India vs. West Indies Day 4: Dhoni plans to attain a decisive lead
India managed to get a sizeable lead on Day 3 of the Test match after the lower middle order came to rescue. India lost crucial wickets early on but VVS Laxman and Abhinav Mukund stuck to the task and steered the team out of heavy waters. West Indies were without the services of their in-form bowler Ravi Rampaul but that did not hinder them from putting up a brave face. Skipper Darren Sammy justified his claims of finding a chink in Dravid’s armour by dismissing him early on. Rahul Dravid was the highest run-getter in the series upto Day 3 in this Test match. He was surpassed by VVS Laxman who continued his exceptional run.
Laxman contributed 56 runs to India’s score before he was dismissed in an unfortunate and rare manner. He was destined to be one of Shivnaraine Chanderpaul’s 9 Test match victims who was bowling as a consequence of the depleted bowling line-up. Laxman left a ball that was wide of the off stump into Carlton Baugh’s gloves and lazily lifted his back foot as a recoil reaction. Baugh was on high alert and removed the bails to send him on his way to the pavilion. The decision was made after a detailed surveillance of all possible replays from all possible angles. The third umpire found enough evidence to rule the batsman out.
Virat Kohli suffered from lack of concentration once again as he threw his wicket after the initial hard work. He has scored 76 runs in the series so far at a mere average of 15.20. He was picked ahead of S. Badrinath in the Test and inspite of the extended opportunity failed to make a decisive mark. With India looking good to take a lead of more than 200 runs given suitable conditions on Day 4, he is unlikely to get another opportunity to prove himself on this tour.
One man who ended a spell of draught was captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni as he compiled a useful half century. Dhoni celebrated his 30th birthday a few days ago and marking it with a 2-0 Test win in the Caribbean will be special. No Indian captain has achieved that feat before. He is still on the crease with Harbhajan Singh as India lead by 104 runs.
Meanwhile, Suresh Raina continued to exhibit the versatility of his talent as he scored another half century in the series. This was Raina’s 3rd half century in the series that helped him accumulate 224 runs at an average of 56 in the series. He has been the only young Indian batsman who has tackled the demanding conditions in the West Indies. Abhinav Mukund got on the bus at just the right time and scored a commendable 62 in this innings. He has contributed two consequential innings to the series and rewards may come his way in the near future.