Classy West Indies team rode on a brave innings from Roston Chase to seal which can be called an impossible draw. On the last day of play, the batsmen of the home team played more than 85 overs and were able to fulfil their aim of forcing a draw. They scored a record 340 runs on the last day and dragged the game till the last session before both the captains with mutual understanding decided to shake hands to call for a draw.
With this draw, the West Indies team sent a strong lesson to the Indian team that they can no more take this team lightly and if they do so than they have to be ready for the consequences.
In what could have been a matter of a session or two, West Indies batsmen teased Indian bowlers and forced them who toil throughout the day without any big rewards. Slowly and steadily the Indian bowlers lost confidence and almost gave up the game after the first hour of the second session. Captain Kohli was alone seen cheering up for the boys but none of them seemed to be listening to him.
Amit Mishra was lost in the world of dreams as his alien lines and lengths were nothing less than a gift for the batsmen. They were accepting the present with utmost pleasure and delight. Next in the list is Umesh Yadav who was reluctant to put some extra efforts and continued to bowl like he normally does
Ishant Sharma, who is now a member of the Indian team for 9 years showed no signs of experience and looked like he is 9 days old to international cricket. Last but not the least, Mohammed Shami though put some effort from the first ball off the game itself but he too lost the interest as the game progressed.
An extra effort from either of the bowler could have turned the things for the Indian team.
Another tactical error done by captain Virat Kohli was bringing Ashwin after Amit Mishra. Ashwin was the star of the bowling line-up in the first innings and in the second innings too he made an immediate impact by taking a wicket in only second over he bowled in the day. If Ashwin were introduced in the early overs of day 5, the scenario could have been different as he has a habit of making an immediate impact. Batsmen were already settled before Ashwin came and rest of the story we know.
Though Indian team did not lose the match but there is somewhere a hidden loss in this drawn game for Indian team and a hidden win for West Indies team.
Time for conclusion and solution, it will not be wrong to say that Virat Kohli did some mistakes which were reasons for the loss. As mentioned above, preferring Mishra over Ashwin being one of them. Short bowling spells, no attacking fields and under using Umesh Yadav being the others.
Solution to the issue is simple and clear i.e. making a change in the bowling attack. I do not advocate for a change in pace attack but yes a spinner needs to be benched for the next game for Ravindra Jadeja.
Amit Mishra should be benched for Jadeja as he is more threatening than him. Along with this, he can contribute with the bat too which is an additional advantage for the team. Though Mishra to scored a half-century in the first Test but we saw that more than Mishra it was the West Indies fielders who were more eager to see him scoring a century. The second change is the obvious change if Murali Vijay is fit then he will walk in and there are a chance that Pujara will walk out but I have a different view on this.
Instead of Pujara, it should be Shikhar Dhawan who should be pulled out of the team because of few reasons. Dhawan can never provide stability to the team which Pujara is capable of. We saw in the last match that Pujara stood like a wall on one end and no bowler was able to break his concentration. This can never happen with Dhawan as he always gets outs playing loose shots. In the end, would like t to conclude by presenting a fact that Dhawan has been given ample of opportunities if compared to Pujara. So now it’s time for Pujara to get few more chances to show his worth.
Rest depends on upon a fine sense of judgment of captain Virat Kohli!