2nd Test: India In The Driver’s Seat




2nd Test: India on the driver’s seat

2nd Test: India on the driver’s seat

Rain spared the teams for some cricketing action on Friday as India controlled the proceedings giving away nothing to the West Indies after securing a crucial lead of 240 with 7 wickets still remaining.

As expected there was a delayed start due to rain and as soon as the play resumed Ravi Rampaul got the better of Murali Vijay with a peach of a delivery. Fair to say that Vijay was out of sorts with his footwork but he is not at his scintillating form he used to be. But his partner learned his lessons. Mukund looked solid from the start and was able to capitalize on his previous night score. Dravid at the other end responded well and provided support to the young lad. Abinav had increased his strike rate and that certainly took the pressure of him. But a mastered Dravid’s flick nearly got him out when Barath took a leaping forward catch. Having already being under scrutiny, the umpires took the decision to the 3rd umpire. Replays clearly showed it was not out, but the time they took could have even dragged the lunch break. Both the batsmen built strongly after the lunch and stream of bouncers was delivered by Edwards. Mukund showed maturity leaving the bouncers and ducking some not until he nicked an odd bouncer and was unlucky to miss his maiden half century.

Dravid was immediately into the act increasing his pace and allowed Laxman to settle down. West Indies clearly lacked the penetration and firing temperament they showed in the first innings. Bishoo could not work out his magic and Edwards became tired after his short balls. Sammy too was not impressive and Dravid was easing away easily and soon notched up his 50. A bit of lapse of concentration maybe and he could not make the ball of middle of the blade and was caught at first slip. Another wicket could have fallen if Bravo had held a pull shot from Laxman of the bowling of Bishoo who snipped in short. Kholi was on a pair and looked completely nervous from the start. It took 19 balls for him to get off the mark and he brought about in a scintillating fashion hooking a six from the Edwards. He did not get carried away and played a supporting role to Laxman who also brought his 50. If India could bat aggressively on the 5th day morning and set up a target close to 380-400 then from the remaining day’s play we could seal off the series if bowlers give regular breakthroughs.

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Karthik Gopalan

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