After the first and second day produced its own heroes, it was Kuldeep Yadav’s turn to claim the third day to his name as he starred with a sensational five-wicket haul-his first in Test cricket as India romped to a comfortable victory over the West Indies by an innings and 272 runs at the Saurashtra Cricket Stadium in Rajkot on Saturday.
The left-arm chinaman bowler spun a web around the West Indies batting in their second effort to overhaul India’s first innings total of 649 and claimed five wickets which puts him in a list of bowlers to have achieved the feat in all free formats of the game.
In a young Test career so far, Yadav has made it alongside names like Tim Southee, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umar Gul and Imran Tahir. His five-for set the tone for India’s win with the visitors being bowled out for a paltry 181 in the first innings, with Roston Chase scoring 53 runs.
Shaw was awarded the Man-of-the-Match which also made him the sixth Indian to have achieved this feat in their debut Test match.
The visitors were always staring down the barrel, having been reduced to 94/6 at the end of the second day. The remaining four batsmen could add just 87 more runs before being shot out for 181.
Asked to follow on with a low morale and with no momentum whatsoever would have a difficult task for the West Indies any day and the effects of it were visible when they threw away a small 32-run opening stand in the eighth over with stand-in skipper Kraigg Brathwaite falling to Ravichandran Ashwin, to add to his tally of four scalps in the first innings.
With Shai Hope falling in the 19th over, a mini-collapse was triggered as the visitors lost their next two wickets in the space of 18 runs.
But it was the sheer resilience of opener Kieran Powell that was the only positive for the West Indies as the southpaw played a patient yet pacy 83-run innings of 93 balls with eight hits to the fence and four huge sixes.
But Yadav had the last laugh over Powell, had him caught at silly point after the ball got to break off the pitch.
That ended the West Indian resistance as they fell apart for just 196 runs-failing to cross 200 in both the innings. India the registered their biggest ever win in Test cricket.
Brief score: India 649/9 (Virat Kohli 139, Prithvi Shaw 134; Devendra Bishoo 4/217) beat West Indies 181(Roston chase 53, Keemo Paul 47; Ravichandran Ashwin 4/37) and 196 ( Kieran Powell 83, Roston Chase 20; Kuldeep Yadav 5/57) by an innings and 272 runs.
Image credit- Hindustan Times