after Bhuvneshwar Kumar to take a five-wicket haul in all the three formats. The other bowlers chipped in with some important wickets.
Shami got two quick wickets at the start of the first innings whereas Jadeja ended the match by taking the last two wickets. This was India’s biggest win in terms of an innings and runs.
Looking ahead at the second Test, Windies will be hoping that their missing players come back. Kemar Roach with the new ball can be a dangerous bowler. If Jason Holder gets fit in time for the 2nd Test it will be a big boost for them. He is a great leader and more than a decent all-rounder. But the key will remain the young batsmen. The onus will be on the likes of Shai Hope and Kraigg Braithwaite to step up and score the big runs. They have the required ability, just need to apply themselves a bit better. Windies will be hoping to turn it around for the 2nd Test.
This test series is not giving India the ideal platform for the preparation of the Australian tour. The conditions and the opposition will be totally different as compared to what India is facing currently. Any cricket fan would like to see a contest rather than a one-sided game getting over in 3 days. Even the Indian cricket fans would like some sort of competition from the Windies side. They had a similar first Test against England in 2017, but they turned it around dramatically as they win the 2nd Test at Headingley. Windies will be hoping of repeating it again. It will be really difficult for them against the No.1 side in their home conditions. But for the time being even they can fight till the end, it would be great to watch!