Second Test


At Nagpur, December 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Drawn. Toss: India.

India's winning steak was finally halted by the determined resistance of Hooper and Adams. But some critics felt Azharuddin had let West Indies off the hook. In the first innings, the Indian batsmen piled up 546, but in the second, when quick runs were needed, they batted circumspectly, delaying the declaration until late on the fifth morning.

The home team was unchanged, while West Indies strengthened their batting, bringing in Chanderpaul and Cummins for Dhanraj and Cuffy. But India claimed first use of a decidedly slow pitch and flourished from the start. It was only the fourth time they had scored 500 against West Indies in 64 encounters. Sidhu made his second Test hundred against the West Indians, Tendulkar his first and Azharuddin was only three short when he flicked to backward short leg. Tendulkar's century was the most remarkable. It was the highest of his eight Test hundreds and he reached three figures by hooking Walsh for six. He also hit 24 fours in nearly seven hours. The innings was interrupted twice on the first day: Walsh pulled his team off after a hail of missiles at the deep fielders, culminating in a large guava fruit. After an hour was lost, policemen were stationed facing the crowds at ten-yard intervals and there were no further incidents.

India were well-placed to exert pressure on a slow turner and, despite patient fifties from Simmons and Lara, West Indies were well short of the follow-on mark when they lost four for 155. But then Hooper joined the left-hander Adams, who was promoted to break up the spinners' line while Hooper rested after bowling 40 overs for five wickets. Adams used his pads freely as Hooper shrugged off a nervous start to play some sumptuous shots. Their stand raised 133 before three quick wickets fell. The tourists were still 27 from safety when Murray combined with Adams to add 97 in two hours. Adams remained undefeated on 125 after 406 minutes, after Raju picked up his fourth bag of five wickets in three home Tests.

Walsh removed Prabhakar and Kambli before his recurring neck injury forced him off, leaving an inexperienced attack to cope with Sidhu and Tendulkar. They had put on 177 on the first day, and added 128 now, but batted with unaccustomed caution. The innings dragged on until just before lunch on the final day. The declaration set West Indies 327 in a minimum of 65 overs and they were in trouble when the spinners removed the openers and Lara for 22. But once again Adams provided stability and Hooper lashed out, with 67 off 89 balls, to break the bowlers' grip. Both fell just before the final 15 overs began but Adams's 162 minutes of stoic defence had killed off the Indians' ambitions and the teams agreed on an early finish.

Man of the Match: C. L. Hooper.

Close of play: First day, India 230-4 (S. R. Tendulkar 81*); Second day, West Indies 15-1 (P. V. Simmons 1*, A. C. Cummins 0*); Third day, West Indies 305-5 (J. C. Adams 68*, K. L. T. Arthurton 5*); Fourth day, India 95-2 (N. S. Sidhu 44*, S. R. Tendulkar 29*).

© John Wisden & Co