West Indies v India, 2016
Wisden's review of the first Test, West Indies v India, 2016
At North Sound, Antigua, July 21-24, 2016. India won by an innings and 92 runs. Toss:India. Test debut: R. L. Chase.India have traditionally failed to get going at the start of a tour, when conditions are still alien. But this time they hit the ground running, and coasted to a thumping victory. It helped that Kohli won a crucial toss, allowing his batsmen to bed down while the pitch was at its best.
Dhawan, under pressure for his place, weathered a sharp early burst from Gabriel, then feasted on the rest of an insipid attack. He missed out on a hundred, failing to connect with a sweep at Bishoo, and the other batsmen were tied down. But Kohli had no such problems: he toyed with the bowling after reaching his 12th Test century, mixing confident straight-drives with assured hits through cover.
Bishoo winkled out two more wickets with long hops, but Kohli found an able ally in Ashwin, promoted to No. 6 for the first time to enable India to play an extra bowler.By the end of the first day, Kohli - who had spent the eve of the Test chatting to Viv Richards, at the stadium that bears his name - had reached 143, and Ashwin had got his eye in. Next day Kohli motored to his maiden first-class double-century, and dropped to the ground to kiss the turf.
Almost immediately, he chopped Gabriel into his stumps. But Ashwin was not about to give his wicket away and, with a little help from the lower order,brought up his third Test hundred. Batting may be the second string to his bow, but the time he spent in the middle gave him valuable insight into how the pitch might play when it was his turn to bowl. After India allowed themselves the rare luxury of an overseas declaration, at 566 for eight, West Indies' initial response was anything but promising. Kraigg Brathwaite show edit was possible to occupy the crease, even if runs did not come at a fast clip, but none of his top-order colleagues displayed the determination, technique or appetite required to resist a disciplined attack.
Mohammed Shami, returning to Test cricket after a knee injury had kept him out for a year, was excellent with new ball and old, picking up four wickets as West Indies stumbled to 243; they got that far only thanks to a maiden fifty from Dowrich (playing his third Test but keeping for the first time), who put on 69 for the eighth wicket with Holder. India led by 323, but Kohli resisted the temptation to bat, feeling his bowlers were fresh enough to get stuck in again. It meant West Indies followed on in a home Test for the first time in ten years.
The fast men had done the hard yards in the first innings, but spin came to the fore in the second. Ashwin ran amok with his perfectly flighted off-spin, but the West Indians seemed to have even less stomach for a battle, slipping to 132 for eight before Carlos Brathwaite and Bishoo showed some gumption. But it wasn't enough to deny India their first innings victory in the Caribbean, and their biggest win anywhere outside Asia. Ashwin finished with his fourth seven-for in Tests, but his first abroad - which, allied to his century, made the match award a simple task.
Man of the Match:R. Ashwin
Man of the Match:R. Ashwin