India posts 438 courtesy of a Kohli century and Windies get off to a steady start on Day 2

Virat Kohli broke his drought of overseas test centuries in Port of Spain

After a solid first day of the second test, the Indian cricket team had a couple of decent sessions on the second day as Virat Kohli scored his 76th international century followed by half-centuries from Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin to help the visitors post a respectable total.

Kohli and Jadeja picked up from where they left off at the end of Day 1 at the Queen’s Park Oval as the duo accumulated 17 runs in the first four overs.

Kohli opened the phase of his bat for a beautiful cover drive that helped him get another boundary and reach his first overseas test century in five years. In the same over, Jadeja also brought up his half-century with a well-run double as the batters got rid of the nerves early in the day.

After showcasing a picture-perfect straight drive that helped him get another boundary, the former Indian skipper tried to steal a single but good work from Alzarri Joseph in the field caught him short of the crease and Kohli had to return with 121 runs in the bag off 206 deliveries.

In the post-match presentation, Kohli discussed about scoring a century in his 500th international match.

He said,

“I really enjoyed myself out there. I was in rhythm in which I wanted to be. I always looked at pressure as an opportunity to stand up for my team. I switch on myself in the contest and it gets the best out of me. I took my time, they were bowling in good areas when I walked in so I had to take my time. The outfield wasn’t quick and fluent as it should have been.”

He continued,

“I have got 15 hundreds away from home, that’s not a bad record. I have got more hundreds away than at home. The key is to do well to the best of my ability. We haven’t played 30 matches away from home and I have got a few fifty-plus scores. I want to contribute as much as possible. If I get 50 the feeling is I missed out on a 100, if I get 120 the feeling is I missed out on a double hundred. These stats and milestones mean nothing in 15 years time, what they will remember is if I left an impact or not. I am grateful to play 500 games for India. It’s all hard work. It’s the commitment you give to the sport you are playing which gives you the result.”

Wicket-keeper batter Ishan Kishan started off in T20 mode as he scored 12 runs off the first six deliveries scoring two boundaries and signalling his intent from the word go. The runs dried up for Jadeja at the other end and the all-rounder tried to play an ambitious drive against Kemar Roach but edged it behind the wicket for Joshua Da Silva to complete a regulation catch.

After 85 runs and two wickets from the first session with Kishan unbeaten on a score of 18 runs and Ashwin kickstarting his innings with 6 runs off the first deliveries, lunch was taken ending the first session of the day’s play.

Ashwin creamed a couple of boundaries through the off-side early in the second session and Jason Holder almost struck Kishan’s wicket from the other end but Kirk McKenzie dropped the opportunity which could have hurt the hosts.

But, in hindsight, it didn’t matter much as Kishan was dismissed on the very next ball edging the ball behind the wicket and Da Silva pouched another catch safely to leave Ashwin stranded in the middle with the Indian tail.

After contributing 7 runs in a 23-run partnership, Jaydev Unadkat tried to step out and hit Jomel Warrican out of the park but missed the ball completely as Da Silva completed the stumping behind the wicket. After struggling for a while in the middle, Mohammed Siraj also returned to the pavilion after the hosts reviewed successfully for leg before wicket as Warrican completed his 3-fer.

Ashwin switched gears in the next over as he hit three boundaries off the first five deliveries off Roach’s bowling bringing up his 13th half-century in tests. The off-spinner was cleaned through while searching for a fourth boundary and ended with a personal score of 56 runs and the visitors posted a total of 438 runs on the board.

Following a timid batting display in the last match, the Windies openers put up resistance to the Indian bowler after the tea session. Skipper Kragg Braithwaite and youngster Tagenarine Chanderpaul negated Rohit Sharma’s first four bowlers successfully hitting multiple boundaries and showing patience whenever required on the tricky track.

Jadeja and Ashwin will once again be crucial for India on Day 3

Finally, Jadeja came into the attack and broke the partnership in his second over as Chanderpaul tried to hoick the ball out of the ground but edged it to Ashwin ending with a score of 33 runs off 95 deliveries.

Debutant McKenzie struck Ashwin for a maximum down the ground followed by a beautiful cover drive against Jadeja marking his first six and four in test cricket against two world-class spinners. 

Skipper Braithwaite survived a late sumping call to end Day 2 with a score of 86/1 and the third day will be crucial for the Windies as the hosts would want to score more than 350 runs in order to have a chance of winning the second test.