LunchIndia 438 and 98 for 1 (Rohit 57, Jaiswal 37*, Gill 0*, Gabriel 1-11) lead West Indies 255 (Brathwaite 75, Siraj 5-60, Mukesh 2-48) by 281 runs
After Mohammed Siraj ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/mohammed-siraj-940973) made light work of West Indies’ lower order with the second new ball, Rohit Sharma ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/rohit-sharma-34102) and Yashasvi Jaiswal ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/yashasvi-jaiswal-1151278) led India’s victory push by rattling off 98 together off just 71 balls. Rohit holed out for 57 off 44 balls, but India’s lead was worth 281 by the time rain forced an early lunch in Port-of-Spain.
India needed less than eight overs – and less than an hour – on the fourth morning to dismiss West Indies for 255 from an overnight 229 for 5. Siraj, the leader of India’s inexperienced pace attack, lived up to his billing and returned 5 for 60 in challenging conditions.
It was debutant Mukesh Kumar ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/mukesh-kumar-926851) who had struck in the first over of the day when he pinned Alick Athanaze lbw with an inswinger from over the wicket. After being given out by on-field umpire Marais Erasmus, Athanaze went for a review almost immediately, but HawkEye suggested that it would have just clipped leg stump. Athanaze could count himself a bit unlucky, with ball-tracking also returning umpire’s call on impact.
In the next over, Siraj went wide of the crease, tricked Jason Holder into playing for the inward angle, but got the ball to swing away and kiss the edge. Siraj proceeded to snip off the tail with his wobble-seam inducker and outswinger. He led India’s players off the field and was warmly welcomed back by bowling coach Paras Mhambrey.
Rohit and Jaiswal then switched into T20 mode and regularly hit the ball over the top. In the first over of India’s second innings, Jaiswal jumped out of the crease and dispatched Kemar Roach over extra-cover for six. Then, in Roach’s next over, Rohit lofted him over the midwicket boundary with a bigger swing. The partnership zoomed to fifty off just 33 balls and India’s run-spree could well continue in the afternoon session.
Rohit had led a charmed life – he was first dropped by Shannon Gabriel on 25 and then by Athanaze on 29. Both were fairly straightforward chances, bringing West Indies’ sloppy fielding into sharp focus once again. In the ODI World Cup qualifier in June-July, West Indies had botched a number of chances in the field, with white-ball coach Daren Sammy labelling them the “worst fielding side” ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/world-cup-qualifiers-zim-vs-wi-we-did-not-deserve-to-win-daren-sammy-1383937) around.
Rohit made West Indies pay on Sunday, shellacking a 35-ball half-century – his fastest in Test cricket. However, just before the rain arrived, he was caught at fine leg, where Alzarri Joseph didn’t mess it up.