World Cup Preview: Kohli leads India charge for redemption

By Mariah Ramharack May 23, 2019

Mercurial India skipper Virat Kohli leads experience team in quest for third World Cup title.

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  • Kohli and Rahane secure big India lead on day three Kohli and Rahane secure big India lead on day three

    India built a commanding 260-run lead over West Indies with seven second-innings wickets still in hand at the close of play on the third day of the first Test.

    Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane enjoyed an unbroken partnership of 104 for the fourth wicket at North Sound, with a successful chase for the Windies becoming increasingly improbable with each passing ball.

    The hosts had been 189-8 at the start of play and quick Indian progress had them all out for 222, 75 runs short of the tourists' first-innings total.

    That gave the India batsmen a platform to build from and, despite a minor wobble as wickets fell in consecutive overs in the second session, their advantage continued to steadily increase.

    Kohli was on 51 and Rahane on 53 as the Windies struggled for crucial further breakthroughs, with India closing on 185-3.

    The growing deficit was harsh on home captain Jason Holder, who at least battled bravely after returning to the crease on 10 on Saturday morning.

    He made it to 39 before Mohammed Shami got India up and running for the day with an edge behind.

    The innings swiftly closed as Miguel Cummins went to Ravindra Jadeja for a 45-ball duck, giving India a healthy lead.

    Mayank Agarwal provided only minor improvement on his first knock of five as he departed lbw to Roston Chase for 16, although replays showed he would have survived had he ignored partner KL Rahul and reviewed.

    Rahul (38) kept going and put on 43 with Cheteshwar Pujara (25) until, in a rare and brief swing of momentum, the duo surprisingly lost their wickets in quick succession to leave their side on 81-3.

    Chase benefited from more questionable Rahul decision-making when an attempted sweep left middle stump exposed, before Kemar Roach went straight through Pujara.

    Yet that only brought Kohli and Rahane to the crease and neither man appeared in any mood to deliver similar gifts, digging in and slowly but surely cranking up the score.

    Rahane was fortunate to see Holder opt against reviewing a non-lbw call just before his half-century, but that was as testing as it got for India late in the day.

  • Ishant takes five to put India in command Ishant takes five to put India in command

    Ishant Sharma's five-wicket haul left West Indies facing a substantial first-innings deficit as India took control of the first Test on day two at North Sound.

    Ravindra Jadeja (58) and Ishant (19) held up the Windies with valuable runs down the order at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Friday, getting the tourists up from 207-7 to 297 all out.

    Kemar Roach (4-66) and Shannon Gabriel (3-71) had the top-ranked side in trouble before the tail wagged and India then exposed West Indies' batting deficiencies to take the upper hand in Antigua.

    Ishant took 5-42 as Jason Holder's side collapsed to 189-8 at stumps - trailing by 108 runs - after losing five wickets in the final session, Roston Chase top scoring with 48.

    Rishabh Pant fell in the third over of the day after India resumed on 203-6, edging the excellent Roach to Holder at second slip, but Jadeja and Ishant frustrated the Windies with an eighth-wicket stand of 60.

    Ishant's stubborn resistance was ended when he was bowled by a slower yorker from paceman Gabriel for 19, but Jadeja brought up his 11th Test half-century by cutting Chase for four.

    Mohammed Shami was caught and bowled by Chase (2-58) without scoring and Jadeja hit the spinner for a first six of the match over midwicket before edging Holder behind to bring the innings to an end.

    John Campbell (23) was the first wicket to fall after putting on 36 for the first wicket with Kraigg Brathwaite, who ultimately went caught and bowled by Ishant.

    The Windies also lost Shamarh Brooks for 11 before tea, Jadeja fortunate to get rid of the debutant after the ball clattered against Pant's thigh and looped up to Ajinkya Rahane.

    West Indies were in trouble on 88-4 when Darren Bravo followed leg before to Jasprit Bumrah early in the evening session, but Chase and Shai Hope hung around for a while and got the scoreboard ticking.

    Ishant then came to the fore, KL Rahul taking a fine catch at square leg to remove Chase (48) and Hope (24) edging through to Pant before the quick ended a promising knock from Shimron Hetmyer (35) and dismissed Roach in the same over.

    Holder and Miguel Cummins were still there at the close, but it is very much advantage India heading into day three.

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