India vs. West Indies Day 3: India hopeful of forcing a win inspite rain interruptions
Rahul Dravid testified to the fact that tracks on this West Indies tour have favored the bowlers. The form of Test Cricket is in need of such pitches that ensure a result. However, it is unfortunate that rain played spoilsport at Kensington Oval and it seems like the 3rd Test is going to follow suit. The Indian pace-men bowled their hearts out to restrict West Indies to a meager score of 204 but two days are already past us. India will virtually begin their innings today after only 8 runs were gathered on Day 2 before rain stopped play.
Murali Vijay and Abhinav Mukund are on the crease and they will look to give a meaningful start to this innings. The pitches have been covered for a long time and if the sun does not shine soon, there will be sweating which will provide the bowlers some initial swing. The surface is uneven with a lot of dark patches scattered on the wicket so caution is prescribed. However, unlike the wicket at Kensington Oval the bounce is true and can be trusted. Stroke-play will become easier once a batsman settles in.
It was noticed on the last two days that Ishant Sharma reaped rich rewards for bowling just short of a length as the ball seemed to come slower of the wicket. West Indies’ bowlers would like to take a leaf out of the lanky pace-man’s book who grabbed another five wicket haul. Most of the West Indian batsman failed to gauge the pace of the wicket which is exemplified in their mode of dismissal. Baugh, Bishoo and Samuels dragged the ball back on to the stumps.
The 2nd of the Test match brought a landmark for another Indian bowler. Harbhajan Singh became the third Indian bowler to pick up 400 wickets in Test matches. The other two members of this exclusive club are Anil Kumble and Kapil Dev. Harbhajan dismissed Carlton Baugh as his 400th victim as he tried to cut a ball that turned sharply and grew on him. On this occasion, Harbhajan reflected on his 13 year long career and promised that his best is yet to come. He said, ”I have faced a lot of ups and downs in my career – mostly downs. I’ve worked hard for these wickets. Spinners mature with age. Most of them, be it Anil Kumble, Shane Warne, Muttiah Muralitharan took a lot of wickets after they turned 30.”
Harbhajan is setting his eyes on the 600 wicket mark and believes that he will continue to prosper as a batsman as well. Lately, Harbhajan has redefined his role in the Indian side as that of an all-rounder. He has a couple of centuries under his name and he hopes to improve upon that. At the same time, he believes bowling is his priority.