WI vs IND | Jamaica Day 3 Talking Points: Virat Kohli ignoring Hurricane Dorian and Windies players’ cavalier attitude

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BCCI

WI vs IND | Jamaica Day 3 Talking Points: Virat Kohli ignoring Hurricane Dorian and Windies players’ cavalier attitude

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Bastab K Parida

09/02/2019

While India had a solid chance of finishing things off on Day 4 of the second Test in Jamaica, they delayed the inevitable by batting again, despite having a 299-run lead in the first innings. While the decision was questionable, Windies players’ negative attitude on the field made the game dull.

Understand Kohli’s point but what about Hurricane Dorian?

It has now become a trend not to enforce the follow-on, especially because of the difficulties a team faces in the fourth innings run-chase. While that was a point India were of course pondered before deciding to bat again, the pacers’ workload management in the hot Jamaica conditions was probably the bigger reason behind the decision. It was, however, in a way an acknowledgement the fast bowlers had put in the first innings in anti-Caribbean conditions and was widely accepted by many. However, was it also a decision fraught with the danger of not winning the game?

There was an inclement weather prediction for Day 4 and Day 5 because of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas in Jamaica which might affect the game big-time. As per BBC News, Hurricane Dorian has made landfall in the north-west Bahamas as a powerful category five storms with sustained winds of up to 180mph and is expected to continue to move over Great Abaco Island and near, or over, Grand Bahama Island later on Sunday into Monday. As I dug deeper to check the local reports from Jamaica, the prediction for the city doesn’t seem good and although light rain is predicted, a change in path for the Hurricane may actually cause detriment to the Indian team’s winning sojourn. 

Change in Shannon Gabriel’s approach

Yesterday, we talked about how Shannon Gabriel, despite being blessed with some fearsome pace and hostility, adopted a one-dimensional approach. When swing was not available, instead of trying to extract some seam movement, which was in plenty for Jason Holder, he bowled a regular full length and the Indians happily punished him for that. Thank goodness, he brought a change to the failed plan and did what he has been so good at - short and back of length deliveries. With his partner-in-crime Kemar Roach doing fine at the other end, Gabriel first focused on getting his lengths right before firing the attacking ones.

As shown by the broadcasters, he didn’t bowl a single ball on good length or full in the first four overs, and tried to extract whatever bounce was available off the surface. After Roach laid down the platform, reducing India to 35/3, the visitors didn’t have any margin of error and Gabriel saw the easiest way out. As the Duke’s ball had the tendency of holding the seam up, he took himself wider of the crease to produce as many negative lengths to put India under pressure. Well, the scorecard doesn’t tell about the persistence but Gabriel should be applauded for the change. 

Lack of cavalier attitude sets India apart from Windies

When the chips are down, when things don’t go your way, it requires an extra push, that small shift in attitude for good, and how you make up for all the mistakes. Every success on the sports field is as much about talent as it is about seizing the small moments and looking for those extra bits. India, despite playing one of the easiest away series ever, didn’t drop the intensity as much as the hosts and that is the eventual turning point in the game. After dominating the first innings like invincibles, India had the option of putting Windies into bat again and set their professionalism on stone. However, looking at the bigger picture, India batted again, and in hindsight, that was something which was required to expose Windies’ terrible attitude. 

Debutant wicketkeeper Jahmar Hamilton, who was very impressive in the first innings, looked very casual in his approach behind the stumps in the second and John Campbell didn’t seem like he had any interest to field. While Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari batted like they had a bigger battle, it was not understandable how come Windies could afford to be so slack on the field. It was their cavalier attitude that dictated the course of the game and certainly not becoming of a team which has garnered a lot of attention from the fans for their apparent “resurrection” in the last two years.

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