Mayank Agarwal slammed a fifty along with Virat Kohli but he admitted that the wicket was assisting the West Indies pacers. (Image credit: ICC Twitter)
The Indian cricket team were inserted into bat on a green and seaming wicket during the second Test at Sabina Park in Kingston. KL Rahul and Cheteshwar Pujara fell cheaply and it was once again left to Mayank Agarwal and Virat Kohli to steady the innings. Agarwal notched up his third fifty while Kohli continued his good form with a magnificent 76 as they stitched a 69-run stand to bail India out of trouble. Hanuma Vihari and Rishabh Pant extended India's advantage as they ended the first day on 264/5.
Speaking after the end of the day's play, Agarwal said the effort of the batsmen on the seaming wicket was brilliant. "Conditions were challenging. I thought the first session - the ball was doing a bit. Kemar Roach and (Jason) Holder bowled great areas. It wasn't easy - there was a lot of moisture and the ball was doing a bit. We are in a great position. To have just lost five wickets on a track like that was a good effort from our side," Agarwal said.
The match was notable for the debut of the six feet five inch tall and 140 kg bowler Rakheem Cornwall. Out of the 90 overs bowled, Cornwall delivered 27 overs and bowled consistently to take the wicket of Pujara for 6. Agarwal praised the efforts of Cornwall.
"Rakheem is very, very (consistent), he forms good clusters and he keeps bowling those areas, keeps bowling those areas. I thought it wasn't very easy to score off him. We took our time and it was very important for Virat and me to actually get a partnership going and it was important that one of us went on to score big. He definitely gets a lot more bounce compared to many other spinners. He just keeps hitting those lengths," Agarwal said.
The conditions got better for batsmen as the day progressed. "I can say it got a little better to bat on after the first session - the wicket got a lot harder as the sun beat down - the wicket lost some of its moisture. It just kept getting a little better to bat on, but I think credit must be given to the West Indian bowlers, especially Roach and Holder - they kept coming and kept coming and kept bowling tight lines," he said.