After sheer dominance over the West Indies team spread across the first 2 days – putting up the huge total of 566/8D in the first innings, the Indian team now relies on it’s bowlers to hit the right areas and perhaps lookout for an opportunity to enforce a follow on. With the match into day 3, even a day in favor of the West Indies could’ve changed the course of the match for it would’ve averted the follow on and made India desperate to bat again and then declare for the 4th innings.
A look at the West Indies batting order and there’s very little confidence that can be placed on any of the batsmen. The batsmen are inexperienced and lack the ability to play quality spinners like Ashwin and Mishra, the inapt exposure of batting in pressure situations is yet another pressure point for the West Indies team and that may continue till the end of the series.
The West Indies openers in K Brathwaite and Chandrika came into the field at the twilight of day 2 and till stumps; West Indies had lost their 1st wicket in Chandrika. West Indies overnight were 16/1.
Coming into day 3, West Indies had Brathwaite at the pitch and Bishoo as night watchman. The first wicket of the day fell in an ill-timed shot from Bishoo – trying to step out and play a big shot, getting stumped off Mishra for 12.
West Indies team relies heavily on the sheer potential of Darren Bravo – someone whose often shown great strength with the bat but it’s his inconsistency that leaves West Indies in tatters quite often, the position at which he bats (usually 1st down), the batsman at this position must be technically impeccable and highly consistent, something that Darren Bravo needs to work upon.
From 90-2, West Indies had what can be labelled nothing short of a match-changing collapse, losing the backbone of their batting order in 1st innings for no score really. Shami got the scalp of Bravo for 11 in 33 balls, caught behind off Saha. The rhythm that Shami got was translated into hitting the right areas and squeezing 2 more crucial wickets, that of Marlon Samuels – inarguably the most experienced and consistent of the current West Indies batting lot. Samuels was dismissed for mere 1, again caught behind by Saha. The next batsman in Blackwood, young and dynamic in his style wasn’t able to do anything special either as he got out for a duck, 3rd scalp in no time for Shami.
The respectability of the West Indies 1st innings total was secured by the lower batting order consisting of Chase (debutant), Dowrich and Holder. Dowrich came into the match with the controversy of the experienced Ramdin getting dropped, stated by selector as a keeper whose batting average “doesn’t make the cut”. Dowrich proved his mettle with the bat by making a 57*, along with 23 from Chase and 36 from Holder – a follow on was inevitable though as no one hung around for long.
West Indies was enforced the follow on and the replica of day one followed. This time though, Brathwaite got out before stumps on day 3 with the batsman giving Ishant Sharma his first scalp in the match.
This time though, Darren Bravo came in at 1st down instead of a night watchman. West Indies finished day 3 at 21-1 after 13 overs, still trailing by 302 runs.