India make early double blow

Ishant Sharma (Getty Images)
Ishant Sharma (Getty Images)

Port of Spain - India made two early strikes before threatening weather closed in to force an early lunch interval, with the West Indies at 62 for two on the opening day of the fourth and final Test at the Queen's Park Oval on Thursday.

The hosts' captain Jason Holder won the toss and chose to bat first in Trinidad.

Fast bowler Ishant Sharma removed Leon Johnson via a catch at forward short-leg by Rohit Sharma,while all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin breached the defence of Darren Bravo to bowl the left-hander.

Kraigg Brathwaite, who was missed at second slip by Indian captain Virat Kohli off Bhuvneshwar Kumar when on five, has nevertheless looked the most capable of the Caribbean batsmen on show so far, reaching an unbeaten 32 off 78 balls with five fours when the showers arrived.

He will resume in partnership with Marlon Samuels, who is unbeaten on four.

Holder looked to have made a bold decision in choosing to bat first given the heavy, overcast conditions, the quality of the Indian seam bowling and the vulnerability of the home side's top-order, which had already been exposed during the first three Test matches.

Seeking to avoid the visitors completing a 3-0 triumph, the West Indies made one change from the previous match in St Lucia with specialist leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo recalled to the side at the expense of tall fast bowler Alzarri Joseph, who made his debut in the third Test.

Needing victory to confirm their status as the top-ranked nation in Test cricket, India's selectors made an interesting decision in opting for an extra batsman instead of a fifth bowler for the first time in the series.

Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja, who only made his first appearance in the series a week earlier, was dropped to accommodate the return of phlegmatic middle-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara.

There was an additional adjustment to the batting line-up as Murali Vijay, ruled out of the last two Tests with a thumb injury, slotted back into the top of the order in place of the out-of-form Shikhar Dhawan.

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