Match Report: 4th Test: Day 1: West Indies vs India at Port of Spain, August 18-22, 2016
The match had begun after a half-hour delay as the umpires were not happy with some wet spots in the ground. It was supposed to be an extended session but rain cut it short.Kraigg Brathwaite was on 32 and Marlon Samuels on 4. Ishant Sharma gave India the first breakthrough off his first delivery . He had Leon Johnson caught at forward shortleg with a snorter which rose steeply from just short of good length and caught the batsman defenceless.
Ravichandran Ashwin then spun one across the face of Darren Bravo’s bat to castle him as India looked to grab the initiative.Brathwaite, though, once again resisted the Indians with his stout defence and an occasional boundary . He also got a life when at four when Kohli could not hold on to a snick off Bhuvneshwar Kumar at second slip.
As expected, Bhuvneshwar swung the ball both ways in the early overs and beat Brathwaite more than once. Mohammad Shami and Ishant did not bend the ball much but bowled a good line to keep the batsmen on their toes. India made two changes in the team, dropping Shikhar Dhawan and Ravindra Jadeja to bring in Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara. The Queen’s Park Oval pitch has a reputation of aiding spinner, especially from the third day onwards.
In his pitch report, Jeff Dujon too said that the pitch would spin from very early in the game on even if it would be slow spin.West Indies thought that there was something in the strip for the spinners, hence bringing in leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo in place of pacer Alzarri Joseph.
It was then surprising that Jadeja was dropped and India opted for the safety of six batsmen. This was going back on Kohli’s aggressive five-bowler theory despite having already won the series.