West Indies v India, 1st Test, Kingston, Jamaica, 2nd day June 21, 2011

India move ahead on wicket-filled day


India 246 and 91 for 3 (Dravid 45*) lead West Indies 173 (Barath 64, Praveen 3-38, Ishant 3-29) by 164 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out

On another bowlers' day in Kingston, India swooped into a strong position after yet another West Indian batting failure, and finished 164 ahead in what is shaping up as a low-scoring Test. On a Sabina Park track that had so much turn that the spinners were wondering how to keep the ball on the stumps, the Indian fast bowlers - debutant Praveen Kumar and Ishant Sharma - knocked West Indies over for 173. Adrian Barath played his shots in a battling half-century but there was little from the rest of the top order.

Praveen was India's star in the morning session, though it was Ishant who made the first breakthrough, removing Ramnaresh Sarwan with his first ball of the day. With Harbhajan Singh getting the ball to spin and bounce, more early wickets looked likely but two of West Indies' emerging batting stars - Barath and Darren Bravo - defied the bowling for over an hour.

Initially the runs weren't easily available as Ishant cranked up the pace, but Barath broke free with a bunch of boundaries. Bravo too seemed to settle in, with an impressive on-the-up cover drive off Ishant, but followed it up with two nervy moments in the same over: Suresh Raina dropped a dying edge at third slip, and the next delivery reared up and nearly took the the edge.

The pair survived some more close calls, and with the first hour of the day negotiated, Barath decided to open out. Amit Mishra, the most impressive Indian bowler in the one-dayers, was greeted with a loft over long-on to bring up Barath's fifty, and the next delivery was launched into the stands in the same direction.

A change of ends for Praveen, though, transformed the session. In his first over from the Michael Holding End, he produced the ball of the morning - slanting in towards off before bouncing and jagging away, forcing Barath to play, and nick to the keeper. For a bowler who has had a long wait to make the Test grade, it was a maiden wicket to savour.

That was only the start of a spell in which he bagged three wickets in 14 deliveries. The other settled batsman, Bravo, was the next to go, with the off-stump line and the movement again resulting in a catch behind. West Indies still had two of their most adhesive batsmen at the crease, but Praveen separated them with a straight delivery to Brendan Nash, that took the leading edge to slips.

Praveen's day was blotted a touch as he was suspended from bowling soon after lunch, on getting his third warning for running on the danger area. India had started the second session poorly, sending down too many leg-side deliveries. Praveen's exit and Shivnarine Chanderpaul's presence at the crease gave West Indies fresh hope.

The three Indian specialist bowlers, however, stepped up in Praveen's absence. Ishant harried the batsmen with his accuracy, and the variable bounce and generous turn kept the batsmen wary against the spinners. Still, Carlton Baugh and Chanderpaul put on 45 before Harbhajan had Baugh tentatively poking to silly point. He removed Chanderpaul for the first time in Tests soon after, getting him to inside-edge onto the pads for an easy catch at short leg. There was some resistance from the tail-enders, though their efforts weren't enough to prevent West Indies from conceding a hefty lead.

India's batsmen then set about stretching that lead, and led the side to a comfortable position despite ducks for two of their top four. M Vijay was lbw to a short Ravi Rampaul delivery that was unplayable, rising little above knee-high. VVS Laxman had a rare double failure as his attempt to get off the mark by punching Darren Sammy down the ground ended up as a return catch.

Sammy latched on to that one, but put down one he will regret. He fluffed a simple chance at second slip - nice height, close to his body - to give Rahul Dravid a life on 6. Dravid went on to play his second important innings of the match. While these may not be in the league of 2006 Jamaican masterclasses that secured the series for India, Dravid again showcased his patience, judgment and tenacity, to finish unbeaten on 45.

In difficult conditions, he and Abhinav Mukund added 56 for the second wicket. Mukund played a cautious hand, rarely trying anything extravagant as he looked to make an impact on debut. It was slow progress, but having negotiated the bowling for nearly two hours, he lost his concentration soon after a drinks break in the final session, feathering Bishoo behind.

The other Indian debutant Virat Kohli had flopped in the first innings, and didn't have the most comfortable of times in the hour he had till stumps. With a barrage of bouncers coming his way, he was involved in a tussle with Fidel Edwards. Kohli blew a mock kiss whenever Edwards stared him down after sending down a short ball.

With Dravid at his unyielding best and the pitch remaining a brute, India will be thrilled at the quick turnaround in the fortunes after the top-order collapse on the first morning.

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • BULTY on June 23, 2011, 4:57 GMT

    There was a comment by a person that since Srikkanth is the selection committee chairman, he selected all "Tamil" players. This comment is bad enough both for its use of word and the sense behind it. Remember there was a time when the BCCI was dominated (it continues even today in some measure) and the whole 15 players were selected either from Bombay or from West Zone. I would like that person to refrain from sparking regionalism even in the sports field. We have had enough of regionalism and the bad effects of it in other fields.

  • cricinme on June 22, 2011, 15:07 GMT

    Laxman will flop in the second test also. But during the third test he will play a very valuable test saving/winning innings which will assure his place for the England tour. This is our VVS Laxman.

  • dummy4fb on June 22, 2011, 15:02 GMT

    Rahul Dravid proves once again that form is temporary and class permanent. Tendulkar can pick and choose when he plays but the stepson of Indian Cricket, Dravid, has to take every opportunity to play. Reality is that Dravid is all that stands between India and defeat. He is the best Test batsman we have at the moment bar none! Hopefully he will get a century this time. I am hopeful about young Virat as well. India is not short of talent but is low on the 'stickitiveness' needed for Tests.

  • jim20 on June 22, 2011, 15:02 GMT

    West Indies has simply not adjusted to the modern game especially in the batting department. We are getting it right in the bowling area with the regular inclusion of a specialist spinner. However modern cricket requires a faster scoring rate than 2.5 runs per over. We batted for more overs than india and scored 80 less runs. Playing for draws is no longer an option we need to get our scoring rates up. The current successful test sides all target 3.5 rpo nowadays. I dont even watch when WI is batting because they have become very boring to watch. No wonder nobody is at the ground. While Gayle and Samuels would help in the scoring department the players surely the players chosen can use more initiative to work the ball around and not just block 5 balls and then look for one big shot. Runs can be scored off defensive shots as well.

  • AlvaMan on June 22, 2011, 14:50 GMT

    West Indies cricket will recover .there is a vibrant crop of young players across the region who are brimming with talent.Its only a matter of time before they get their opportunity to take to the field.At the same time , the Caribbean people must rally to remove those who sit on the WICD who have their own agendas,bringing down cricket as we know it in the WI and leaving out talented sportsmen such as Gayle in the cold.Go Windies.

  • dummy4fb on June 22, 2011, 14:42 GMT

    @Joelrondel, I beg to differ on comparison of Chanderpaul with Dravid. Dravid is a much more accomplished batsman than Chanderpaul and his stats both in tests and One dayers justify the same. The only current comparison could be of stubborn patient stay at the crease and thats where it ends. Dravid at his peak was a treat to watch as opposed to Chanderpaul who, with his rediculous stance, and not so great stroke making, was not a great sight for cricket lovers, and the fact that his achievements are no where near that of Dravid's.

  • dummy4fb on June 22, 2011, 14:28 GMT

    I dont understannd why people are crying about pujara. it is true that he has been playing brilliantly in domestic cricket bu this doesnt mean that he can translate his domestic performance on the international scene. prime example of this is badrinath and wasim jaffer. on the other hand raina has been playing international cricket for the past five years and performing brilliantly. so it would be wise to help him overcome the short ball woes so that he can a world class test player

  • joelrondel on June 22, 2011, 13:56 GMT

    YOW PEOPLE just picture CHABDERPAUL and RAUL DRAVID batting on de same team whole day 90 overs to score about 50 runs ...hahaha..lol but i would like to see these to batting together there have almost same batting skills and look alike !!!!!!!

  • WTEH on June 22, 2011, 13:54 GMT

    Oh West Indies, feel really sorry for you guys. Everyone agrees that this is not the full Indian team and still WI look like a club team. You guys need to do something fast if you need to keep the test status!! Some helpful suggestions would be; Find a new board, selection committee, coach and may be new team!!!!!!!!!!

  • dummy4fb on June 22, 2011, 13:11 GMT

    Listening to the West Indies game on the radio yesterday 21st and a stupid commentator sounded like barbadian said that there are now five indian players on the West indian team. So what are they not West Indians? As if insularity was not bad enough. No wonder we are doing so badly.

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