India vs. West Indies – Rain Comes in Picture to Disturb Play on Day 1 of 4th Test

August 19 14:45 2016

indNew Delhi, Friday, August 19 – The fourth Test match between India and West Indies started at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad on August 18. The contest is of huge significance as the home side hasn’t win any Test in the ongoing series. The only success for them was to end second match in a draw, snatching victory away from the Men in Blue, who were so close to it.

Jason Holder went with Leon Johnson, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Kraigg Brathwaite, Jermaine Blackwood, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Miguel Cummins, Shannon Gabriel and Devendra Bishoo this time in the hope that what they did not achieve lately.  The players to sit on bench were Carlos Brathwaite, Shai Hope and Alzarri Joseph. At the same time Virat Kohli led India had Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami.  The players in extra for the final match were Shikhar Dhawan, Stuart Binny, Amit Mishra, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja.

Sturdiness of Pujara was dropped in the previous Test but this time he got a place in the Playing XI. However, pace of Yadav and magnetism of leg-spin by Mishra is to be missed once again.  It will certainly become duty of the cricketers selected in the team to perform in the 4th test to prove their selection right by doing their bit.  As far as the happenings of Day 1 is kept in mind, India managed to not let the rivals feel any sort of ease while playing against India. Holder, the West Indies captain, won the toss and decided to bat first. The decision was made to let his men perform well with bat and score wonderfully that could keep pressure on the opponents. How far the choice will be right is an interesting point to note.

The way Kohli believed in the strength of his players in the third Test teaches a lot of things that something that may look ordinary can be a trouble for the rivals when it comes to cricket. The unassailable 2-0 series lead is already enough to let them go back home with their heads held high. But ending a series with a victory is always special since it helps in keeping the confidence of the players up. In the game of 22 over, West Indies scored 62 runs for the loss of two wickets. The opener Kraigg Brathwaite began to bat with the motto to stay on the crease for as long as possible, helping other batsmen of his team to come and exhibit their natural play without getting under stress of scoring in speed. However, Leon Johnson did not get success on this part as he lost his wicket to Ishant at a score of 9 in 30 balls. His innings comprised a boundary. Rohit responded faster to get a catch that gave India their first wicket.

Darren Bravo  was the man to arrive next. He hit a couple of boundaries too but couldn’t go far from scoring 10 runs as Ashwin was ready to attack.  Marlon Samuels faced 15 balls to get four runs in pocket. The opener Brathwaite scored 32 runs in 78 balls, with the help of five 4s. West Indies expectations will be up from Samuels and Brathwaite when the two arrive on the crease today. Weather wasn’t good a day ago, washing out the match of 68 overs. Rain played spoilsport on more than a few occasions in the recent past and same is not expected this time despite the fact that weather conditions may or may not be favourable. If fact is to be highlighted then people are keenly looking forward to an interesting cricket match without any disturbance caused by precipitation.

Blackwood, Roston Chase, Dowrich, Holder, Devendra Bishoo, Miguel Cummins and S Gabriel are yet to bat and would like not to repeat the mistakes that kept them away from victory by the time India landed on their soil. Kohli tried four bowling options so far. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami bowled six overs each but did not get any wicket a day ago. Ishant Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin got one wicket apiece post bowling for five overs. It will be exciting to notice who else will be called to bowl and play imperative character in dismissing the West Indies batsmen. Jadeja’s left-arm spin is to be missed but Kohli must have made sure that the combination of batsmen, bowlers and all-rounders he picked for the final Test is capable of doing well.

A good thing happened while Indian squad are on the tour of West Indies. They become the No. 1 Test team after Sri Lanka whitewash Australia in 3-match Test series. Not to forget that Aussies were not able play to the best of their abilities thanks to some great show by Sri Lankan players, who made sure the team finishes with a remarkable victory of Australia – the powerhouse. West Indies will require performing as there is no way going back. Cricket being a sport of uncertainty, magical innings by a few can still do the job.  Fans of West Indies hope the Holder men to find the key to success, which is possible through good batting, disciplined bowling and fielding.

The current series is turning out to be a reality check for them at home conditions. Words of praise for India for the way they reacted robustly at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet in St Lucia, logging a humongous win of 237 runs on the hosts. Whatever direction the last Test moves, Kohli’s captaincy has been good so far. If truth be told then he was in fact brilliant every so often. Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s 5-wicket haul made him stand out amid others. Seeing him back in form, India are elated and look forward to amazing show this time too. India have a lot to take from the positive of the previous match like Saha and Ashwin stand and Rohit’s quickfire 41 that comprised a four and three sixes. Dhawan has been dropped in the ongoing Test due to no substantial contribution with the bat. Eyes will definitely be on those who have been picked to do well.