A complete washout on the day 3 of the 3rd test, played to the frustration of the Indian team; which yet again looked in front to win the test with a substantial score put up in their 1st innings – putting the West Indian batsman yet again in check of putting up big runs in the first innings to take on India’s batsmen.
However, having gotten just 1 wicket on the last session of day 2 – the Indian team came into day 4 with 6 sessions still left to be played out, a possibility of 180 overs but the challenge of taking 20 West Indian wickets in these overs to win the match. Adding to which, should West Indies get anywhere near to India’s 1st innings total – India had to bat again and pile up some runs before declaring. Talk about a captain’s dilemma!
The West Indies team fared well in the initial bits of the day with Brathwaite and Bravo playing cautiously and not giving away any quick wicket to the Indian seamers. But, the fall of both the batsmen within the span of 6 runs pegged back West Indies progress as West Indies lost Bravo to Ishant at 129 and Brathwaite to Ashwin at 135.
The recovery process was initialized by Samuels and Blackwood, the very pairing that helped West Indies recover from a collapse of epic proportions in their first innings of the second test. The pairing built up a partnership of 50 runs but a wicket fell against the run of play, at a time so crucial that West Indies was just looking like eradicating any Indian hope of a probable win – Blackwood got out for 20, West Indies were 202-4 and yet again, another wicket fell within minutes from the previous one as Samuels departed for 48, leaving West Indies at 203-5.
The subsequent 13 overs can only be labelled as West Indies’ middle and lower order that saved the last test, succumbing to the Indian bowlers and ruining all the hard efforts put up by the top order. Within the span of 13 overs, West Indies collapsed from 203-5 to 225 all out. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar’s spell outclassed the West Indies batsmen and left them clueless for Kumar was bowling probably one of the best spells he has bowled in his test career, the swing matched with a consistent line was too hard to beat, grabbing a five-for.
India had with itself a lead of 128 runs coming into their 2nd innings. Kohli is known to be strategically an aggressive captain and if anything was expected off Indian batsmen, it was a sense of urgency to score some quick runs and put West Indies back into bat in 4th innings, early on day 5.
India did just that and made some crucial runs before close of play. Rahul’s 28 off 24, Dhawan’s 26 off 48 were opening contributions to the innings, India were 49-1 after 7.3 overs (Rahul falling to Cummins). The Indian captain didn’t trouble the scorers as he departed for 4. Dhawan soon followed for a relatively safe 26 off 48 in the context of the match.
Rahane scored a 50 at the strike rate of 54 but it was really Rohit Sharma who in the last 30 balls of day 5 that he faced, scored runs at the strike rate of 113. Sharma finished day 4 with 41 off 57 balls.
India 157/3 at run rate of 4 to the over, leading by 285 runs.