India recovered from a shaky start in Jamaica to establish control against West Indies - thanks in no small part to captain Virat Kohli.

Coming in at 46-2, Kohli helped to stabilise the India innings as he and opener Mayank Agarwal put on a crucial 69-run partnership for the third wicket.

Kohli went on to make 76 and Agarwal contributed 55 as India patiently amassed 264-5 by stumps.

The India skipper became the third of West Indies counterpart Jason Holder's three wickets when he finally departed, edging behind to debutant wicketkeeper Jahmar Hamilton, leaving the tourists on 202-5.

At that stage, the day could have still swung West Indies' way.

However, Hanuma Vihari (42 not out) and Rishabh Pant (27no) saw India safely to the close of play without any further damage.

West Indies debutant off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall made a promising start to his international career, taking the early wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara and claiming two catches off Holder's bowling.

He bowled 27 overs at a cost of 69 runs on a day when West Indies leant heavily on spin having elected to bowl first.

Kemar Roach picked up the other wicket to fall on Friday – the paceman had Ajinkya Rahane (24) caught behind by Hamilton, who stepped into the home XI to replace the injured Shai Hope behind the stumps.

India lead the two-match series 1-0 after a 318-run victory in the first Test at North Sound, Antigua.

 Windies interim coach Floyd Reifer believes it is crucial for the team to learn to dig deeper during its spells at the crease if they are to avoid a whitewash against world number one ranked India in the ongoing Test series.

The regional team found itself on the wrong end of a massive 318 runs defeat in the first Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.  The match, perhaps worryingly for the hosts featured and astounding second innings collapse that saw India pacer Jaspit Bumrah claim 5 for 7 as the team collapsed for 100.  On that occasion, the team’s top five batsmen combined for a total of 13 runs.

“We have to do a better job of understanding situations and fight harder through the tough spells. We have to help each other at the crease and dig deeper because this India side is a good one, so we have to improve in all areas, especially our batting,” said Reifer.

 “We have to keep working hard. We have to see off the new ball and build partnerships, and those guys that get starts have to go on to make hundreds. Once we score runs, it will put us in a position to win the game,” he added.

The Windies will play India in the second Test at Sabina Park on Friday.

Retired Windies pacer Fidel Edwards has extended his association with English County Cricket club Hampshire.

The 37-year-old pace bowler, who joined the club in 2015, recently signed another one-year contract, which will keep him at the Ageas Bowl until the end of 2020.  The player is coming off another strong season for the club after taking 47 wickets at an average of 23.55, including four five-wicket hauls, with three Championship fixtures remaining.

"I'm very pleased to have signed for my sixth season at Hampshire, which has become my second home," Edwards said. "Hopefully next year we can push on further and I'll be trying my best to help make it a successful season for the club."

Hampshire Director of Cricket Giles White believes the bowler will continue to be an excellent addition to the squad.

"Fidel has been fantastic for us since joining in 2015 and this year he's excelled once again. He's an important part of our squad and a great character to have in and around the group - we're delighted to welcome him back for another year."

Edwards played 55 Tests and 50 ODIs for the West Indies.

 

Windies skipper Jason Holder was adamant he had no issues with the team’s selection, despite a 318-run mauling at the hands of India in the first Test.

Ahead of the series, the omission of spinner Rahkeem Cornwall had furrowed the brows of several fans and pundits alike, following a string of impressive performances at the regional and A-team level.  Some took exception to the inclusion of pace bowler Miguel Cummings, at the expense of the all-rounder Cornwall who they believed could have troubled the Indian line-up.

Holder, however, insisted that there was no issue with the decision to include four fast bowlers in the team’s line-up, which had proven fruitful in a recent series.

 "No, I think team selection was good. We had won the first series early in this year with four fast bowlers and it worked for us,”

“It was difficult for me to change the winning bowling combination. It is a matter of time, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't."

West Indies will now face India in the second Test of the series at Sabina Park in Kingston from August 30.

Keemo Paul has returned to West Indies' squad for their second and final Test against India, though there is no place for Chris Gayle.

Windies all-rounder Paul was forced to sit out the first Test – which India won by 318 runs – due to an ankle injury but will be fit to feature at Sabina Park on Friday.

However, Gayle – who had performed a retirement U-turn earlier this year and insisted he wanted to play in the series against India – has not made the 13-man squad.

Paul has replaced Miguel Cummins, while Shane Dowrich has been ruled out of the rest of the second Test with an ankle problem.

The Windies were bowled out for 100 in their second innings in the first Test, Kemar Roach (38) their top scorer.

West Indies squad to face India in full: Jason Holder (captain), Kraigg Braithwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rakheem Cornwall, Jahmar Hamilton, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach.

Windies skipper Jason Holder had high praise for India pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who claimed a stunning five-for as the regional team barely got to 100 runs in its second innings against India on Sunday.

Bumrah took a damaging 5 wickets for just 7 runs, at one point leaving the Windies fighting to get to a half a century as the team struggled at 15 for 5.  In the end, 38 from tail-ender Kemar Roach did see the Windies dismissed for 100, still losing by a massive 318 runs.

 The Indian pacer was responsible for the dismissal of three of the team’s top-order batsmen, with Kraigg Brathwaite, John Campbell and Darren Bravo combining for 10 runs between them.

“Today Bumrah bowled some magic balls and he got few of our batsmen with some very good ball.  We have to find ways.  He is a quality bowler but definitely, there is a solution out there,” Holder said following the match.

Holder also had praise for Ishant Sharma and Mohammad Shami as they claimed 2 and 3 wickets, respectively.

"They bowled well.  Bumrah bowled an exceptional spell, Ishant was very supportive as well as Shami.  I just want those spells where the opposition gets on top and stays on top.  We have seen that happening around the world." 

 

Ajinkya Rahane's century was followed by Jasprit Bumrah's sensational five-for as India crushed West Indies by 318 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series.

Middle-order batsman Rahane turned an overnight 53 into 102 for a 10th Test century and a first three-figure score in five-day cricket since August 2017.

Hanuma Vihari fell seven runs shy of a first Test century as India declared on 343-7 in their second innings to set the Windies a daunting 419 target on day four at North Sound, Antigua.

It was a score they would never get close to threatening, the excellent Bumrah finishing with eye-watering figures of 5-7 from eight overs, while Ishant Sharma (3-31) also ripped through the order as West Indies were skittled for 100.

After slipping to 15-5 by tea, limited resistance arrived in the form of Kemar Roach (38) but the Windies were only delaying the inevitable.

The fourth day did not start particularly brightly for India as captain Virat Kohli failed to build on his overnight 51, an edge off Roston Chase taken by John Campbell at extra cover.

Rahane, who made 81 in the first innings, was rewarded for showing poise and patience, as his 102 came from 242 balls with five boundaries before a toe-ender off Shannon Gabriel to mid-off yielded an easy catch for Jason Holder.

Vihari was the aggressor in his century stand with Rahane, making 80 of their 135 runs, and India held off on the declaration until he gloved Holder behind.

The Windies had an arduous 40 minutes before tea, with Bumrah and Sharma wreaking havoc with the new ball.

Kraigg Brathwaite had already prodded Bumrah behind by the time the bowler emphatically knocked Campbell's stumps over when the opener attempted to drive him through the covers.

Sharma had Shamarh Brooks pinged leg before and also accounted for Shimron Hetmyer before Bumrah smashed Darren Bravo's off stump.

There was little reprieve in the final session as Bumrah completed his haul by adding the wickets of Shai Hope and Holder and, despite a last-wicket stand of 50 between Roach and Miguel Cummins (19no), India saw off the hosts with relative ease.

India built a commanding 260-run lead over West Indies with seven second-innings wickets still in hand at the close of play on the third day of the first Test.

Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane enjoyed an unbroken partnership of 104 for the fourth wicket at North Sound, with a successful chase for the Windies becoming increasingly improbable with each passing ball.

The hosts had been 189-8 at the start of play and quick Indian progress had them all out for 222, 75 runs short of the tourists' first-innings total.

That gave the India batsmen a platform to build from and, despite a minor wobble as wickets fell in consecutive overs in the second session, their advantage continued to steadily increase.

Kohli was on 51 and Rahane on 53 as the Windies struggled for crucial further breakthroughs, with India closing on 185-3.

The growing deficit was harsh on home captain Jason Holder, who at least battled bravely after returning to the crease on 10 on Saturday morning.

He made it to 39 before Mohammed Shami got India up and running for the day with an edge behind.

The innings swiftly closed as Miguel Cummins went to Ravindra Jadeja for a 45-ball duck, giving India a healthy lead.

Mayank Agarwal provided only minor improvement on his first knock of five as he departed lbw to Roston Chase for 16, although replays showed he would have survived had he ignored partner KL Rahul and reviewed.

Rahul (38) kept going and put on 43 with Cheteshwar Pujara (25) until, in a rare and brief swing of momentum, the duo surprisingly lost their wickets in quick succession to leave their side on 81-3.

Chase benefited from more questionable Rahul decision-making when an attempted sweep left middle stump exposed, before Kemar Roach went straight through Pujara.

Yet that only brought Kohli and Rahane to the crease and neither man appeared in any mood to deliver similar gifts, digging in and slowly but surely cranking up the score.

Rahane was fortunate to see Holder opt against reviewing a non-lbw call just before his half-century, but that was as testing as it got for India late in the day.

Ishant Sharma's five-wicket haul left West Indies facing a substantial first-innings deficit as India took control of the first Test on day two at North Sound.

Ravindra Jadeja (58) and Ishant (19) held up the Windies with valuable runs down the order at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Friday, getting the tourists up from 207-7 to 297 all out.

Kemar Roach (4-66) and Shannon Gabriel (3-71) had the top-ranked side in trouble before the tail wagged and India then exposed West Indies' batting deficiencies to take the upper hand in Antigua.

Ishant took 5-42 as Jason Holder's side collapsed to 189-8 at stumps - trailing by 108 runs - after losing five wickets in the final session, Roston Chase top scoring with 48.

Rishabh Pant fell in the third over of the day after India resumed on 203-6, edging the excellent Roach to Holder at second slip, but Jadeja and Ishant frustrated the Windies with an eighth-wicket stand of 60.

Ishant's stubborn resistance was ended when he was bowled by a slower yorker from paceman Gabriel for 19, but Jadeja brought up his 11th Test half-century by cutting Chase for four.

Mohammed Shami was caught and bowled by Chase (2-58) without scoring and Jadeja hit the spinner for a first six of the match over midwicket before edging Holder behind to bring the innings to an end.

John Campbell (23) was the first wicket to fall after putting on 36 for the first wicket with Kraigg Brathwaite, who ultimately went caught and bowled by Ishant.

The Windies also lost Shamarh Brooks for 11 before tea, Jadeja fortunate to get rid of the debutant after the ball clattered against Pant's thigh and looped up to Ajinkya Rahane.

West Indies were in trouble on 88-4 when Darren Bravo followed leg before to Jasprit Bumrah early in the evening session, but Chase and Shai Hope hung around for a while and got the scoreboard ticking.

Ishant then came to the fore, KL Rahul taking a fine catch at square leg to remove Chase (48) and Hope (24) edging through to Pant before the quick ended a promising knock from Shimron Hetmyer (35) and dismissed Roach in the same over.

Holder and Miguel Cummins were still there at the close, but it is very much advantage India heading into day three.

West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards believes veteran T20 player Kieron Pollard would make a better option for team captain than current skipper Carlos Brathwaite.

The 31-year-old Brathwaite was named captain of the squad in 2016, following the controversial dismal of World Cup-winning captain Darren Sammy and his heroics against England in the final.  The Barbadian has, however, struggled since taking charge of the unit, winning just 11 and losing 17 of his matches in charge of the team for a 36 percent win rate.

Despite being out of the squad for a couple of years, Pollard has continued to be one of the game’s most reliable players, recently returning to score 115 in a three-match series against India.  The Windies, however, lost the series 3-0.

“Given his experience in that format, I would have liked to see Kieron Pollard as the best choice for our T20 captain. But he is not, for there are some reasons for that. During the CPL, he is the best with the bat and his fielding talent,” Richards recently told the India Times.

“There is no disrespect to Carlos Brathwaite, but he probably would have been part of the team still. It was a political scenario after Darren Sammy exited the captaincy. Brathwaite is magnificent as an individual and highly competitive, but I know a lot of players in that team who believe Pollard would have been a great choice as captain.”

 

 

Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel got West Indies off to a promising start on a rain-affected day one of the Test series against India before Ajinkya Rahane steadied the ship with a half-century at North Sound.

Roach took 3-43 and fellow paceman Gabriel (2-49) also shone in Antigua, where the tourists recovered from 25-3 to 203-6 at stumps on Thursday.

Rahane made a patient 81 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium to rescue the top-ranked side, who left out spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and batsman Rohit Sharma.

KL Rahul chipped in with 44 on an opening day in which only 68.5 overs were bowled due to the weather, which brought play to a premature end.

India were in trouble on 7-2 after the lively Roach struck twice in the fifth over, snaring Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara caught behind with a hostile display of bowling with the new ball.

Gabriel then claimed the prized scalp of India captain Virat Kohli, who was taken by debutant Shamarh Brooks in the gully for just nine to leave the tourists deeper in the mire.

Rahul and Rahane prevented any further damage from being done before lunch, digging in as the Windies attack continued to probe.

Rahul hung in there following an edgy start and Miguel Cummins was unable to cling on to a difficult chance to see the back of Rahane, who drove with increasing assurance.

Roston Chase (1-42) ended a fourth-wicket stand of 68 by getting Rahul caught behind down the leg side and India were 134-4 when tea was taken early due to rain.

Hanuma Vihari, playing in only his fifth Test, struck five boundaries in his 32 before edging Roach behind and Rahane missed out on a century when he chopped on attempting to punch Gabriel through the off side.

Rishabh Pant was unbeaten on 20 and Ravindra Jadeja dug in for three before stumps were called after the rain returned.

West Indies will be without all-rounder Keemo Paul for the first Test against India, with Miguel Cummins called up as his replacement.

Paul has been ruled out with an injury to his left ankle and the 21-year-old will remain in Antigua to continue his rehabilitation.

Experienced Cummins, who made his Test debut in a series against India three years ago, taking a career-best 6-48 in the second innings of the second match, features in the 13-man squad in Paul's absence.

"With Keemo ruled out for this match, it’s good to have someone with Miguel's quality back in the squad, as he brings experience to the team," Windies interim head coach Floyd Reifer said.

"Watching him in the last A Team series against India A and the training sessions his lengths have improved. He's a very hard worker and a wicket-taker. I'm sure, if given the opportunity to play, he will make a valuable contribution in our bid to win this series."

The Windies have not won a Test series against India since 2002 and are winless in the past 21 Tests between the teams.

India head into the two-match series, which begins on Thursday, having won three Twenty20s and two ODIs throughout their tour so far.

Fast bowler Miguel Cummins will replace an injured Keemo Paul in the West Indies squad selected for the first Test against India in Antigua from August 22-26.

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