solid front-foot defence to end the over and the day's play
Rohit receives the series winner's cheque and trophy. And strangely enough, no award for Player of the Series is given. Ideally, we thought R Ashwin was in contention for that. But anyway, that is that. No play today, and those following us from India can go to bed much earlier. Thanks for being with us though, as we wrap the Test series up before the white-ball formats come calling. On behalf of Vairavan and Monga, this is Himanshu signing off. Take care!
Here comes Rohit Sharma, the winning captain: "Every win is different. Playing in West Indies or in India has its own challenge. I am very happy how things went here. Unfortunately we didn't get any play today... we actually went out with a positive intent yesterday, wanting to get a result. We were quite confident. We know how difficult it is batting last. We always wanted that kind of a score where the teams went for it. The opposition, sitting in the change room, should think we have a chance. The pitch didn't have much. The odd ball was turning from the rough patch, but there wasn't much as such. Siraj over the years has taken a giant step in his career, [given] how he has led the attack in the absence of Bumrah and Shami... but you don't want to depend on one or two individuals. We have really good Test cricket, and I hope we can continue to do that. [Performance of all players] It's a great asset to have... we wanted quick runs, and we promoted Ishan up the order. He put his hand up, and got quick runs for us. Virat played superbly, so you need a mixture of everything. We have got depth and variety, which is quite important. We are in the right place, it's just about going and doing the right thing. I always believe in getting better as a team, no matter what the results are. Except the WTC final, we played good cricket throughout that phase. To improve in all three departments is what we want to focus on. We want to take all catches.... You play in different conditions all the time."
Kraigg Brathwaite speaks now: "We showed some fight with the bat in this game. That was a good fight. Bowling wise, we could still be more disciplined. Generally, it was a good comeback by the batters in this game. We lost five wickets for just 20 runs yesterday... The key from here is obviously to be consistent. We were positive [about the chase today] on a pitch that was still relatively good. We didn't get the chance... Alick came in and looked for the part from the get go. He looked belonged from the first Test. They have good pitches in Australia, but we'll continue to work on our game. Kirk also looked good in the first innings. I think these two guys have the promise, and I believe they are the future. I have a lot of belief in these two. It will be good to have some camps [ahead of the Australia tour]. Getting some practicing in those camps, using Kookaburra balls... preparation will be very important. I think we have the time to do it."
Mohammed Siraj is the Player of the Match for his 5 for 60 in the first innings: "This is my first Man of the Match award in Tests, so it's a memory. There was no help for fast bowlers on this wicket. I had simple plans, and executed it. When there's no help for fast bowlers and yet you get wickets, it gives you confidence. Rohit bhai just asked me to keep doing what I have been doing."
Time for the presentations
Frankie Jr Mans: "This draw is like a win for the Windies!! Happier side..."
2.50pm All right, it is called off. So India win the series 1-0 as a result of a draw here. The rain hardly lost momentum throughout today, and no surprises that after almost six hours of on-and-off rain - most of which were heavy spells - the day is done. Hang around for the presentation formalities.
"I told you in beginning of this day, it will be heartbreaking to see washout of this match similar to yesterday's Ashes Test. Four days of hard work getting washed out on fifth day. I wish I could send some sunny hot weather from Saudi Arabia." --- We last heard from you five hours back, Khalid. Only if we knew then what was to come...
Fayz: "I think rains this season have it as their KRA to washout final day of a Test match for promotion" --- All this while threatening our work here...
Rakesh: "Oh no. Rain, rain, get a brain, and go to Spain. Take a train and visit Maine. Fly a plane and see Bahrain. Just know that no cricket makes me insane" --- Simple and plain...
2.27pm I have news: heavy rain now. It looks very bleak for now, and we could be in for another long delay. Puddles of water form on the covers.
Gops : "I don't think play will resume today. It's pouring heavily. Let's discuss who will be Player of the Series. My vote is for Rohit. 1 Century and 2 fifties in as many innings!" --- Ashwin is a good contender too
Manoj: "Apart from reading about umpires, had dinner of alu parathas while watching Tom Barnaby solve a murder in Midsomer Murders :)" --- Cricket, breaks, food and film... Things we run on
Ravi: "Just logged in, and so much commentary on the umpiring. The umpires are there for a reason, and it's always easy to comment"
Yawnnnn... afternoon, everyone. Rain, stop, rain, stop... the day is getting longer. So what has kept you busy all this while? I have eaten, read a book, and started thinking about
cricket sleep already.
2.15pm It has stopped raining. The ground staff will soon get back to work. And Himanshu Agrawal is back to work too.
2pm Not much to report. Still raining.
"So, rain comes to save the top 2 test sides away from home. " Jan, you're telling me.
"@Sid_Monga, while condescending umpires has become a daily ritual of sorts, which is unfair for most part, but surely cricketers have played some part in that, when they show dissent of variable magnitude when umpires err. DRS has also been tough on umpire's reputation too. It's brilliant to see Nitin Menon umpiring in Ashes but all people remember him for is his mistakes, even though he is an elite umpire" Pranav, I don't endorse their behaviour, but the players have skin in the game. They are out there in the middle. Unlike us, making ill-informed criticism from our living rooms.
Elsewhere, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty won their seventh straight individual event final in the last 19 months - a remarkable record of success and consistency at the highest level. It's been a while since we've been able to say about any Indian athlete - Neeraj Chopra excepted - that their performance improves with pressure. But Sat-Chi are special, just like their many firsts in Indian badminton.
PV: "@Sid: Talking of how umpires are treated, I think it is important to criticize Harmanpreet's behaviour on-field and also during the presentations. IND-W should not grow into the big-"sister" bully mode. "
1.50pm And the cloud opens up. As expected.
In the meanwhile, Raunak Kapoor, the Cricinfo man whom you have been hearing on commentary during the series, tells us a lovely little story of traditional wisdom and lives in sync with the nature.
"There's a flock of birds that fly in a circular pattern when the rain is approaching, and once they get lower, the rain arrives. That's how the ground staff get these precautionary calls right more often than not."
Shaik: "We have to appreciate the Ground staff as well, who are very under-rated IMO. They do all they can to get us CRICKET. Appreciate today's ground staff, as they have been pretty proactive in gauging the clouds and rain. Unlike, other grounds where play couldn't happen even hours or days after rain stopped(2016 at the same ground I guess)."
1.45pm The floodlights are on. It is extremely dark even though it is not raining. This is a massive cloud, but it hasn't yet started dumping on the ground. Let's hope it passes without much damage.
"One of my friend canceled his Caribbean trip from US because of rainy season this time of the year. What's baffling for me is why is there cricket planned during this time when this weather forecast is a general knowledge?!! " Shrey, do you have any other window in the calendar? If you do, quite a few boards and the ICC will like to have a word with you.
1.40pm Well well well. The covers are back on because a massive cloud has made its way towards the ground. Hasn't yet started raining, but the ground staff have never been wrong their pre-emptive covering of the ground.
"Hey, Sid. I am glad to see you push back against some to the comments. I felt in the Ashes, there was a lot of condescension in the way the umpires were commented upon. They weren't idiots to call for lunch that day, for instance. They gave the ground staff plenty of time to clean the wet outfield. Some people think it's fit to play the moment the sun comes out. " Robin, people also think that the umpires are just fools whose only purpose in life is to kill their joy. We expect these experts to have made a mistake that we can spot eyes closed in our living rooms. I do recommend this book to everyone who thinks they know better than the experts.
1.30pm We have a resumption time y'all. At 1.40pm. In 10 minutes. Lessgoo
1.18pm We are past the resumption time, but the good news is that the covers are coming off.
1.12pm We have all successfully jinxed the rain. It has stopped raining.
1.10pm The rain has eased. It is just a drizzle now but a drizzle nonetheless.
1.06pm But the jinx hasn't worked. The rain has returned, y'all. One of those days at the cricket. Players going back in.
Still some good news for India during that warm-up. Shardul Thakur, who was left out with a groin niggle, bowled full pelt on the adjacent pitch with a white ball during that little warm-up session.
1.05pm The preparations are on, the teams are training, but there is a grey cloud around. The ground staff have put on three covers around the pitch, which continues to be rolled. This is purely precautionary. Almost as if to jinx the rain. And that's why we are publishing this update.
12.30pm Good news y'all. We have a resumption time: 1.15pm. That's 10.45pm in India. The West Indies team is at the ground, and India have just arrived too. Let's go. So we get a possible 67 overs depending on over-rate and light. Tea will be taken at 3.15pm. Then 3,35pm to the end.
"baffling that match cannot start immediately after lunch and teams were not at the stadium, seems sense of urgency is missing in all camps. " Kunal, this statement is not accurate. The ground has taken a lot of overnight rain, and it needed time once the rain stopped. They are Test teams. They want to win matches more than you and I. And they are bound by laws and playing conditions. If they don't show up when the ground is ready, they forfeit the match.
11.50am The word is that all covers are off, and teams are not yet at the ground. Lunch in ten minutes. Join us soon, as we try and bring you any updates in between.
Gagan: "Lunch? The covers are finally off and there is no rain, and they will go off for lunch? Am I the only one who finds this bizarre?" --- Given the pounding that the ground must have taken after the amount of rain, it will take a while to dry things up too.
Aarav: "@Agrawal, what are your predictions on the result on the match. Do you think West Indies stand a chance?" --- No prizes for guessing that only one team will be pushing for a win from here, if and when play happens
11.30am As we speak, the main cover is now off. The rest of the ground is also free of the overs. There are blue skies around for now, signs that play could resume soon if it stays this way.
Pranay: "KK's love letter to Dhoni is a great (and long) read for those who are waiting here for the game to start" --- I am pretty sure the cricket will be into a few overs by the time we are done reading that...
11.20am We have lost nearly two hours of what was scheduled play. But covers are slowly coming off now. There is still hope in the air.
Jamshaid Qamar: "Welcome Agrawal, do update us every five minutes plz" --- Only if we had something to inform every five minutes
Rain, rain go away... here I come again. Hello again, everyone. The skies seem clear, and it is brighter than before in Port of Spian.
11am Good news. The rain has stopped. This is the longest it has stopped since morning. The skies look clearer. There is still water on the covers, and the covers are still on. But hope floats. To give you more hope, here is Agrawal.
10.30am To just get an idea of how long a delay we are in for: the teams haven't even left from the hotel yet.
Ashish: "I don't think WI would be much agitated. They have been playing for a draw from very early on, and even so far in their innings."
10.20am Rollercoaster. It stopped raining in between, raising our hopes, but it is raining again now.
Elsewhere, India's Asian Games wrestling contingent will be without multiple Olympic medallists and World Championship medallists. Despite the controversy around Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat's direct entry reigning supreme, there were plenty of new stars that emerged and shock upsets from the recently concluded trials.
A.a : "Both sides must be agitated with rain I guess . I am sure West Indies would have given a thought of chasing at lunch or tea depending on the wickets in hand. On the other hand, India would have loved to get more time to get Windies out"
10am Thanks Agrawal. Hello hello. Unfortunately a wet morning. We shall keep our eye on the weather in Port of Spain, but not much top report at this moment.
With the weather playing spoilsport, here comes Monga for the first time today. May he bring some news, and with it, some cricket. Say hello.
9.50am Although the rain seems to have lightened, it is still trickling down merrily at the Queen's Park Oval. So the action remains a good while away. Just wait and watch, and repeat.
"This is the very reason how we started to hate rain since childhood.." --- Especially when your namesake batted, Sachin Vehale
Neutral Fan: "What a missed opportunity: Pain, pain go away, Khalid wants some cricket *play*" --- That's a brilliant catch indeed (with all puns intended)!
9.30am Even if the ground dries out rather quickly in Port of Spain, rain is steady, and falling quicker than the pace at which those former West Indies greats would bowl. And in a coincidence, the last time these two sides had met at the same ground was in 2016, only 22 overs were possible due to non-stop rain. In fact, the stadium had even received the wrath of the ICC.
"Yesterday's Ashes match and today this match, it will be heartbreaking to see rain deciding the fate of hard-fought four days of the game. It's a pity to see it happening from Saudi Arabia with a hot weather here" ---
Rain, rain Pain, pain go away, Khalid wants some cricket away
"Looks like this band of rain should be over in 40 min or so. Another one coming right after lunch around 1 pm" --- You're exactly the man we need at the moment, Meteorologist
And, and... it is absolutely pouring down there. Daren Ganga takes shelter under his big, black umbrella while reporting from the field, with conditions being overcast all around. There are puddles of water on the covers, and the grass is "very, very damp", he says. But Ganga believes the drainage at the Queen's Park Oval is a pretty good one, and hopes we can have some action once rain relents.
9.20am Siraj bagged a career-best 5 for 60 in Port of Spain last morning, and Alagappan Muthu couldn't stop but admire: he thinks Siraj is dangerously close to being a complete fast bowler, especially with no Bumrah and Shami around during the Tests in the West Indies.
9.10am In what was yet another rain full of action, the fourth day was nothing short of India's dominance: first Siraj's five-for helped India put one foot inside the door as West Indies lost 5 for 26 in the first innings, before Rohit, Jaiswal and Kishan stepped in too and all but shut the door on the hosts. The visitors raked up 181 in 24 overs soon after, as Rohit hit 57 and Kishan 52*.
"Hello. Anyone here? How is the weather looking? I was checking the weather app and it looks like entire day there will be light or heavy rain" --- Here we come, Ashish, with ball-by-ball and drop-by-drop updates
9am India, in transition, are chasing crucial WTC points right at the beginning of the new cycle. West Indies, in decline, are chasing history. And both India and West Indies are chasing the weather Gods. Welcome to the final day of the second Test between the sides, where the hosts would be scripting nothing short of a miracle if they were to make the further 289 required to win, while the visitors would be running away with another series by bagging the remaining eight wickets.
6pm A day on which India breathed life into what looked like a draw meandering along to a draw. Mohammed Siraj was sensational in the morning as India took the remaining five wickets in 7.4 overs. They then batted at a high rate to make sure they declare with a lot of time to spare despite regular sharp showers that kept delaying them. And then Ashwin ended the day with two wickets to leave India favourites to win should the rain not play spoilsport on day five. On that note, we say goodbye. Early start tomorrow, which means ball one at 9.30am (7pm IST). In theory, 98 overs left in the match. Can West Indies bat out a draw? Join us to find out tomorrow.
keeps flighting it generously, and Blackwood drives it to short cover
uppish. Looks to drive at this flighted delivery but is done in by the dip
Around the wicket now
nice flight, just outside off, Blackwood strides forward to defend
lovely cover-drive. Ashwin has overpitched looking for spin, and given him room to free his arms too. Blackwood drives it along the ground and against the turn through cover
overpitched on the pads, pushed wide of mid-on
India might get two more overs in. Ashwin continues with three minute4s to stumps
goes for the full and straight one but has slid down leg in hitting the pad
a length ball, middle and leg, and he clips it past square leg for a single
again short of a length, and punched to short cover
a touch straight, short of a length, flicked away to long leg
crisp punch down the ground, can't beat mid-on
top of off, and defended solidly back to him
Getting dark at QPO but we have just eight minutes of play left. Siraj continues with one wide slip and catching men in front of the wicket
smothers the turn on this one
soft leading edge as he looks to work this full ball to leg
drifts in, middle and leg, full, defended
full, middle and off, defended back to him
Around thr wicket to Chanderpaul
flighted outside off this time, and he drives this to mid-off for a tight single
flat, short of a length, punched to mid-off
Over the wicket to Blackwood
fuller, outside off, but unable to draw a loose response
chooses to pull that is not short enough. The ball skids on and hits his pad, but it is still saling over
|Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad|
|Toss||West Indies, elected to field first|
|Player Of The Match|
|Series result||India won the 2-match series 1-0|
|Match number||Test no. 2513|
|Hours of play (local time)||10.00 start, Lunch 12.00-12.40, Tea 14.40-15.00, Close 17.00|
|Match days||20,21,22,23,24 July 2023 - day (5-day match)|
|Points||India 4, West Indies 4|