Days after being chosen for the Arjuna Award, Ravindra Jadeja played a matured knock of 58 and then took a wicket as India reduced West Indies to 82/3 after posting 297 in the first innings, on Day 2 of the first Test here on Friday.
West Indies trail India by 215 runs. All-rounder Jadeja, who was batting on 3 at close of play on the first day with Rishabh Pant (20), took 112 balls for his 58 which was studded with six fours and a six as he took the visitors to a competitive first innings score which looked distant after eight overs in the first session of Day 1.
For the hosts, openers John Campbell and Kraigg Brathwaite got off to decent start before the former was clean-bowled by a searing Mohammed Shami yorker as he struck in his first over.
Brathwaite and debutant Shamarh Brooks hung around for sometime not adding much to the total.
Brathwaite drilled one back to Ishant Sharma who took a lovely reflex catch off his own bowling to dismiss the opener for 14 off 51 balls.Just before tea, Jadeja had Brooks (11) lob one to Ajinkya Rahane at first slip off wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant’s leg.
At the break, Darren Bravo was batting on 18 with Roston Chase on 10. Earlier, Kemar Roach was the pick of the bowlers for the Windies taking four wickets and giving away 66 runs. Shannon Gabriel also returned impressive figures of 3/71.
India were 25/3 with Cheteshwar Pujara (2) and captain Virat Kohli (9) back in the hut before Vice Captain Ajinkya Rahane (81 off 163 balls; 10×4) steadied the ship with Hanuma Vihari (32) for company.
But both batsmen were dismissed before stumps on Day 1, leaving young stumper Pant to do the recovery job with Jadeja.
Pant was out early on the second day for 24, taken at second slip by Jason Holder off Roach’s bowling. Jadeja, who brought up his 11th test fifty, was rock solid at one end pacing his innings to perfection and playing responsibly.
Ishant (19) gave him company for a while before he was gone and Shami was removed off the first ball by Roston Chase, caught and bowled.
Jadeja then hit Chase for a four through sweeper cover’s right to bring up his half century much to the delight of Kohli who was seen applauding from the stands.
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He smashed a six off the very next ball but could not take his team past the 300-run mark as a Holder bouncer undid him as he tried to hook the ball but it top-edged to wicketkeeper Shai Hope.
West Indies won the toss and chose to field first at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound on Thursday.
Brief scores: India 297 (Rahane 81, Jadeja 58, Rahul 44, Roach 4/66); West Indies 82/3 (Darren Bravo 18, Roston Chase 10)