Day 3 – India Clearly On Top




West Indies had a huge task ahead of them at the start of Day 3 as they were already two wickets down chasing a mammoth total of 631 runs. They were expected to start on a positive note and believe that they could put up a fight but it was not to be. The Indian bowlers kept a strangle-hold on them throughout as they folded for 153 runs in just 48 overs. India has everything right as far as this match is concerned and a victory seems imminent.

Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha

Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha

After Kraigg Brathwaite and Kirk Edwards already back in the pavilion, the middle-order had just too much to do. The West Indian batting revolves around Shivnarine Chanderpaul and once again they were expecting him to bail them out but the pressure got the better of him. The Indian spinners were all over the West Indian batsmen and when Chanderpaul got out they hardly put up any more resistance.

Pragyan Ojha was the pick of the Indian bowlers as he finished with 4 wickets. His arm ball and the big turner were hard to read as the inexperience of the West Indies batsmen in spinning was apparent. Ashwin got into the act as he trapped Chanderpaul in front as the latter missed an off break and it went onto hit his pads. Despite his shuffling stance, it is remarkable to see how he has so much success against spinners in the past.

Another revelation for India is the performance of Umesh Yadav who has made good use of the opportunity he has. He took 3 wickets included those of Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels who tried to put up some sort of a partnership. The lower order tried to swing a few but it was a little too late and the Windies were made to follow-on, trailing by 478 runs.

The West Indian openers then came down to fight as hard as they could and they did well to avoid the mistakes they made from the first innings. They seemed determined to put up a good show and were very cautious and played much better cricket. Kraigg Brathwaite had another failure as he fell to Umesh Yadav yet again. Barath played a good knock of 62 before he fell to Ishant Sharma right after tea.

Kirk Edwards was tested again with spin from both sides and Captain Dhoni spread the field encouraging them to hit over the top. Barath and Edwards had a good partnership and Edwards reached his fifty and managed to play spin reasonably well this time around but ended up falling to Ishant Sharma for 60 runs. Darren Bravo and Shivnarine Chanderpaul held fort after that till the end of the day as the Windies still trail by 283 runs.

Chanderpaul and Bravo should ideally have a good partnership and try to take one ball at a time and not think too far ahead as they have a big task ahead of them. Though their chances of a win seem bleak, they still have a lot to play for. Though the Indians are almost certain of a victory without having to bat again, they should not let complacency get the better of them and try to fold the match and the series as soon as possible.

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