(Reuters) – Skipper Virat Kohli and right-hander Mayank Agarwal both struck patient half-centuries to help India reach 264 for five on the first day of the second test against West Indies in Kingston on Friday.
The tourists got off to a shaky start, losing two early wickets with opener Lokesh Rahul (13) the first to go after edging a Jason Holder delivery to West Indies debutant Rahkeem Cornwall at first slip.
Cheteshwar Pujara (6) was next, with spinner Cornwall claiming his first international wicket after the right-hander cut a shorter-length ball that skidded off the surface straight to Shamarh Brooks at point, leaving India at 46 for two.
India went in to lunch on 72 without losing further wickets, and had Agarwal on 41 and Kohli new at the crease on the green-tinged Kingston surface that offered little joy for the batsmen.
Both players kept their heads in the bowler-friendly conditions, taking few risks against the dangerous Holder, whose consistent length and subtle variations kept Agarwal (55) on the ropes.
Agarwal was given out caught behind off a Kemar Roach delivery on 53 and was reprieved on review after a chat with Kohli, but edged Holder to Cornwall in the slips in the next over to bring an end to his 69-run partnership with his skipper.
Kohli (76) played a conservative innings, taking 112 balls to reach his half-century and took his team in to tea at 157 for three with Ajinkya Rahane at the other end.
Rahane (24) did not last long after play resumed, edging Roach to wicketkeeper Jahmar Hamilton, another international debutant, leaving it to Kohli and Hanuma Vihari, who ended unbeaten on 42, to forge a fresh partnership.
Holder, however, had other ideas, and enticed the Indian skipper to drive at a ball that zipped off the surface and kissed his outside edge before carrying through to Hamilton, bringing their fifth-wicket stand to an end at 38 runs.
That brought Rishabh Pant to the crease and the left-hander cracked the only six of the innings before play ended. He will resume on 24 on Saturday.
The two-test series is part of the new World Test Championship which involves the nine top-ranked test nations competing in a league between July 2019 and April 2021.
India won the first test in Antigua by 318 runs.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair and Simon Jennings in Bengaluru/Editing by Toby Davis, Pritha Sarkar and Peter Rutherford)