After what can only be called frustrating times for the West Indies unit due to a wicket-less 3rd session on day 1, they would’ve hoped that the 2nd day of the test can bring them some rewards for their good disciplined bowling on day 1 but the Indian batsmen in Ashwin and Saha showed no signs of feebleness and played with a great sense of comfort and time on their hands – the West Indian bowlers failed to create half as many chances as they did on the 1st session of day one, the bounce off the surface just wasn’t the same.
Ashwin, who already has shown signs of strong batting in the series already – with a century to his name; was heading towards a personal glory with him being the only Indian batsman to score 2 centuries in the series, none of the other ‘full-time’ Indian batsman have managed to do so. Ashwin unfussed from the stat, yet again showed that he has nerves of steel and shown no signs of weakness when he gets into 80’s and then nervous 90’s, it’s amazing how Ashwin has transformed himself into a proper middle order batsman, having once batted 8th and 9th in this batting order – the faith instilled by the management in his batting talent is paying off.
Ashwin’s apt timing was too hard for West Indies bowlers to crack and thus he was rewarded by yet another century at the test level, the visibly ecstatic Indian dressing room praised his innings for this was an innings that is all the more special because of the circumstances under which it was played.
On the other end, was someone who came into the Indian side replacing arguably India’s best wicket keeper-batsman in tests i.e. MS Dhoni. Saha has had his fair share of accomplishments on the test circuit, he has often made 40s and 50’s in quick time and without any sense of selfishness – team’s objective is always first rather than personal average for Saha and it’s perhaps this attitude that is starting to reward him.
Saha joined Ashwin in the middle when the score was 126-5 and with some strong pull shots, flicks off the hips and picture-perfect cover drives, the Indian wicket-keeper reached the milestone of making his first international test century. Saha departed when the score was 339, India lost it’s 6th wicket. What followed was an epic collapse which restricted India from reaching the score of 400+, Jadeja went for 6 and the tail enders in Bhuvaneshwar, Ishant and Shami all scored ducks. Ashwin too departed after a well-made 118. India collapsed from 339/6 to 353 all out.
West Indies team had a new opening pair in Brathwaite and Johnson, the latter having been highly praised by the West Indian legend, Sir Viv Richards – suggesting that he should be given a proper go at this level.
The 2 openers immediately clicked and put up West Indies’ first 50-run partnership of the series, with a 59 to their name; before Johnson was run-out by Rahul for 23.
West Indies ensured that they lost no more wickets in the day and went to the end of day 2 at 107/1, with Brathwaite having already reached his 50 and Bravo playing at 18. West Indies trail by 246 runs.