Three half-centuries for India on second day of warm-up match leaves visitors poised for innings victory
Rahkeem Cornwall - the best batsman and bowler from the home side. Have the West Indies made a mistake by not picking him for the Tests?
India finished Day 2 of their final practice match before the Tests against West Indies at a strong position, ahead by 158 runs and with one whole day in hand to pick up the 9 wickets required for victory in the unofficial match.
On the second day, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul scored half-centuries, though it was only Rahul who succeeded in not losing his wicket, retiring out instead for a well-constructed 64. Kohli batted the entire morning session, only to fall after lunch to Rahkeem Cornwall, who has been without doubt the most clinical performer from the home team both with bat and ball.
Jadeja showed a lot of maturity to eke out a 60-ball 56, also falling to Cornwall at the end of the stay. There were contributions from all the batsmen, even the tail-enders were reluctant to throw their wicket away. Ajinkya Rahane looked very fluent in his stay at the crease, but was dismissed for 32 off Cornwall. Stuart Binny failed to make a mark, falling to the same bowler for 16. Wriddhiman Saha reached the score of 31, before falling to an unfortunate run out – going for the third run, Jadeja simply stopped responding.
Ashwin and Amit Mishra frustrated the bowlers with their last wicket stand for a while till another run out in Cornwall’s over wrapped up the innings, with the India score at 364, ahead of the home team by 184 runs. Cornwall finished the day with figures of 5/118, clearly the only bowler who caused any trouble to the visitors. His 41 had also been the highest score in his side’s first innings.
There were 8 overs possible at the end of the day as West Indies Cricket Board President’s XI batted again, as Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohammed Shami shared the new ball. The batsmen were not afraid to sweep Ashwin if he strayed down the leg side, and Shami was slightly wavering in his line for the first few balls, finding his groove in his third over. The last over of the day, however, was a perfect one by Ashwin, as pressure was built up through five dot balls till Leon Johnson returned an easy catch to the bowler.
Stumps were called with the home team at 26/1 and with a task on hand to avert defeat on the final day.
Day 2 scores – Rahul 64*, Kohli 51, Rahane 32, Binny 16, Saha 31, Jadeja 56, Ashwin 26, Mishra 10. Cornwall 5/118.
WICBPXI 26/1 (Johnson 17, Campbell 9*; Ashwin 1/14, Shami 1/12) and 180 trail India 364 by 158 runs.