Coming off a disappointing draw from the last match, having looked in all prospects a team that was in a position towards an easy test victory – the Indian team had the hindrance in the form of Chase and Dowrich and later Holder to stop what is now being seen as one of the more stronger performances provided from this relatively new West Indian test unit, which has been the case for around 6-7 years now – the team still relies on the young untapped potential of domestic cricket; hoping that sooner or later a team for the next decade is built.
The draw in the 2nd test comes as a huge morale booster to the West Indian unit who lost the first test. Not only did West Indies show the willingness to fight it out and save a test match but they also exposed Indian bowler’s lack of ability to take wickets on day 5th of a test match – the bowling unit failing to squeeze past the middle order and have a go at the tail enders, which could’ve perhaps changed fortunes of the last test as tail enders would’ve not been remotely as good as Chase, Dowrich and Holder but it wasn’t to be and it should be handed to West Indies – they deserved the draw.
Having lost the last test, the criticism that the Indian batting unit faced was largely surround around the slow batting run rate, just 2.9 to the over in their first innings, with Pujara playing at the strike rate of 40 and others not being too quick either; it was perhaps due to this reason that just for the sake of making some changes – Chesteshwara Pujara was left out. Shockingly, a fit Murali Vijay was also kept out of the side. Umesh Yadav was also told to sit on the bench. IN CAME, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar. West Indies gave the young fast bowler in Joseph a go.
The West Indies fast bowlers – the duo of 4 in Holder, Gabriel, Cummins and Joseph were set to trouble the Indian batsmen and that’s just what they did. The first victim in the Indian batting line-up became Shikhar Dhwan, who knicked off the ball from his hips – looking extremely uncomfortable in the shot and playing it straight into the hands of West Indies keeper in Dowrich.
Next fell the big wicket of Virat Kohli, Indian captain who promoted himself to 1st down with Pujara having been dropped, a position at which Kohli averages less than 40 – clearly, Kohli is not suited to bat at 1st down. The wicket became debutant in Joseph’s first wicket and a marvelous delivery that got unexpected bounce from the surface, shocking Kohli who edged it to slips – who played the ball with hard hands, a small glitch that has been often exposed in otherwise faultless Kohli’s batting.
KL Rahul looked positive at the pitch in spite of 2 quick wickets and raced to a 65 ball 50 before he was caught by Brathwaite off Chase. Another Indian batsman who got start was Rahane, who made 35 before giving his wicket to Chase – clean bowled.
Rohit Sharma failed to revive the Indian innings and got out for 9 but what was to follow raised the frustration level of the West Indians as they failed to get any wicket in the last session, with Ashwin and Saha both carrying their bat and India finishing day 1 at 234/5 after 90 overs, Ashwin 75*, Saha 46*.