The India bowlers had a good day out on the field, after bowling the WICB President's XI out for a low score on day one of their tour match in St. Kitts on Thursday. In a sign of things to come, the spinners R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra led the way as Virat Kohli's men showed off their bowling chops, even if their batting left a lot to be desired.
Coming off a draw â€“ the only realistic possible result in a two-day match â€“ from their first tour game, when the batsmen did pretty well, particularly the top order, the Indians struggled this time around, with three of the top four falling before the score had even reached a hundred. India finished the opening day on 93/3 in 25.3 overs, after the WICB President's XI had been bowled out for 180 in 62.5 overs.
The pick of the bowlers for India were Ashwin and Jadeja, who scalped three wickets each. While Ashwin finished with figures of 19.5-5-62-3, Jadeja, like his offspinning teammate, playing his first match of the tour, had even better ones at 13-9-16-3. The form of the two spinners bodes well for India, considering they are likely to come up against slow pitches in the West Indies.
While Amit Mishra picked up a four-for in the first practice match, this performance from Ashwin and Jadeja showed, they are undoubtedly the first two choices in the playing XI. Mishra, though, was not too far behind, taking two for 45 from his ten overs.
Amongst the pacers, Mohammed Shami only bowled five overs, without picking up a wicket, while Shardul Thakur had double that workload, while taking a WICB President's XI wicket as well. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma did not bowl, while Stuart Binny did reasonably well, finishing with figures of 5-3-8-1.
In reply, the India batting could not find their mojo, as Murali Vijay (23, 40b, 3x4, 1x6), who was rested for the opening warmup game, Shikhar Dhawan (9, 25b, 2x4) and Cheteshwar Pujara (28, 44b, 2x4, 1x6), on the last ball of the day, all fell. KL Rahul (30 n.o., 45b, 5x4, 1x6) is still at the crease and will, most likely, be accompanied by the captain Virat Kohli when the players return for day two on Friday.