India's bid for the top spot in Test rankings ran aground after the final Test in the West Indies series was called off for a second straight day. With rain expected to play havoc on the next two days, Pakistan have all but sealed the No.1 spot while India will remain No. 2 with a 2-0 series win.
Brief Scores: West Indies 62/2 in 22 overs (Kraigg Brathwaite 32(72)*; Ishant Sharma 1/5)
Only 22 overs have been bowled so far in the match as the first day of the Test was also cut short due to rain. The weather condition at the Port of Spain does not look promising at the moment, and it seems unlikely that India will have enough time to win this game. Although the visitors have already won the Test series, a draw in this match would mean that their neighbors Pakistan will leapfrog them to the No.1 spot in the ICC Test rankings.
On the first day, Virat Kohli lost his third consecutive toss as West Indies opted to bat first on a wicket which is expected to provide assistance to the spinners. West Indies made one change to their lineup with Devendra Bishoo replacing Alzarri Joseph. Kohli, on the other hand, moved away from his 5-bowler strategy and dropped Ravindra Jadeja for Cheteshwar Pujara. Murali Vijay meanwhile replaced Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, as expected, extracted a lot of swing with the new ball, with the batsmen looking uncomfortable against him. On the other hand, Mohammed Shami was wayward, especially, with his length. The home side went off to a decent start with Brathwaite looking in good touch. The opening pair put on 31 runs before Ishant Sharma drew first blood for India in his first delivery of the match. The
Kohli brought Ravichandran Ashwin into the action in the 13th over, and the spinner was hit for two boundaries in his opening nine deliveries, the second of which arrived when Darren Bravo danced down the track and lofted one over mid-on for four runs. However, Ashwin responded immediately with a dream delivery.
Ashwin delivered a full-length ball which drifted and turned into towards Bravo. The ball landed on the middle stump, before spinning past Bravo’s defence and dislodging the off stump. At 48/2, West Indies were tottering in the middle, before they were saved by the rain. After the end of the 22nd over, the rain stopped play, and, eventually, play was called off for the day.
Things did not improve on day 2, and after a couple of inspections, the umpires decided to call off day 2 as well. With no improvement in conditions on day 3, the match appears headed for a dull end to the series which saw some great moments intermittently.