In a display of aggressive batting, India made significant strides on the slow Queen’s Park Oval surface, scoring nearly five runs an over, after West Indies won the toss and opted to bowl. Yashasvi Jaiswal, who showcased remarkable restraint on his debut in Dominica, took a more attacking approach on the favorable Port-of-Spain track. Joining him was the experienced Rohit Sharma, who fearlessly pulled balls from wide lines and even those directed at his body, despite two fielders stationed deep on the leg-side boundary. At lunch on the opening day, India posted an impressive 121 without any loss in 26 overs, with Rohit standing unbeaten on 63 and Jaiswal on 52 not out.
West Indies came close to breaking the partnership when Jaiswal edged a delivery from Alzarri Joseph, but debutant Kirk McKenzie at gully couldn’t hold on to the chance when Jaiswal was just on 4. Later, at 52, Jaiswal offered another opportunity when Jason Holder induced an outside edge, only for Alick Athanaze at first slip to spill the catch.
Rohit Sharma, on the other hand, demonstrated a variety of pulls, utilizing the ample time afforded by the pitch. In one instance, he even short-arm jabbed a wide delivery from Joseph, sending it to deep square leg. Celebrating his half-century, Rohit showcased his class by pulling Roach for a six.
While Shannon Gabriel’s return to the playing XI in place of Rahkeem Cornwall failed to trouble India’s openers, West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite introduced Jomel Warrican, the left-arm fingerspinner, within the first ten overs. However, both Rohit and Jaiswal displayed their mastery against spin, scoring boundaries against Warrican to maintain their momentum.
Even with Holder’s disciplined bowling, West Indies struggled to make inroads in what marked the 100th Test match between the two teams. India’s dominant start sets the stage for an intriguing day of cricket at Queen’s Park Oval.