An abandoned final day courtesy of some incessant rains meant that the second Test between India and the West Indies ended in a draw at Port of Spain on Monday. The Rohit Sharma-led Indian team registered a 1-0 series win, kicking off a fresh World Test Championship cycle with a dominating show in foreign conditions.
The visitors put up a strong first-innings performance with 438 runs on the board, thanks to Virat Kohli scoring his 30th Test hundred, skipper Rohit Sharma's explosive 80, half-centuries from Royals duo Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ravichandran Ashwin, and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. They followed it up with an impressive bowling display led by Mohammed Siraj, bundling out the Windies for 255. The innings saw Siraj notching figures of 5/60 - his best figures in Test cricket.
Yashasvi's dream debut
On the back of a career-best IPL season, 21-year-old Yashasvi Jaiswal earned a well-deserved place in the Indian Test squad and rightfully went on to make his debut in the first match. If there were any nerves at all, the youngster didn't let them deter him from being at his usual best with the bat. Before he took guard, only two other Indian openers had scored a century on their Test debut as an opener. With his score of 171, Yashasvi joined an elite list, becoming the third Indian opener to achieve this feat. For someone with a penchant for big hundreds and the thirst to excel in all formats, there couldn't have been a better way to kick-start his international career. Yashasvi didn't get a chance to bat again as India won the first Test by an innings and 141 runs but for his commanding century on debut, he was adjudged the Player of the Match.
"He has the talent, he has shown us in the past that he is ready. Came and batted sensibly. The temperament was also tested, at no stage he was panicking," an impressed captain Rohit said at the post-match conference.
The second Test brought with it another opportunity for the Royals batter to showcase his talent and continue his rich vein of form. Jaiswal didn't disappoint, as he racked up scores of 57 and 38 to put his team in a strong position to win the match. He also stitched a notable partnership record with skipper Rohit as the opening pair, batting together for the first time, inflicted damage on the home team. With 266 runs, Yashasvi Jaiswal finished as the leading run-scorer in the series.
India's newest opening pair is already record-breaking! 🔥🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/kljPIdzJfm— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) July 24, 2023
Cometh the hour, Cometh Ashwin
With 15 wickets in 2 matches, Ravichandran Ashwin ended up as the highest wicket-taker of the series. In the process, he broke a slew of other records, including a personal milestone of crossing 700 international wickets. With 712 scalps, Ashwin is now second on the list of Indian bowlers with the most international wickets, displacing Harbhajan Singh who has 707 wickets to his name. He also equalled Anil Kumble as the Indian bowler with the most 10-wicket hauls (80) and levelled with Malcolm Marshall for the most five-fors in India vs West Indies Tests (6). The Royals off-spinner continues to strengthen his position at the top of ICC Men's Test Player Rankings with 884 rating points.
Prep, practice and a looooot of patience makes our man number one in the world! 🇮🇳pic.twitter.com/YBz55LCRyl— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) July 13, 2023