Though India won the first Test against West Indies with a day to spare, the victory did not seem convincing enough for the ardent Indian cricket fans. India needed 124 runs to win the Test at the starting of the day and ended up losing 3 more wickets in the process. On a day when the whole nation was expecting to see Sachin Tendulkar notch up his hundredth century, not only was that not achieved but the Indian middle order also lost their chance to stamp their authority over the Windies.
In the process Sachin Tendulkar overtook Rahul Dravid’s record as the leading run-getter in chases and Laxman surpassed 1000 runs in chases enroute to his half-century. Fidel Edwards struck first, dispatching Rahul Dravid with a reversing in-swinger for 54 and then came VVS Laxman. India was expected to make short work of the total considering the time and talent they had in hand but it wasn’t to be so.
Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman had a partnership of 71 runs before Tendulkar was adjudged lbw much to the dismay of millions of Indians as everyone expected him to achieve the record on Wednesday itself. It seemed slightly improbable as he would need 67 of the 124 runs remaining for victory. Devendra Bishoo got the better of the Master this time around. With Tendulkar went all hopes of India wrapping the Test in the first session itself as Yuvraj Singh came in to join Laxman at the crease.
The match was all but over by then as India just needed 43 runs to bring up their first win in as many as six of the last few outings. Laxman then brought up his half century and being in the middle for the third time since last summer in a successful run chase. When everyone thought that this pair would take India to victory, Yuvraj Singh played a shocker as he chopped one on with the scores being level and MS Dhoni had to come to the crease.
It was more like the Windies did not let India lose as they failed to take the new ball in the second innings and gave the ball to part timer Kraigg Brathwaite when Fidel Edwards could have done a better job. Even when they got Sehwag out, they failed to step on the gas and close India out like they did in the first innings. With a little more application with their batting and an inspired effort with the ball rather than being too much on the defensive, West Indies could have got the result in their favour.
The West Indies have only themselves to blame as they had India down on the mat at Tea on Day 2 but failed to take advantage as they repeated their mistakes from Jamaica earlier this year. As far as India is concerned, they need to step out of the one-day mode and play up to their potential in the coming matches.