West Indies could not survive till tea and skittled on 173 runs, conceding 73-run lead to India. The match is headed for a result. Only rain can save the loser now. But, who will be the loser!! Indian second innings may give the answer.
West Indies Batting on Day 2
Starting the day with 9 wickets in hand, West Indies could not get any major partnership. Ishant Sharma struck early to send Sarwan back. Barath steadied the inning with a 56 run 3rd-wicket stand with Darren Bravo. But that was the only resistance from Carribeans. Debutant Praveen Kumar caused further damage with triple strike. Later Harbhajan in the company of Ishant Sharma caused further damage together taking out 3 more wickets. Amit Mishra also finally got wickets on the turning track, getting 2 wickets in the last over of West Indies innings.
Ishant’s good form is a surprisingly pleasant situation for India. If his inswingers and outswingers get in rhythem, he will be the most dangerous bowler to play. Quite a change from his overall performance during ODis.
Indian Second Innings
Sitting on a healthy lead of 73 runs, India started with an eye on victory. But Murali vijay failed again when Ravi Rampaul caught him dead plumb, continuing with his reputation of providing early breakthrough in the inning. This is the 5th time he has given early breakthrough to West Indies in last 6 innings. Mukund lost another good opportunity to throw a challenging-yet-pleasant option to the selectors. Vice-captain Laxman again failed miserably, unable to even open his account. Appears he should go back to his usual position. Dravid holds the forte. Indian fans will hope that he does not throw away the good start and the life he got when he was at 6.
Is India Favorite Now!!
With a lead of 164 runs on board, 7 wickets left with 3 more days to go, India can easily try for a lead of 400 runs. Considering the bowler-friendly pitch, a lead of 300-runs would guarantee victory though. But what is the harm in having some good practice during the match and bat throughout the 3rd day!! Yet the pitch that has gulped 23 wickets in just 6 sessions, would test every batsmen’s quality to survive longer.
129 overs and 20 wickets in 5 sessions
Indian team could bat out only 61.2 overs when they were bowled out. West Indies batted more number of overs, 67.5, but scored 73 runs lesser. Both lost all wickets and with only 5 sessions gone in the match, a result is guaranted unless match is washed off, as it happened most of the time during recent England-Sri Lanka series.
The pitch is turning, but the pacers are also getting wickets. Only 3 half-centuries have been scored, only one 100-plus partnership has been registered. A typical West Indies pitch, although visitors India now hold all the aces. In fact on the second day when India bowled 5 wickets were taken by pacers, and 4 by spinners. The match appears slightly moved in favour of Indians at the end of second day. But if WI bowlers can restrict the Indian lead below 300-runs, they have a good chance too.