RAJKOT, India: Spinner Kuldeep Yadav starred in India´s biggest-ever Test triumph as they thrashed the West Indies by an innings and 272 runs inside three days in the opening match on Saturday.
The tourists were dismissed for 196 early in the final session while following on, to trail the two-match series 1-0. They were bowled out for 181 in their first innings in response to India´s 649-9 declared.
Kuldeep returned figures of 5-57 with his left-arm wrist spin, his first five-for in just his fourth Test since making his debut against Australia last year.
Ravindra Jadeja, who scored his maiden international century during India´s only innings, took the final wicket of Shannon Gabriel for four as the hosts celebrated an utterly dominant win over the former cricketing powerhouse.
The world´s top Test side surpassed their previous biggest win against Afghanistan by an innings and 262 runs during the minnows´ debut five-day game in June.
The match started with teenage opener Prithvi Shaw making 134 on day one to become the youngest Indian to score a century on debut, at 18 years of age.
Shaw, who is already being compared to Sachin Tendulkar, was adjudged the man of the match for his 154-ball stay laced with 19 fours.
Skipper Virat Kohli, who also scored a landmark century in India´s only innings, was happy with the team´s “clinical” showing and praised Shaw for his quality batting.
“Playing his first game, seeing him dominate — the guy showed he is different quality. That´s why he´s been pushed to the Test team,” Kohli said after the win.
“Jaddu (Jadeja) as well — he has got important runs for us before and we wanted him to get three figures. We believe he can turn matches for us,” said Kohli.
Kuldeep led an inspired spin attack with Jadeja claiming three wickets and Ravichandran Ashwin taking two.
Opener Kieran Powell fought a lonely battle to score 83 runs before becoming Kuldeep´s fifth victim in another disappointing batting show by the Caribbean side.
Ashwin, who returned figures of 4-37 in West Indies´ first innings, had sent back stand-in skipper Kraigg Brathwaite for 10 before lunch and then got Devendra Bishoo at the stroke of tea.
The 23-year-old Kuldeep then rattled the West Indies´ top and middle order including big wickets of Powell, Sunil Ambris for nought and Roston Chase, who had top-scored for West Indies in the first innings with his gritty 53.
The match will also be remembered for Kohli´s 139 during which the world´s top batsman became the quickest to reach 24 Test centuries after the great Donald Bradman.
Kohli got to his hundred in his 123rd innings with a boundary off leg-spinner Bishoo. Bradman took just 66 innings to achieve the same feat.
“Not the best of starts, credit to India. They showed us how to bat,” a disappointed Brathwaite said after the loss.
“Didn´t get enough partnerships as a batting unit. Two or three partnerships would hold us very well,” added Brathwaite, who stood in as captain after Jason Holder was ruled out on the morning of the match due to an ankle injury.
Brathwaite said he was not sure if Holder will be fit for the next game.
The second match is scheduled in Hyderabad starting October 12.