NORTH SOUND, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA: West Indies are facing the prospect of another huge series-opening defeat, as they finished the third day of the first Test at 21 for one in their second innings at stumps, with a deficit of 302 runs, after being forced to follow-on against India on Saturday.
Fast-medium bowlers Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami took four wickets each to wreck the home side's first innings, dismissing them for 243 in the final session of the day with half-centuries by opener Kraigg Brathwaite and wicketkeeper-batsman Shane Dowrich representing the only meaningful resistance.
Kohli, Ashwin put India in charge against West Indies
Brathwaite, who defied India's array of pace and spin for almost five hours in getting to 74, could not survive the first over of the second turn at the crease, being trapped palpably leg-before by Ishant Sharma.
"It was a decent knock in the first innings but I would have loved to go on," said Brathwaite at the close of play. "With three out-and-out pacers and two spinners, the Indians have a lot to choose from. They stuck to their plans very well. It was never easy batting against them."
Rajendra Chandrika and Darren Bravo survived to the close and will resume on the fourth day hoping to put up a much more concerted effort in the second innings.
The hosts have lost all of their opening Test matches in their last three home series.
Show of solidarity: Cricket match held in Haripur
India's bowlers made a mockery of all the lamentations of a placid, lifeless pitch over the first two days with an impressive, purposeful effort throughout the day.
They were held up though at the start of play as Braithwaite and nightwatchman Devendra Bishoo frustrated Virat Kohli and his men for 75 minutes until leg-spinner Amit Mishra had Bishoo stumped by wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha.
It was second of six dismissals for Saha in the innings, putting him alongside Syed Kirmani and MS Dhoni for the most dismissals by an Indian wicketkeeper in a Test innings.
From that point on, it was pacer Shami who rattled the hosts by picking up three crucial wickets either side of the lunch interval when he disposed of Bravo, Marlon Samuels and Jermaine Blackwood.
Debutant Roston Chase displayed a measure of grit in a 47-run stand for the sixth wicket with Brathwaite, but the reintroduction of Yadav for another spell in mid-afternoon proved telling.
Chase miscued an attempted pull to give Kohli a simple catch at short midwicket and Brathwaite could not get out of the way of a sharp lifter to give a catch behind.
Dowrich counter-attacked superbly and finished with an unbeaten 57 with ten fours by the time the innings folded.
India’s Yadav removed captain Jason Holder and Carlos Brathwaite off successive balls before Mishra completed the job by dismissing Shannon Gabriel.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ