India vs Windies | Takeaways: Devendra Bishoo’s uninspiring display and Ravindra Jadeja’s moment to savour

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India vs Windies | Takeaways: Devendra Bishoo’s uninspiring display and Ravindra Jadeja’s moment to savour

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Bastab K Parida


India dominated the second consecutive day in the Test and secured a 555-run lead in the first innings after reducing the Windies to 94/6. In the game, Devendra Bishoo tried too hard to be as old-fashioned with the ball as possible, but the lack of bounce resulted in he was being completely negated.

Devendra Bishoo’s Caribbean ploy fail to reap dividends 

In more ways than one, Devendra Bishoo is a leg-spinner of the classical mold. Unlike a Shane Warne or Anil Kumble or even a Rashid Khan, he tries to be more reliant on batsman’s mistakes rather than going for the kill from his side. However, that is not the ideal way to go about the business in India as the pitches start fairly slow, and keep getting slower as the match progresses and unless you have the right kind of attitude to exploit the chances, the probability of wickets also goes down. 

Test cricket asks its followers to perch patience, and the bowlers need to keep up a particular strategy so as to trap their target eventually. While the idea in the shortest format is to keep the batsman guessing by mixing it up almost every ball, in Tests, one needs to focus on one stock delivery and target the same spot time and again. In the final session of the first day, Bishoo started bowling normal leg-spin deliveries and bowled some occasional googlies. 

But, today, he was erratic with his lengths and his flatter trajectory didn’t help the cause either as he failed to deceive the batsman in the air with the drift or dip. His deception off the pitch could have been helpful in the conditions like Australia and Windies, where the bounce is the major weapon. However, his lack of pace in the air made it a differentiator in the end. 

Ravindra Jadeja shines in Rajkot

Ravindra Jadeja divides opinion like a few others. He can be extremely erratic as a performer and at times, can be the best among the lot. Today, first he dusted off his sword to score a fifty and took the bar to even higher level with a century of his own and effected a run-out in a way that made Ravichandran Ashwin almost lose it. If that was not enough, he came out to bowl and pick up a wicket on the very first ball of the over. 

Jadeja not only had seamlessly adapted but also ensured he seized the momentum. Given India maintained an excellent run rate, they had a lot of time to allow Jadeja a shot at the hundred. But, the wicket was falling at the other end and understanding the situation, Jadeja hit the second ball he faced after his fifty for a six over Bishoo's head. 

The fact that Jadeja is not a lanky batsman, his short stature does not allow him to go forward enough to counter the spin, so he basically rocks back to play besides the pad. Jadeja’s defensive game has been susceptible against the ball turning away from him, just as the way he was dismissed today. But the Windies spinners didn’t do anything to keep him in check, which could have helped them reduce the difference in the damage.

Windies’ sorry state of affairs

“Calypso cavaliers, drawn from a dozen tiny islands nestling in the Caribbean, they play their cricket in the lifestyle of their sun-drenched islands, with the rhythm of a steel band, with a grin and for the sheer joy of scampering around an oval.”

When West Indies toured Australia under the effervescent leadership of Clive Lloyd in 1975-76, the Sydney Morning Herald described them as such. It was a fine description of the lovely West Indian cricketers, all entertainment, bursting with joy, but the firing the balls like - had the term was coined back then - Ravi Shastri would call them “tracer bullet”. The batting was tremendous and the Calypso Power trumped over all odds. It is no more a secret that current Windies Cricket can never be held in that awe or admiration, but the last session of the day must have made Ian Bishop, who was present in the commentary box, very sad and mainly, because of the progress that they had shown in home clime.

After a fantastic summer that saw them winning a Test at Headingley, and super performance against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, Windies batsmen were supposed to give some sort of challenges to the hosts and the batsmen were widely believed to make-up for the bowlers' major mistakes. However, from the ball No.1, it was a disaster. There was no spine and no fighting spirit and wickets were served for the Indian team on a platter. No one is giving them a chance to win, but a fighting spirit keeps the game in good stead. As it turned out, Windies are not learning anything.

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