India v West Indies: Umesh Yadav delivers but Windies show fight

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Umesh struck at crucial times for India. Image - BCCI/Twitter.

India made a strong start in the second Test against the West Indies at Hyderabad but it was the visitors who took the plaudits by the end of day one with a spirited fightback.

West Indies skipper Jason Holder won the toss and elected to bat first as India handed a Test debut to Shardul Thakur. The visitors were in trouble early on before a fine seventh-wicket stand resurrected their innings. Holder’s men at 295-7 when stumps were drawn on day one with middle order batsman Roston Chase unbeaten on 98.

At the end of an eventful day, we look at the talking points.


It was meant to be an occasion to savour for Thakur after the seamer was handed his India Test debut. The 26-year-old was picked in the playing XI after the team management opted to give pacer Mohammed Shami a rest.

Surprisingly picked ahead of Mohammed Siraj, Thakur’s dream debut lasted only 10 balls before he sustained a groin injury. After being attended to by the team physio, the seamer hobbled off the field before being taken to the hospital for scans.

“Shardul Thakur has gone for scans. He will not take the field today. An update on his participation for the rest of the Test will be taken after looking at the scans and after being assessed by the team management,” a statement from the team read.

Thakur had complained of soreness around his groin during the Asia Cup as well and his injury could now force the hosts to make do with only four specialist bowlers for the Test.


While it was Ravichandran Ashwin who provided India with the early breakthrough on day one, it was the two Yadavs who were the stars with the ball for the hosts.

Kuldeep Yadav continued from where he left off at Rajkot with another fine showing. The youngster trapped the dangerous Kraigg Brathwaite and Shimron Hetmyer lbw to put India ahead before accounting for Sunil Ambris with a googly.

While the spinners were at the forefront of India’s efforts, it was Umesh Yadav’s pace that provided them with three breakthroughs at crucial junctures. Just when the Windies seemed to have steadied the ship after the fall of the openers, the pacer’s skiddy delivery trapped the well-set Shai Hope plumb in front at the stroke of lunch.

In the second session, Shane Dowrich was looking good at the crease after getting off to a good start before some sharp reverse swing from Umesh trapped him on the pads.

Umesh then came to the party once again when India desperately needed it with the second new ball. The visitors were set to claim the honours for the day with a century-plus stand between Chase and Holder before Umesh struck. Those wickets tipped the scales back in India’s favour and ensured that there would be no wicketless session on day one.


A familiar script seemed to repeating itself for the West Indies after Ambris’ dismissal reduced them to 113-5. However, India’s hopes of wrapping up the visitors’ innings fairly quickly were dashed by Roston Chase and Holder. The former showed his batting prowess with a fine half-century in the first innings at Rajkot and he proved to be a thorn in India’s flesh again on Friday with a well controlled knock.

Chase was especially assured against India’s three-man spin attack and dealt with them in confident fashion through some excellent use of the feet. He found able support at the other end from the West Indies skipper as he brought up his seventh Test fifty and neared a fourth ton. Back from injury, Holder looked like he had never been away as he notched up his eighth half-century before the close of play.

The pair’s 104-run partnership frustrated the hosts’ bowlers no end and it was only broken in the final moments of the day as Holder suffered a brief lapse in concentration to be strangled down the leg-side for 52.

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