Team India had a blazing start to their 2023-25 cycle of the World Test Championship (WTC). They kicked it off with the first Test of their Caribbean tour and came out as winners with a massive margin of an innings and 141 runs. The hosts elected to bat first on a surface that deteriorated as the game went on. Helped by a valiant knock of 47 off 99 by debutant Alick Athanaze, the West Indies could only score 150 runs in the first innings.
The Windies batters had no answers for India’s spin twins Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. While Ashwin scalped five wickets in the first innings, Jadeja bagged three. In reply, India flew high in their batting turn, debutant Yashasvi Jaiswal was the star with 171 off 387. At the same time, skipper Rohit Sharma’s century and Virat Kohli’s half-century boosted the team score to 421/5 at the time of the declaration. India enjoyed a lead of 271 runs as Ashwin and Jadeja led the carnage and bowled the Windies out for 130 runs.
‘The proposal came from Shubman’s end’ – Vikram Rathour
However, India’s star batter Shubman Gill who experimented with a new position in his international career, batting at No 3 in the first Test failed miserably. Notably, he has played most of his domestic cricket for Punjab and India A in the No 3 or 4 positions in the longest format. After the game, India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour supplied his verdict backing Shubman Gill.
He said at a press conference, “Three openers were supposed to play, so one had to go at No. 3 and the proposal came from Shubman’s end as his rationale was that he had played all his cricket for Punjab and India A at either No. 3 or 4 and that’s his real slot in longer format is that.”
“We can’t judge him on the basis of one innings. He has a lot of time. He has the technique and temperament to play time if required and can also play an attacking game when a move-on is needed. He can move the game forward. That is what we need at No. 3 as it can be advantageous,” Rathour added.