The West Indies have made the most of a mostly poor performance on the first day at Delhi, reaching stumps on 256-5. The West Indies won the toss and batted, with India handing caps to a pair of spinners, Pragyan Ojha and Ravichandran Ashwin. The Windies didn’t start well, slipping to 45-2, but a solid 63 from opener Kraigg Brathwaite kept the innings together and an unbeaten 111 from Shivnarine Chanderpaul ensured they weren’t embarrassed.
I say the Windies made the most of a poor performance because only two of their batsmen passed 20 (Carlton Baugh is 19 not out overnight). That said, the Indian bowling attack did not look at it’s best. They only played two seamers, neither of whom looked particularly incisive. All five of the wickets went to the two debutant spinners, which looks more like a result of the West Indian batmen not having experience playing spin on the subcontinent. The fact that Chanderpaul looked untroubled for his century bears this out. He is an excellent player of spin, and unless the Indian bowlers improve he could be in for a very prolific series. He will need support though. He had an incredible series in England in 2007, but the Windies still lost 0-3. It’s not clear from where that support may come however and with the Indian top order back to full strength the West Indies will have to come up with something to stand a chance.