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Jadeja, Ishant feed off deflated West Indies

WI v Ind, 1st Test, reaction

Hit For Six!

West Indies batsman Roston Chase admitted that India's lower-order partnerships sapped the energy out of the home side in the first Test in Antigua.

India, who were 25/3 at one stage, recovered through the efforts of No.5 Ajinkya Rahane, before all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja combined with the lower order to lift them from 207/7 to a challenging total of 297.

Jadeja, in the squad as the front-line spinner, brought up a measured half-century, adding 60 runs for the eighth wicket with Ishant Sharma and 29 for the last with Jasprit Bumrah on Friday, 23 August. West Indies, who got the wicket of Rishabh Pant early in the day, were slowly deflated.

"We got the early wicket we wanted, but we tried too hard," said Chase after the day's play. "Our energy went down a bit after the partnership built and Jadeja and Ishant played off that."

Jadeja, who brought up his 12th 50-plus score in Tests, said being positive with his shot selection helped him. "I was looking to build a partnership and focusing on playing with the tail-enders," he said. Ishant and he "were talking between the overs that we can play as long as possible. We looked to play one over at a time", he explained. 

"If [the tail] score runs, bowlers get irritated," he went on. "I was talking to Ishant and Bumrah, that we can play as long as possible. We knew that if we believe in our technique, we can apply in the middle."

Video cwc19 28 May 19
CWC19: Dishing the dirt – Ravindra Jadeja

India's decision to leave out the experienced off-spinner R Ashwin and bank on Jadeja's left-arm spin and Hanuma Vihari's part-time offies came as some surprise. While Jadeja insisted that brought no extra pressure on him, he was thrilled to have delivered.

"It feels good that the captain has faith in you and sees you as a main player," he said. "My confidence, too, goes up with that. Luckily I delivered."

While he had 1/58 after 16 overs, it was Ishant's 5/42 that reduced West Indies to 189/8 by stumps. Jadeja was all praise for his team-mate, especially for the two caught-and-bowled against his name, of Kraigg Brathwaite and Shimron Hetmyer. 

"If he hadn't held on to those catches, the situation would have been different," Jadeja said. "After bowling for so long, in such heat, to take those catches – that was the turning point."

Chase meanwhile, urged the batsmen to step up. "We need to knuckle down, with our top-order batting," he said. "We usually contribute well in the middle order. Our top-order needs to pull a little more weight and bring some scores to the table."

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