Suresh Raina and Harbajan Singh save India's blushes

First Test, Kingston (day one):
India 246, West Indies 34-1
Suresh Raina hits leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo
Suresh Raina's elegant 115-ball innings included 15 boundaries at Sabina Park

An enterprising 146-run partnership between Harbhajan Singh and Suresh Raina spared India's blushes on day one of the first Test against West Indies.

The tourists were close to collapse at 85-6 when the seventh-wicket duo counterattacked before Harbhajan (70) was dismissed by Fidel Edwards (4-56).

Raina (80) fell soon after but India made 246, while Devendra Bishoo and Ravi Rampaul each took three wickets.

West Indies lost opener Lendl Simmons to end the day on 34-1.

They trail the world's number one Test side by 212 runs and have the potential to build an effective first-innings lead after a satisfying opening day in the field in Jamaica.

Buoyed by their 3-2 one-day series victory with an experimental team, the tourists, bolstered by the return of captain Mahendra Dhoni, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, gave Virat Kohli his Test debut alongside opener Abinhav Mukund, a left-hander fresh from an abundant first-class season with Tamil Nadu.

Fidel Edwards celebrates a wicket
Fidel Edwards made his first Test appearance in more than two years

Captain Dhoni elected to bat on a surface hinting at moisture and assistance for the quicker bowlers, acknowledged by West Indies captain Darren Sammy, who said he would have bowled first had he won the toss.

And his seamers made immediate inroads into India's top order as Rampaul dispatched Murali Vijay and Mukund in the first session.

Leg-spinner Bishoo made the next breakthrough, dismissing VVS Laxman when the elegant right-hander attempted an off-drive but edged a simple catch to Darren Sammy at first slip.

Edwards removed Kohli with the final ball before lunch when the debutant pushed without conviction outside off stump, edging a simple catch to wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh to leave the tourists reeling at 69-4.

Dravid's attentive innings was cut short in similar circumstances to Laxman, attempting an expansive off drive without the necessary footwork, contributing to a thick outside edge to Sammy at slip off the ebullient Bishoo.

The Guyanese struck two deliveries later when captain Dhoni was surprised by additional turn and bounce off the track, presenting Simmons a simple catch at gully, leaving India close to collapse at 85-6.

But Harbhajan's simple "see it, hit it" philosophy contributed 10 boundaries and a huge six off Bishoo, adding 146 crucial runs alongside Raina before the off-spinner was snared with a well-worked short-ball tactic by Edwards shortly before tea.

The fast bowler's short delivery drew an indecisive flat-bat swipe, top-edged high into the leg side where Bishoo took a sensational diving catch running at speed to his left.

The excellent Raina, left with little choice but to launch an all-out assault, was smartly caught by the reliable hands of Bishoo at deep square leg, ending his entertaining 115-ball knock which featured 15 attractive boundaries.

West Indies's openers were troubled by a testing new-ball spell by Praveen Kumar, extracting movement off the pitch in both direction.

But it was erratic partner Ishant Sharma who removed Simmons when the opener feathered an edge via his thigh pad into the hands of Vijay at short leg.