KINGSTON: Debutant Rahkeem Cornwall starred in both dismissals as India reached 72 for two at lunch on the opening day of the second and final Test of their series against the West Indies at Sabina Park on Friday.
Having wasted no time in putting the tourists in on a green-tinged pitch after winning the toss in sweltering conditions, captain Jason Holder brought himself into the attack after half-an-hour’s play and removed K.L. Rahul in his first over via a straightforward catch by Cornwall at first slip.
One of two newcomers to senior international cricket in the home side, the burly 26-year-old off-spinning all-rounder then enjoyed his first success with the ball when he extended Chesteshwar Pujara’s run of low scores in the series, the batsman being caught by Shamarh Brooks at backward-point for six off a miscued cut in Cornwall’s third over.
Indian captain Virat Kohli ensured there were no more alarms for his team in the morning session and will resume after the interval in partnership with Mayank Agarwal, the opening having negotiated the testing two hours in reaching an unbeaten 41.ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER AD
Cornwall replaced medium-pacer Miguel Cummins from the team thrashed by 318 runs inside four days in the first Test a week earlier in Antigua.
Shai Hope, who was drafted into wicketkeeping duties in that match due to injury to regular gloveman Shane Dowrich, failed a late fitness test on a damaged hand, allowing Jahmar Hamilton to become the first cricketer from the U.S. Virgin Islands to play at senior level for the West Indies.
India unsurprisingly retained the same team as they seek a clean sweep of all the completed international matches of this campaign and also a first-ever clean sweep of a Test series in the Caribbean.
There was a worrying moment before the start of play when former West Indies captain Vivian Richards had to be helped off the field and taken away for medical treatment when he seemed to fall ill.
Working as a commentator in the television coverage of the series, Richards appeared to be affected by the intense heat of the morning while involved in the pre-match coverage.
Medical officials confirmed the situation as a case of heatstroke for the legendary batsmen and it is understood that he is recovering well.
INDIA (1st innings): K.L. Rahul c Cornwall b Holder 13 M.A. Agarwal not out 41 C.A. Pujara c Brooks b Cornwall 6 V. Kohli not out 5 EXTRAS (LB-7) 7 TOTAL (for two wkts, 30 overs) 72 TO BAT: A.M. Rahane, G.H. Vihari, R.R. Pant, R.A. Jadeja, I. Sharma, Mohammed Shami, J.J. Bumrah FALL OF WKTS: 1-32, 2-46. BOWLING: Roach 8-3-12-0, Gabriel 3-0-20-0, Holder 8-5-7-1, Cornwall 9-3-20-1, Chase 2-0-6-0.
WEST INDIES: K.C. Brathwaite, J.D. Campbell, S.S.J. Brooks, D.M. Bravo, J.N. Hamilton, S.O. Hetmeyer, J.O. Holder, R.L. Chase, R.R.S. Cornwall, K.A.J. Roach, S.T. Gabriel. UMPIRES: R. Kettleborough (England), P. Reiffel (Australia). TV UMPIRE: R. Tucker (Australia). MATCH REFEREE: D. Boon (Australia).