A career defining 7 wicket haul from Ravichandran Ashwin has seen India wrap up the 1st Test match against West Indies with a resounding victory. The hosts were bowled out for a paltry 231 in the 2nd innings on Day 4, handing Kohli’s men an-innings-and-92-run victory to start their tour. Marlon Samuels and Carlos Brathwaite were the only two half centurions from the West Indian side, while Devendra Bishoo’s gutsy 45 at No 10 made sure that the Indians had to work hard to clean up the tail.
Changed bowling line-up lends menacing look to Indian Test Team
The bowling unit has historically been the biggest liability for the Indian Test Team, especially outside the subcontinent. However, skipper Kohli’s policy of using 5 bowlers seems to have altered that perception somewhat. With three fit speedsters – Umesh, Ishant and Shami, the Indian bowling has looked ready to exploit the bouncy West Indian pitches to the best possible extent. Umesh and Shami picked up 8 wickets in the 1st innings, highlighting the damage that they can do while working in tandem. Presence of a reinvigorated Ashwin and the wily Amit Mishra lends considerable strength to the spin department, which had looked completely out of sorts just a couple of years ago in New Zealand and Australia.
Prospects of the 6-batsmen policy
Rohit Sharma seems to have been the casualty of this policy as he was left out of the playing XI in the 1st Test. However, his overseas Test record suggests that India might not have missed out on anything significant by keeping him on the sidelines. Instead, the use of the extra bowler has helped the visitors immensely during the course of the match. In the not-so-distant past, Indians were regularly seen struggling to pick up 20 wickets in a match, despite holding the upper hand every now and then. This was mainly because of the absence of a strategic 5th bowler in the team. It would, however, be too early to call the 6-batsmen-5-bowlers policy a successful one. The batting unit is yet to be sufficiently tested. And Wriddhiman Saha is a crucial peg of this strategy who must show his mettle with the bat in the days to come if India are to sustain this policy in the future.
West Indies v India 1st Test – Full Scorecard