Jadeja, bowlers put India in command of first Test

Rajkot: Indian bowlers rattled the West Indies first-innings reply after Ravindra Jadeja smashed his maiden international century as the hosts got a firm grip over the first Test on Friday.

The tourists were tottering at 94 for six at stumps, trailing India by 555 runs in their first innings on day two in Rajkot. Roston Chase, on 27, and Keemo Paul, on 13, were batting at close of play.

But it was the Indian batting that made the world’s top side so dominant as they posted their highest total against the West Indies after declaring on 649-9 at tea. Skipper Virat Kohli hit a landmark ton, top-scoring with 139.

Fast bowler Mohammed Shami then struck early to get the two West Indian openers back in the pavilion for seven runs including stand-in-skipper Kraigg Brathwaite for two.

But Jadeja remained the star of the day after making an unbeaten 100. The left-handed batsman stuck around with the lower-order to demolish a toothless West Indian attack.

“Obviously after nine years of international cricket I am scoring a hundred, so it is a special moment,” Jadeja, who made his international debut in 2009 and played his first Test in 2012, said.

“Whenever I reached 70-80 in the past I thought about my hundred, but threw my wicket away. I have made big hundreds in the domestic circuit, so I thought I can get hundreds in the international level too.”

Jadeja — playing his 38th Test — also got a wicket after sending back Sunil Ambris, who had scored 114 not out in his side’s only tour game last week, for 12.

The all-rounder though had a near-miss moment on the field when he playfully waited to run out Shimron Hetmyer who was scampering back to reach the non-striker’s end.

Jadeja though hit the stumps with the batsman well short of the crease but his teasing act tested the nerves of the Indian fielders including Kohli.

“Both batsmen were at the same end, so I thought I could easily hit the stumps. I was just walking at the stumps, and I didn’t think he (Hetmyer) will start running,” jadeja said with a smile.

“I can’t think what would have happened if I hadn’t hit the stumps, but then I threw it and luckily it hit the stumps.”

– Kohli behind Bradman –
Earlier Kohli became the quickest batsman to reach 24 Test centuries since the great Donald Bradman in the morning session.

Kohli put together 133 runs for the fifth wicket with overnight partner Rishabh Pant, who made a quickfire 92.

Kohli, who started on his overnight score of 72, got to his hundred in his 123rd innings with a boundary off leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo. Bradman took just 66 innings to achieve the same feat.

India rammed home the advantage after 18-year-old opener Prithvi Shaw made 134 on day one to become their youngest batsman to score a century on debut.

The left-handed wicketkeeper-batsman Pant brought the morning alive with his attacking cricket as he hit eight fours and four sixes during his 84-ball blitz to flatten West Indies.

[source_without_link]Agence France-Presse[/source_without_link]