Courtesy a comprehensive 237 run win in the West Indies v India 3rd Test at Gros Islet, Virat Kohli’s men have registered themselves in the textbooks of history. This is India’s biggest Test victory, in terms of runs, outside Asia and their second series victory in West Indies in 5 years. However, midway through Day 4, a result seemed highly unlikely after an entire Day 3 was washed out by rain. The genius of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and some pretty ordinary batting by the West Indian batsmen in the final innings however ensured an incredible win for the visitors.
The ‘Bhuvi Factor’
West Indies were 194/3, going into lunch on Day 4, and the likelihood of India forcing a result in limited time seemed very much non-existent. To add to that, the looming threat of rain was always there. Yet, one man changed the entire equation. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, after months and years slogging to get the right pace and length that could see him seal a place in Test cricket, finally managed to break through. The hosts lost 7 wickets within a span of 23 runs, and Bhuvi picked up 5 of those. The team that looked set to go close to the Indian 1st innings total collapsed even before Tea. Needless to mention, this was the biggest turning point in the match, and the Indians seized the opportunity very well.
Struggling West Indies batsmen
If the 2nd Test match was about the display of fortitude by the West Indian batsmen to save a match, the 3rd Test was about the shoddiness to gift away one. In the 1st innings, they lost the whole initiative in a hour of post-lunch play. In the 2nd innings, the team could not even last 50 overs while trying to negate 87 that were available for the Indian bowlers. As acknowledged by several veteran cricketers including Viv Richards, young West Indian batsmen have not been properly taught the mechanics of Test cricket. This was clearly accentuated by the way the entire team simply gave in to pressure exerted by Indian bowlers in both innings, instead of trying to bide their time in the middle.