India asserted their dominance on Day 2 of the first Test against West Indies in Roseau, reaching 312/2 in their first innings while taking a 162-run lead. Debutant opener Yashasvi Jaiswal and captain Rohit Sharma both smashed centuries. Young Jaiswal was impressive with his maiden century coming off 215 balls, while Sharma compiled his 10th Test hundred off 220 balls. India had bowled out the hosts for a mere 150 runs on the opening day, thanks to an exceptional performance by off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who who returned figures of 5/60.
At the end of the second day’s play at Windsor Park, Jaiswal remained unbeaten on 143, accompanied by Virat Kohli, who remained unbeaten on 36. Despite West Indies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite using nine bowlers, they could only dismiss two Indian batsmen as Jaiswal and Sharma held their ground. India’ dominated the second day, as they achieved the unique feat of taking a first-innings lead without losing a wicket in Test cricket. However, the West Indies struck back by claiming two wickets in the final 15 minutes before the tea break.
Jaiswal and Sharma’s partnership of 229 runs not only saw them score centuries but also marked India’s first-ever 200 plus opening partnership against the West Indies in Tests.
Jaiswal displayed control and composure throughout his innings, showcasing his attacking shots, both conventional and unconventional. Even when faced with testing deliveries, the left-handed opener remained undeterred. On day one, it took him 16 balls to get off the mark with an impressive upper-cut for four. On day two, he demonstrated patience against the spinners, leaving deliveries and showing resilience despite close calls on the edges of the bat.
After starting off slowly, Rohit chipped a Jason Holder delivery over the bowler’s head for a boundary. Jaiswal found his rhythm by executing late drives and cuts, earning two boundaries in quick succession.
Despite Jomel Warrican’s change in angle to round the wicket, Jaiswal remained unfazed and made room to drive the ball past mid-off for another four. He comfortably pulled off Alzarri Joseph for yet another boundary. Sharma, on the other hand, edged a delivery from Kemar Roach for a boundary.
In a memorable moment for Jaiswal, he reached his debut Test century with a sweep shot past fine leg off the part-time spin of debutant Alick Athanaze in the 70th over. The joy on his face and a respectful bow acknowledged the significance of this unforgettable day in his cricketing career.
Following his century, Jaiswal continued to display his prowess by driving Roach behind point for another four. Meanwhile, Sharma achieved his milestone by skillfully drilling an Athanaze full toss through cover for four. However, on the next ball, Sharma’s defense was undone by extra bounce, resulting in a catch by wicketkeeper Joshua da Silva off Athanaze’s bowling. Sharma departed for 103, granting Athanaze his first Test wicket.
Shubman Gill contributed with a well-executed sweep shot for four off Warrican before falling victim to a turning delivery that took the outside edge of his defensive shot, resulting in a catch at second slip. Gill departed for six, leaving Jaiswal and Kohli to guide India safely to the tea break.
Jaiswal 17th Indian player to hit ton on Test debut
Yashasvi Jaiswal’s century on Test debut placed him in an elite group of Indian cricketers. He became the 17th player form India to achieve this feat, with the last player being Shreyas Iyer in 2021 against New Zealand in Kanpur. Coincidentally, Jaiswal’s opening partner, Rohit Sharma, also scored a Test century on debut against the West Indies in 2013.
Jaiswal’s century holds special significance as he is only the seventh Indian batsman and the first in 13 years to score a Test hundred on debut away from home. The previous instance was when Suresh Raina scored 120 against Sri Lanka in 2010. Interestingly, the last three Indian players to achieve this milestone, Rohit Sharma, Prithvi Shaw, and now Yashasvi Jaiswal, are all from Mumbai.
The youngster has only played 15 first-class games in his career prior to this Test, but has shown remarkable talent, averaging over 80 with nine centuries. His mammoth 265-run knock in the second innings of the Duleep Trophy final last year further highlights his potential as a batsman.