With his hair cropped close and glistening in the Jamaican sun, Praveen Kumar looked more menacing to West Indies batsman than their own spearhead Fidel Edwards, with double the pace,had appeared for the youngsters in the Indian ranks.
With the ball well preserved and shining on one side, the debutant seamer another grand display of swing bowling, an invaluable ability on an abrasive fourth day Sabina Park pitch that once used to leave the home crowd joyous and demanding more from their own hostile fast bowlers. Kumar did not pose the kind of threat of bodily harm to batsmen like Edwards did, but he further eroded any remaining confidence among the West Indies batsmen to push the number one ranked Test team towards a 1-0 lead in the three-match series despite missing some big names.
West Indies batsmen simply caved in on the fourth morning on Thursday, and once a cameo by number nine Ravi Rampaul (25, 11 balls) was ended by Ishant Sharma, India were a wicket away.
India clinched a 63-run win after the last wicket pair of Fidel Edwards (15 no) and Devendra Bishoo (26) held them at bay with a 39-run partnership that began seven deliveries before lunch and extended until 11 overs into the afternoon session. The hosts added 74 runs for the last two wickets to embarrass the top order batsmen.
It was the 15th win under MS Dhoni, making him the second most successful Indian Test captain, behind Sourav Ganguly (21). Kumar and Sharma took six wickets in the match, a splendid effort for the second string pace attack.