NORTH SOUND: India took control of the first Test by taking three West Indies wickets after Ravindra Jadeja helped the visitors recover to 297 all out on day two here on Friday.
West Indies were struggling at 82 for three in their first innings at tea, trailing India by 215 runs. After scoring a fighting 58 off 112 balls, Jadeja removed debutant Shamarh Brooks (11) to leave the home team at 50 for three.
The left-arm spinner had Brooks caught at first slip after his attempted cut ricocheted off Rishabh Pant's thigh to fall into the safe hands of Ajinkya Rahane.
With the pitch flattening out, there was not much movement off the pitch or in the air but Indian bowlers kept things tight to maintain pressure on the batsmen. The other West Indies batsmen to be dismissed were openers Kraigg Brathwaite (14) and John Campbell (23), dismissed by Ishant Sharma and Mohammad Shami respectively.
Darren Bravo (18 batting off 26) and Roston Chase (10 batting off 26) provided the much-needed stability to the innings with a 32-run partnership for the fourth wicket.
Earlier, Jadeja and Ishant frustrated West Indies with a timely 60 run-stand for the eighth wicket, helping India reach 297 all out at the stroke of lunch.
Jadeja and Ishant (19 off 62) were able to negotiate the threat posed by the potent pace duo of Shannon Gabriel (3/71) and Kemar Roach (4/66) after losing Rishabh Pant (24) in the second over of the day.
Jadeja's innings comprised six fours and a maximum before he became the last man to be dismissed in the Indian innings, leading to lunch.
India resumed the day at 203 for six with Pant (20) and Jadeja being the overnight batsmen.
While Jadeja justified his inclusion in the playing XI ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin with a gritty effort, Pant could not deliver for the team.
Roach got his fourth wicket of the innings when he dismissed Pant with a beauty from around the wicket that moved away enough to get the edge of the young wicketkeeper-batsman.
Pant was guilty of playing the ball with hard hands as skipper Jason Holder took a regulation catch at second slip, leaving India at 207 for seven.
It seemed India's brittle tail will not put up much of a fight yet again, but Jadeja and Ishant batted sensibly in their 116-ball stand, defying the West Indian pacers.
While maturity was expected from Jadeja, Ishant impressed with the way he dealt with the express pace of Roach and Gabriel. He was not afraid to come on to the front foot and was equally comfortable at tackling the rising ball.
The lanky India pacer, whose highest score is 31, was finally dismissed in the 90th over, playing on to a full slower ball off Gabriel.
Shami joined Jadeja in the middle but his stay lasted only one ball as he offered a return catch to off-spinner Roston Chase.
Running out of partners, Jadeja showed urgency to collect some vital runs and brought up his 11th half-century with a slap to cover for four. The following ball, he swept Chase for a six over deep midwicket, giving the Indian innings a welcome flourish towards the end.
Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane had made a crucial 81 on the opening day to help India recover from a poor start.