West Indies v India, 2nd Test: India in the driving seat as Jasprit Bumrah juggernaut rolls on
Indian pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah mercilessly breached through the feeble West Indies batting unit with a tremendous bowling display on the second day of the final Test match as his figures of 6/16 from 9.1 overs gave India a firm advantage at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica.
Brutally pulverizing the Calypso line-up, the hostile quick majestically swung the red cherry to acquire a phenomenal six-wicket haul, wresting the equilibrium of the match in favor of the visitors. The unrivaled powerhouse in the bowling department also became the third Indian to claim a hat-trick in the process as he dismantled West Indies, who were tottering at 87/7 as stumps were drawn.
The archetypal Bumrah onslaught kick-started in the sixth over of the innings when flamboyant southpaw John Campbell helplessly nicked behind a lethal outswinger to the waiting mitts of Rishabh Pant. Forthwith, exuberant Darren Bravo was witnessed marching back to the pavilion dismissed in a similar fashion, having edged the ball to Lokesh Rahul in the anticipating slip cordon.
Next in, Shamarh Brooks, facing his initial delivery was trapped LBW as he was caught plumb on the shuffle by a nagging inswinger as Bumrah scalped his third wicket. Lanky middle-order swashbuckler Roston Chase facilitated Bumrah's progression to a justified hat-trick, beaten by an incoming delivery crashing into his pads.
Though the on-field umpire adjudged Chase not-out at first glance, a decisive review from captain Virat Kohli proved otherwise. Three reds and Bumrah joined Harbhajan Singh and Irfan Pathan in the elite group of Indian cricketers who have picked up a Test hat-trick.
Thereafter, skipper Jason Holder united with youngster Shimron Hetmyer as the duo exhibited commendable perseverance to trigger a resolute fightback to weather the menacing storm. Briefly off the field due to minor cramps in his left calf, Bumrah returned in style, bouncing out Holder for a gritty 18, caught by substitution Rohit Sharma.
Earlier, Hanuma Vihari churned out his maiden Test century, providing a determined lesson in onerous batsmanship, steadily dealing with each ball on its merit. The elegant right-hander found ideal support in tail-ender Ishant Sharma, who dug in patiently to craft a breezy 57-run knock in his firm 80-ball stay at the crease.
Holder, the pick of the bowlers for West Indies, prised out Vihari for 111 to complete an excellent five-wicket haul as the tourists were eventually bowled out for a colossal 416.
Bumrah's mind-boggling figures of 6-16 have positively ushered India into a commanding position with a substantial lead of 329 runs. If India can manage to swiftly wrap up the hosts in the crucial opening session of Day 3, Kohli could be seen enforcing the follow-on, laying the foundation for an illustrious series whitewash.