Wednesday, February 21, 2024

India steady after early Vijay exit

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Bridgetown: Abhinav Mukund (27 not out) and Rahul Dravid (18 not out) resurrected Indian innings after they lost Murali Vijay (3) early against West Indies on the fourth day of the rain-affected second Test in Bridgetown, Barbados on Friday.

The two added unbeaten 36-run for the second wicket and extended their lead over the hosts to 73 runs at lunch on Day 4.

Dravid survived a low catch by Adrian Barath off Darren Sammy on square-leg when he was on 9.

Pacer Ravi Rampaul struck early to dismiss Vijay soon after the fourth day’s play started late due to bad light and overcast conditions.

Vijay wasted another opportunity to prove himself at the highest level and his dismissal will again raise a few questions about the Tamil Nadu opener’s temperament.

Rampaul bowled one that straightened a touch after pitching and Vijay trying to play on the up only managed a faint tickle that was gobbled up by glovesman Baugh.

It was one more such occasion when Rampaul had broken the opening wicket stand. The Trinidad paceman, without a fail, has got an opener’s wicket in eight innings of opponents this season.

With Gambhir fit to play in England, it will be surprising if Vijay boards the flight to England.

His partner Mukund however showed a lot of grit and determination during the morning session as he didn’t play any edgy shots. The classic cover drive off Sammy was the best shot of the session.

The youngster got behind the line of the delivery save on one occasion when a bouncer from Fidel Edwards hit his helmet.

The current Test match is supposed to be a tie-breaker between Vijay and Mukund as to who would make it as the reserve opener in case Sehwag is deemed unfit for the tour of England.

Dravid on the otherhand hit two boundaries, both of them through the slip cordon. He did look a bit edgy but hung on there till the break.

Dravid survived a low catch by Adrian Barath off Darren Sammy on square-leg when he was on 9.

Earlier, led by a superb three-wicket burst by speedster Ishant Sharma, who grabbed career-best six for 55, India dismissed the West Indies for 190 in their first innings and put themselves into a comfortable position on the rain-affected second Test. (PTI)

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