Keeping a stronghold on the series and again putting itself in a position to not only win but do so in an emphatic way is how one can describe the day 1 of the 2nd test between India and West Indies, played at Jamaica cricket ground. The Indian team bowled out West Indies for just 194 and put up 125 runs before the close of play, losing just one wicket that of Shikhar Dhawan.
It won’t be unfair to say that in the 5 days of the test series so far (4 days in the first and day 1 of the 2nd test), India has dominated on all the 5 days and there has in fact not been even a single session that has seen sheer dominance on the part of the West Indies team – the batsmen have failed to put up huge totals and the bowlers just haven’t been able to extract fruitful results off the surface – in essence, the West Indies team just hasn’t been of the standard that one can call “competitive” at the international arena.
Coming into the day 2 of the 2nd test, the 2 Indian batsmen in the middle i.e. KL Rahul and Cheteshwara Pujara were very much cautious in the first session of the play – perhaps due to the pitch showing some signs of tearing. Gabriel in particular posed some questions to the 2 Indian batsmen – something which was fresh to see but yet he had nothing to show for, in the wickets column.
It was at the stroke of lunch that KL Rahul reached the 3rd century of his test career, his third century abroad as well. A century that was made at the strike rate of 60 is commendable and he has surely put forward a tough question to the Indian selectors – can a batsman of his caliber be dropped from the XI? Is Shikhar Dhawan still deserving of his place in the test side or it’s time to call shots on giving the young Rahul a full-time go at the opening slot?
After coming back from the lunch break, West Indies finally got a breakthrough with the wicket of Pujara – who was run out for 46 off 159 balls, an innings that can’t be labelled natural to Pujara’s potential, maybe a little too slow against a mediocre West Indies bowling attack but then again, Pujara has had rather quiet last year or so with no century to show. This 46 may just give him the confidence to make a bigger score in the coming innings.
Next man in was Kohli and with his sheer genius continued from his 200 in the last innings, giving the Indian innings some strong momentum. Rahul on the other end reached his 150 and India went to tea with only 2 wickets down.
After coming back from tea, the West Indian bowlers saw some respite in form of some wickets – getting Rahul out for 158, Kohli’s wicket became Chase’s second of the innings as the Indian captain departed for 44. Ashwin too didn’t bother the scorers this time as he went for 3 runs.
It was Ajinkya Rahane whose bat saw some runs as by the end of day 2, he was playing at 42 off 87 balls, with India 358/5, leading by 162 runs.