GROS-ISLET - Debutant fast bowler Alzarri Joseph claimed Indian captain Virat Kohli as a prized first Test wicket with the West Indies restricting the tourists to 87 for three at lunch on the opening day of the third Test in St Lucia on Tuesday. Fresh from a century in his comeback Test match a week earlier in Jamaica, opening batsman Lokesh Rahul counter-attacked with an even 50 on a helpful pitch after the fast bowlers made early inroads in reducing India to 19 for two by the sixth over.

But he fell to Roston Chase's off-spin just before the interval to break a 58-run partnership with Ajinkya Rahane at the Darren Sammy National Stadium. Rahane resumes in the afternoon with Rohit Sharma as his partner, the established middle-order batsman playing his first match of the series at the expense of Cheteshwar Pujara in one of three changes to the Indian team that was held to a draw in Kingston following an innings victory in the first Test in Antigua.

Challenged by the extra pace and bounce offered by the first day pitch, Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan struggled to cope with the early hostility of Gabriel and Joseph, the 19-year-old who emerged as the star of the regional side's triumph at the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh last February. Dhawan gloved a lifting delivery from Gabriel to be caught down the leg-side by wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich and then Joseph made the vital breakthrough in just his third over in Test cricket, steepling bounce proving too difficult for Kohli to negotiate as he fended a catch to Darren Bravo at first slip.

Rahul and Rahane opted to play positively in seeking to steady the Indian innings and their tactics proved successful as the runs flowed at better than four runs per over, prompting West Indies captain Jason Holder to ring the changes. Miguel Cummins, the fourth seamer in the line-up, proved ineffective while Holder was at his most economical without producing the wicket-taking delivery.

However it was Chase who separated the third-wicket pair. Having just reached the half-century mark with six fours off 65 balls, Rahul attempted to turn a delivery to the leg-side where Kraigg Brathwaite dived forward from short fine-leg to come up with the catch. Chase was the hero for the West Indies in the previous match, taking five wickets in India's only innings and leading the last day recovery with an unbeaten century to become just the fourth West Indian and first since Garfield Sobers in 1966 to accomplish the all-round feat.

Needing to win the series 3-0 to displace Australia at the top of the international rankings, India have also omitted leg-spinner Amit Mishra and fast bowler Umesh Yadav in preference for left-arm orthodox slow bowler Ravindra Jadeja and seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Apart from introducing Joseph to Test cricket, the West Indies drafted in Leon Johnson at the top of the order for his first match in 19 months in place of the out-of-form Rajendra Chandrika.



L Rahul c Brathwaite b Chase 50

S Dhawan c Dowrich b Gabriel 1

V Kohli c Bravo b Joseph 3

A Rahane not out 17

R Sharma not out 9

EXTRAS: (b4, lb1, w1, nb1) 7

TOTAL: (3 wkts, 23 overs) 87

FOW: 1-9, 2-19, 3-77

BOWLING: S. Gabriel 7-0-33-1 (1nb), A. Joseph 5-1-15-1, M. Cummins 4-0-22-0 (1w), J. Holder 4-2-6-0, R. Chase 3-1-6-1

TOSS: West Indies

UMPIRES: Nigel Llong (ENG), Rod Tucker (AUS)

TV UMPIRE: Gregory Brathwaite (WIS)

MATCH REFEREE: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)