Recent Match Report – West Indies vs India 2nd Test 2023

west indies 86 for 1 (Brathwaite 37*, Jadeja 1-12) behind India 438 (Kohli 121, Rohit 80, Jadeja 61, Ashwin 56, Warrican 3-89) by 352 runs

Virat Kohli scored his first Test century in almost five years, and Ravindra Jadeja And R Ashwin India scored 438 runs and scored a half-century in Port-of-Spain. In reply, West Indies made a slow but solid start, with captain Kraigg Brathwaite and Tagnarine Chanderpaul responsible for the hosts’ first half-century partnership in the series. But 20 minutes before stumps, Jadeja got Chanderpaul caught by Ashwin. Brathwaite and debutant Kirk McKenzie, playing only his tenth first-class game, then safely negotiated a difficult phase of play with the West Indies still 352 runs behind.

Earlier, Kohli was looking to convert his century into a big one until Alzarri Joseph’s athletic intervention saw him out for 121. Jadeja looked set for his century, but Kemar Roach dismissed him for 61 runs. Both overnight batsmen fell in the space of six overs, but Ashwin marshalled the tail and pushed India towards 450.

The pitch at Queens Park Oval – and the outfield – became even slower on the second day, but that did not stop Kohli from hitting boundaries with his powerful drives. One of those drives, hit behind point off Shannon Gabriel, gave Kohli his 76th century in his 500th international match. Three balls later, Jadeja completed his half-century and celebrated it with his signature sword dance.

Another Kohli drive, this time off Jason Holder in the 92nd over, was one of the contenders for the shot of the match. When Holder hit a half-volley onto the stumps, Kohli had originally shaped it to flick it through midwicket, but he ended up half-flicking and half-driving it outside mid-off with great authority. There was another drive which he drilled so straight that it knocked down the middle stump at the non-striker’s end.

Jadeja was more cautious, but he along with Kohli stole singles and doubles from under the noses of the West Indies fielders. However, the 159-run partnership for the fifth wicket ended when an uncharacteristic moment of hesitation between the wickets resulted in Kohli being run out. Joseph pounced on the ball from square leg and took advantage of the opportunity. Soon after, Roach bowled a wide ball and asked Jadeja to drive behind.

The on-field umpire had originally given Jadeja not out, but the West Indies overturned the decision on review. However, the replay that appeared for the TV umpire was of a different ball. During the tea analysis show, broadcast commentator clarified That the right decision was taken despite the “glitch”.

Kishan, who spent 19 balls on zero on his Test debut in dominica, started with more aggressive intent in Port-of-Spain, moving forward towards left-arm fingerspinner Jomel Warrican and blasting the ball past him for four runs. Kishan got a lease of life after lunch when McKenzie dropped him after making a diving mistake at short midwicket. That mistake cost West Indies only four runs as Holder dismissed Kishan for 25 on the very next ball.

After Ashwin hit back-to-back drives off Gabriel, the West Indies fast bowlers troubled him with short balls. But Ashwin took advantage of the bounce and created scoring opportunities. When Roach continued to bowl it short – but not too short – outside off, Ashwin leaned back and lofted it over slip for two fours. After this, he completed his half-century by hitting a four on a similar short ball from Roach. With No. 11 Mukesh Kumar in the mix, Ashwin backed off and tried to hit more boundaries, but Roach got the better of him with his slow change. Roach and Warrican took three wickets each before the West Indies openers settled down.

Chanderpaul especially had to work hard for his runs in the early stages. He took 58 balls to hit his first four and reach double figures. When Ashwin made a mistake down the leg side, Chanderpaul removed him with a sweep. After this he responded to Mohammad Siraj’s bouncers with hooks.

Both Chanderpaul and Brathwaite were happy to leave anything outside the off stump on a track that did not provide much help to the seamers or spinners. Brathwaite had a look at Siraj and edged Jadeja for a four, but was not as confident against Ashwin, who edged a single over the wicket with his outside edge.

It was Jadeja who provided the breakthrough in the 35th over. After bowling 36 consecutive balls to Brathwaite, Jadeja attacked Chanderpaul and on the left-hander’s second ball he pulled a thick edge which went towards backward point. McKenzie declared his name in Test cricket by hitting a six off Ashwin and then dismissed Jadeja for four through extra cover, helping West Indies end the day with confidence.

Devarayanan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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