Georgetown: Speedster Javagal Srinath made an excellent debut on the West Indian soil, as India was off to a great start in the first Test here on Thursday. Srinath, playing his first Test in the West Indies, sent back all the three batsmen to be dismissed in the morning session of the opening day. His scalps included the prized wicket of Brian Lara, who was out for nought, as the West Indies, electing to bat, slumped to 44 for three by the 11th over.
Skipper Carl Hooper and Ramnaresh Sarwan then stemmed the rot with their unfinished 42-run partnership as the West Indies limped to 86 for three by lunch. Hooper, who survived a couple of chances, was batting on 21 while Sarwan was unbeaten on 27 with four hits to the fence. The opening session clearly belonged to Srinath who bowled an immaculate line and length and troubled the batsmen consistently. Pitching the ball up, Srinath was able to move it both ways and induced quite a number of edges.
The fact that he was driven for boundaries on a couple of occasions did not deter him and he maintained the same length to reap ample rewards. West Indies started with a flourish with openers Chris Gayle and Stuart Williams hitting 19 runs from the first two overs. Gayle took two boundaries off Srinath's first over and one more in the next over from Zaheer Khan.