WEST INDIES: In a display of skill and team spirit, Team India took control of the second Test at the Queen’s Park Oval stadium against West Indies, thanks to the heroics of young batting sensation Ishan Kishan and a selfless act by former captain Virat Kohli.
The match witnessed an exhilarating display of Bazball mode as India dominated proceedings, setting a mammoth target for the hosts on a rain-hit day.
After an impressive five-wicket haul by Mohammed Siraj, West Indies found themselves bundled out for 255 runs, handing India a substantial 183-run lead in the first innings.
The Indian opening pair of Yasasvi Jaiswal and Rohit Sharma got off to a flying start, scoring 98 runs in just 71 balls, with Rohit smashing his fastest Test fifty.
With the dismissals of Jaiswal and Rohit in quick succession, the onus was on Virat Kohli, who had scored a brilliant century in the first innings, to continue the onslaught. However, in a surprising strategic move, it was Ishan Kishan who emerged at No.4 instead of Kohli.
The young left-handed batter embraced the opportunity with gusto, playing fearlessly and notching up his maiden Test half-century in a breathtaking 34-ball knock.
The crowd was left in awe as Kishan showcased his remarkable batting skills and unyielding determination. His innings included an array of powerful strokes and impressive footwork, putting immense pressure on the West Indies bowlers.
The former Indian captain willingly stepped aside and backed Kishan to bat ahead of him, a decision aimed at exploiting the match situation and bolstering India’s chances of setting an imposing target.
After the day’s play, Kishan was all praise for Kohli, stating, “It was really special (the half-century). I knew what the team needed from me. Everyone backed me. Virat backed me and told me ‘go and play your game.’ It was Virat bhai who took the initiative and told me that I should go in. There was a slow left-armer who was bowling. It was a good call for the team. Sometimes you need to take these calls.”
The Indian team’s plan was clear, and they executed it with precision. After the rain interruption, they set a target of playing aggressively for 10-12 overs and accumulating 70-80 runs.
This approach helped them declare their second innings at 181 for two, setting an imposing target of 365 runs for the West Indies to chase.
As the match enters its final day, India is well-positioned to clinch victory. The West Indies batsmen face a herculean target of scoring 289 runs. At the moment they stand 76-2.