North Sound, Aug 23: Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane's powerful innings of 81 runs helped India finish at 203/6 at the Stumps of the rain affected Day one of first Test against Windies in ICC World Test Championship here at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua.
Rishabh Pant (20*) and Ravindra Jadeja (3*) were unbeaten at the crease when rain forced play to be called off early on Thursday. After India lost the toss, they were sent in to bat first on a pitch which had a tinge of green and wind blowing from one side of the ground. India were off to a poor start as Kemar Roach struck twice in the fifth over to remove opener Mayank Agarwal (5) and Cheteshwar Pujara (5) in the same over. Captain Virat Kohli also couldn't do much and walked back to the hut for 9.
India were struggling at 25 for 3 in 7.5 overs when Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane joined hands with KL Rahul in the middle. The two batsmen led India's fightback with a 68-run stand for the fourth wicket. Rahul hit five boundaries in his 97-ball 44 but was unfortunate to get caught down on the leg side when Roston Chase bowled a bad ball that did not deserve a wicket.
From there on, Rahane along with Hanuma Vihari showed great grit and determination against the Windies bowlers. Vihari made 32 from 56 balls before Kemar Roach got him out with a fine delivery. However, West Indies struck back in the Tea session to again put India in a bit of trouble. Rain came down in the 69th over to stop play. Rahane looked set for his first century in more than two years but he played an ugly shot to gift Shannon Gabriel his second wicket of the day.
After Rahane's wicket, India were certainly in a bit of trouble, reeling at 189 for six in the 60th over. However, Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja joined hands for the seventh wicket, batted sensibly before rain came down in the 69th over to stop play. Pant who looked fluent will be crucial to India's chances of posting a respectable total on the board on Day 2 of the ongoing Test.
For Windies, Kemar Roach (3 for 34) and Shanon Gabriel who bagged the big wickets of Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, were the pick of bowlers. UNI