West Indies v India 235-9: Dynamic Bravo strikes to leave India on back foot

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The Independent Online

The repercussions of the preceding one-day series were evident on the opening day of the first Test at the Antigua Recreation Ground yesterday.

Buoyed by their upset 4-1 triumph in the shorter game, the resurgent West Indies contained India's unusually diffident batsmen to 235 for nine from the day's 90 overs.

In the last Test on the ground that has seen more batting records than any other in the Caribbean, including Brian Lara's 375 in 1994 and 400 not out in 2004, and with their decision to limit their attack to four authentic bowlers, India face a struggle to regain parity.

Batting on winning the toss, India lost opener Wasim Jaffer to Fidel Edwards in the third over and stuttered along for the remainder of the day, losing wickets every time a partnership was developing.

Batsmen kept edging catches, three each to wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin and Brian Lara at second slip, negating captain Rahul Dravid's diligent vigil for 49 that spanned four and a quarter hours and 173 balls.

Dwayne Bravo, the dynamic, 22-year-old all-rounder who has quickly become the West Indies' talisman, ended the day with four wickets for 38 from 20 overs. He was never played with any certainty.

Nor was Corey Collymore who had three for 21 from 17 overs. Both found more movement through the air and off the pitch than usual on the ground where the West Indies have totalled over 700 in their last two Test innings.

Dave Mohammed, the little left-arm wrist spinner in his first Test for two years, had only seven overs but made a decisive breakthrough, bowling left-hander Yuvraj Singh for 23.

Dravid was solid as ever in defence but he eventually fell to the third Collymore-Lara combination of the innings and it was left to the tailenders to carry the total past 200.