Team India went into baseball mode on Sunday as West Indies were bowled out for 255 on Mohammad Siraj’s five-wicket haul, giving the visitors a 183-run first innings lead. Opening pair Yashaswi Jaiswal and Rohit Sharma put on a 98-run partnership off just 71 balls, with the latter scoring his best-ever Test half-century. After both were dismissed in consecutive overs, Virat Kohli was expected to build the momentum with a blistering century in the first innings. But in a surprising change of plan from the Indian team, Ishan Kishan was bowled out at number four. The youngster later revealed the reason behind India’s plan to send him ahead of Kohli and the former Indian captain’s role in it.
Rohit fell in the 12th over after a 44-ball 57, and five balls later Yashaswi Jaiswal succumbed to his maiden fifty in the series. While Shubman Gill and Kohli were expected to extend India’s dominance, the former found great help from his friend Ishan, who replaced the 34-year-old at number four. The left-handed batsman, in fact, scored 52 off 34 balls, a maiden half-century, before India declared their second innings at 181 for two.
After proceedings ended on a rain-hit fourth day, Ishan revealed that it was Kohli who supported him to bat at number four and play a natural game.
“It was really special (half-century). I knew what the team wanted from me. Everyone supported me. Virat supported me and told me, ‘Go and play your game’. Let’s hope to finish the game tomorrow. Virat bhai took the initiative and told me to go, I have to go. A slow left-armer who bowls.
“Our plan was to play 10-12 overs after the rain break and score 70-80 runs. We want a target of 370-380,” he added.
India set West Indies a mammoth target of 365 and finally ended the fourth day at 76 for two, with R Ashwin claiming both wickets. The hosts are still 289 runs away from an improbable win.