Indian bowlers came up with a superlative performance to bundle out the West Indies out for 243 to complement what Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin and Shikhar Dhawan had done with the bat. The pitch at the Sir Viv Richards stadium is good one to bat on but for those bowlers who are prepared to bend their backs there is some bounce that can be found to trouble the batsmen.
That’s what Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav did as they used the short ball to good effect to rattle the Windies batsmen. How the wheel has turned? There was a time when the West Indian pacers would blast the opposition batsmen out with sheer pace but now it’s their batsmen who are doing the backward shuffle.
Sure those were also the days when the bouncer was not restricted to just two in an over so the intimidation factor was always there but now to find that West Indians who should be at home playing pace and especially the short ball floundering against it was a surprise to say the least.
What was even more of a revelation was that their own new ball bowlers hardly used the short ball and this despite getting the first Indian wicket that of Murali Vijay to a very well-directed bouncer. Jason Holder opening the bowling and bowling at just over 130 kmph is hard to understand.
If that is the best new ball bowling that the West Indians have to offer then Kohli & Co.should be able to enjoy a run feast in the remaining Test matches too. There is this young kid Alzarri Joseph, who in the last two Caribbean Premier League games pinged the helmet of no less a batsman than AB de Villers and another top batsman and although he may be contracted to play for his franchise team the West Indies cricket board can surely get him released to play in the Test matches to follow.
Kohli carrying on from his century and getting a double ton was inevitable and in the end it was only a mistake on his part where he tried to power a ball on a slow pitch that got him to miss his timing and drag the ball onto his stumps. Ashwin made a strong case to be considered as an all-rounder by showing admirable appreciation of the opportunity batting at six and the benign nature of the pitch to get a third Test century against the West Indies.