BASSETERRE, St Kitts, CMC – West Indies left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican made a definite impression but India still gathered precious batting practice on the opening day of their two-day tour match against the WICB President’s XI here yesterday.
Playing at Warner Park, the tourists finished on 258 for three with Rohit Sharma (54 not out), Shikar Dhawan (51) and Lokesh Rahul (50) all cashing in with half-centuries while Cheteshwar Pujara stroked 34 and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, 22.
Warrican was the best bowler for the President’s XI with two for 61, claiming the wickets of captain Virat Kohli for 14 and Ajinkya Rahane for five.
He had the right-handed Kohli caught at the wicket by Shane Dowrich off one that straightened, and then removed Rahane eight overs later, bowled by a well flighted delivery which dipped late.
Warrican, who has played four Tests for West Indies since making his debut last October, said he was pleased with the outing especially in conditions which favoured batting.
“I think I bowled very well knowing that St Kitts [pitch] suits batting and India was off to a good start as well so to come and pull back [the scoring] and bowl economically and get two wickets was very important for the team,” Warrican said afterward.
He added: “[I was] being patient and consistent, knowing that you couldn’t blast out anyone on this wicket. So the key was to be patient and disciplined and just stick to the basics and that’s what I did.
“It was just like any other game against an international team, the batting is always strong so my aim was just to bowl wicket to wicket and be consistent … allow them to make the mistakes and that’s what I did.”
India got a great start from openers Rahul and Dhawan who stroked half-centuries before retiring. The left-handed Dhawan hit seven fours in a knock coming from 90 balls in 109 minutes while Rahul, a right-hander, struck five fours and a six off 99 deliveries in 2-1/4 hours at the crease.
The pair took India to lunch at 93 without loss with Dhawan retiring at the break, and Pujara then joined Rahul to push the scoring on following the resumption.
Rahul, unbeaten on 37 at lunch, raised his half-century about half-hour after the resumption before also retiring.
Kohli and Rahane fell in quick success to leave India on 166 for two at tea, with Pujara calling time on his innings during the break after facing 102 ball in nearly two hours and counting five fours.
The final session was dominated by Rohit who hammered eight fours and a six in an innings lasting 109 balls and just under 2-1/4 hours.
Today is the final day.