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Rahul, Rahane Steady Ship; India's Top Order Collapse

22 August 2019


North Sound (Antigua): Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel tormented the top order before K.L. Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane steadied the ship to help India reach 68/3 at lunch in the opening Test here on Thursday.

India were reduced to 25/3 with Mayank Agarwal (5), Cheteshwar Pujara (2) and skipper Virat Kohli (9) bat in the hut early.At lunch, Rahul was batting on 37 while Rahane was on 10.

Roach (2/12) bowled a fiery spell to remove Agarwal who was caught behind with replays showing he had nicked the ball even as the umpire gave not out initially.

Pujara, India's rock at No.3, was undone by another Roach beauty as the ball moved marginally after hitting the deck to take the outside edge of the bat and fly to wicketkeeper Shai Hope.

Kohli hit two boundaries and raced to nine from 12 deliveries before Gabriel set him up with two bouncers to ruffle the ace batsman.In the third ball, Kohli picked out debutant AShamarh Brooks at gully trying to cut another bouncer over point region.

India, playing their first match of the World Test Championship, were in all sorts of trouble when vice-captain Rahane joined Rahul in the middle and the pair added 43 runs for the fourth wicket.

Rahul struck four boundaries and looked good while Rahane was all about graft, trying to hold one end together and avoid further damage.West Indies captain Jason Holder had won the toss and chose to field first after toss was delayed due to a passing shower.

India captain Virat Kohli said they would have batted anyway.India made no change to the team that played last seven months ago in Australia with R Ashwin losing out to Ravindra Jadeja in the spin department. Hanuma Vihari was chosen over Rohit Sharma.Brief scores: India 1st innings: 68/3 in 24 overs (KL Rahul 37 batting, Ajinkya Rahane 10 (Kemar Roach 2/12) vs West Indies