‘Pujara may have to make way for Vijay if he is fully fit’
Image Courtesy: BCCI
The tremendous fightback by the West Indians will have given them loads of confidence as they square up to the Indians in the third Test at St. Lucia.
The pitch here has been known to be good for batting so the Indians will have to work very hard to win this Test and if they do that then they win the series too. They were made to work hard by the lower order of the West Indies team with Roston Chase, Jermaine Blackwood, Shane Dowrich and Jason Holder batting with calm authority and denying them a win that looked on the cards at the end of the fourth day. At that stage the Indian new ball attack looked lethal and the manner in which Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels got out had the former West Indian greats shaking their heads.
Truly the worm has turned and the shoe was on the other foot as the Indians dished out the bitter medicine that the West Indian pacers of yore used to give to every team that they played against. Darren Bravo in particular looked so uneasy against the short ball that it was only a matter of time that he was going to pop a catch up in the air. Marlon Samuels since the 2011 India tour has looked apprehensive against Ishant Sharma in particular and his left foot keeps dragging itself away from the line of the ball. He brings his experience to play and looks to survive and also play a few shots but the Indians seemed to have figured him out.
Jermaine Blackwood who got a pair in the first Test had decided that he was going to come out all guns blazing and it worked for him in both innings where he got a pair of 60s. However, Roston Chase was a completely different act altogether. Here is a cricketer who will serve West Indies cricket for a long time if he can stay injury-free. His batting is based on correct lines and his temperament is excellent. He has all the shots in the book and he makes use of the depth of the batting crease to great effect. Shane Dowrich and Jason Holder too have shown they are more than capable with the bat and so the Windies bat quite deep.
It’s the bowling which is looking pretty ordinary as apart from the pace of Shannon Gabriel and the off spin of Chase there is nobody who looks like taking an Indian wicket. India will probably go with the same team unless Murali Vijay is fully fit in which case Cheteshwar Pujara may have to make way for him. That will be hard on Pujara as he has held the innings together on innumerable times for India especially in overseas conditions.
The Indian combination is looking good and the five days' rest would have done no harm at all. If the weather holds then another win should be on the cards but it won't be as easy as the one in the first Test.