Kingston (Jamaica): India witnessed a top-order collapse and were in dire straits, losing four wickets for 69 runs at lunch on the opening day of the first cricket Test against the West Indies on Monday.
Indian batsmen found it difficult to come to terms with a two-paced Sabina Park pitch on an extremely hot day as they lost both their openers -- young Murali Vijay (8) and debutant Abhinav Mukund (11) -- as well as middle-order mainstay VVS
Laxman (12) and another debutant Virat Kohli (4) in the 25.3 overs of the pre-lunch session.
But experienced Rahul Dravid (30 not out) was holding the fort for the visitors and has a lot of repair work to do in the remaining two sessions of the day.
Dravid unbeaten 30 came off 61 balls and was studded with five boundaries.
For West Indies, Ravi Rampaul picked up two wickets for 19 runs while leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo (1/2) and Fiedel Edwards (1/31) scalped a wicket each.
Electing to bat, India had a sloppy start to their innings as the home team tasted the first success as early as in the fourth over when Vijay drove one straight to Bishoo at point off Rampaul.
The ever-reliable Dravid looked rusty initially but later his footwork improved and he played several delightful strokes to promise a recovery in the afternoon, while Mukund was largely strokeless.
Mukund seemed to have a good judgment of his off-stump but looked ungainly while trying to play the short-pitched deliveries. His tendency to play away from his body proved costly when an inside edge off Rampaul took his leg-stump out
of the socket.
Laxman then joined Dravid at the score 30 for two after 11 overs as the visitors decided to hold back another debutant Virat Kohli from making his baptism in difficult conditions.
For Laxman, it was only the seventh time during his distinguished career when he batted at the number four position.
Laxman was distinctly lucky off his very first delivery from Darren Sammy, which he edged but the ball fell short of the first slip.
The stylish Hyderabadi batsman got another lifeline in the 20th over at the personal score of five when Rampaul dropped a difficult chance at mid-on off Edwards.
But Laxman`s luck ran out when Bishoo dismissed him with his first delivery.
Laxman was caught at the slip by Sammy as he went forward to a tossed up leg-break from Bishoo, which spun and took the edge.
New man in Kohli opened his account in Test in style as he flicked Edwards down to fine leg boundary.
But the West Indies pacer had his revenge in the next over when Kohli edged one to wicket-keeper Carlton Baugh to drew curtains on the first session of the day.
India: Mahendra Sigh Dhoni (c), Murali Vijay, Rahul Dravid, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, VVS Laxman, Abhinav Mukund, Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma, Praveen Kumar and Amit Mishra.
West Indies: Darren Sammy (c), Adrian Barath, Lendl Simmons, Darren Bravo, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Brendan Nash, Carlton Baugh, Fidel Edwards, Ravi Rampaul and Devendra Bishoo.
Umpires: Daryl Harper (Australia), Ian Gould (England).