West Indies v India 1st Test, Day 2 – 5 Talking Points
Updated - Jul 23, 2016 5:54 am
The second day’s play resumed on a similar note for India with the pair of Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin batting fluently, West Indies bowlers trying their bit and subsiding and then the batsmen dominating the proceedings. Shannon Gabriel bowled another good first spell but didn’t have any success. Kohli scored his first double century in Test cricket. R Ashwin got to his 3rd Test century, Amit Mishra also contributed with a half-century as India declared with 566 runs on the board.
In the final few overs of the day Mohammad Shami struck to get India the first wicket as they went back to the dressing room after another day of Test cricket, they had completely dominated. Here we look at the 5 talking points of day 2.
1. Virat Kohli’s double ton:
India registered first runs on the board on the second day with a beautiful cover drive of Kohli’s bat in the second over of the day. The one shot that was the most significant part of his knock. He got a boundary every time pressure seemed to be building with the number of dot balls rising. Virat waited, waited for the right ball and then put it away. He soon got to his 150 and then went past his previous Test best score of 162. Right at the stroke of lunch he scored his 200th run against the part-time off spinner Chase and became the first Indian Test skipper to score an overseas Test double ton. But he fell soon after Lunch dragging one from Gabriel onto his stumps.
2. Ravichandran Ashwin’s 3rd Test century:
He was promoted to no. 6 and had the responsibility of standing with the skipper to ensure India got to a good score since they were a batsman short. Ravi Ashwin played a patient, determined and collected knock and didn’t just stand there but scored his runs as well. The best feature of his inning for me was the straight drives that he hit, not quite the most technically sound batsman to hit the most elegant of shots but he did that with some class.
Ashwin had a life early in the day when wicketkeeper Dowrich dropped him on 43, he didn’t give them a chance after that and despite the skipper getting out in the post Lunch session put on a 71-run stand with Wriddhiman Saha. He got to his 3rd Test century and his third against the West Indies. Ashwin was picked by Brathwaite after scoring 113 runs and playing 253 deliveries.
3. Lower order contribution:
Coach Anil Kumble had put the extra effort of making the bowlers bat in the nets right from the time he took over as captain. He passed on the responsibility to them of pushing the team total ahead. And they responded on the first opportunity at hand. 51 runs partnership for the 7th wicket between Ravi Ashwin and Amit Mishra; the 40-run 8th wicket stand between Mishra and Shami ensured the Indian total went past the 550 mark and they declared after the leggie got out for 53 after recording his 5th Test half-century. Shami hit a couple of big shots and was unbeaten on 17.
4. Ineffective West Indies bowling:
If the West Indies bowlers were to be blamed for not troubling the Indian batsmen enough, the fielders, especially the ones behind the wicket, should also be mentioned for dropping away the opportunity when it came into their hands. Gabriel produced an edge off Ashwin’s bat early in the day but wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich floored it. The off-spinner was on 43 at that moment and went on to score a century. The fielding right through the inning was ordinary and didn’t support the bowlers in maintaining the pressure they built with dot balls.
Devendra Bishoo who had three wickets on the first day didn’t find any further success in the inning. Gabriel bowled short spells and bowled his heart out clocking into 150s time and again. Towards the end of the inning, Kraig Brathwaite had 3 wickets in his account despite bowling the least number of overs. The West Indies skipper was also blamed for bowling his pacers from the wrong end. All in all, it was an ordinary effort by the bowling team which let the visitors post a mammoth total on the board in less than six sessions.
5. India strikes early:
They had posted a huge score on the board and skipper Virat Kohli had all the luxuries to try everything that he wanted in the last one hour of play. He set various combination of attacking fields in the 16 overs that India bowled on the second day. At one point he had three slips and a gully, an extra gully, a short leg. He also placed the backward short leg for the short stuff. Virat didn’t just use the pace trio of Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Shami but also gave Ashwin 3 overs to see if he could fetch a wicket. In the second last over of the day’s play comeback man Shami produced an edge of Rajendra Chandrika’s bat to get India the breakthrough.