Virat Kohli’s Team India in the driver’s seat in the second Test against the West Indies at Sabina Park . Team India finds itself in this commanding position largely due to the career best knock of 158 by promising opener K L Rahul. This big knock is bound to give the team management a headache as other opener Shikhar Dhawan had failed once again to put on a big score under his belt. Surprisingly in a surface where batting was tough , Rahul came out on top.
Rahul was the lone Indian to score a 50 or more while the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara (46), skipper Virat Kohli (44) had to labour hard for the runs on the second day of the Test on Sunday.
The 24-year-old Karnataka opener along with Pujara forged a 121-run stand for the second wicket, but the duo had to toil hard for the runs which came at an average of 2.29 an over. Rahul, who consumed 303 deliveries for his knock credited the West Indian bowlers for sticking to a tight line.
“You probably have to give a little credit to the West Indies bowlers as well. They came in with a set plan this morning, to keep it tight and not give away easy runs. They tried to bowl the fourth-fifth stump channel,” Rahul told reporters after the second day’s play.
“The wicket obviously isn’t the easiest to bat on. It is a little spongy sometimes, and two-paced. So you couldn’t play through the line or go after the bowlers when they bowled those channels,” he said.
“It’s a Test match, you have all the time in the world. We have bundled them out for 180 (196), and we still had four days to go. We were in no hurry, so we could take our time and wait for the loose balls. I think we played really well in the first session.”
Rahul added: “We gave the West Indies bowlers and the lengths and lines they were bowling the respect it demanded. At the end of the day, we have still gotten the amount of runs we wanted to get. We are very happy as a batting unit.”
Rahul also praised Pujara for his labourious 159-ball innings, which was cut short after a brilliant run out by Roston Chase.
“He did the hard thing. He did the hard yards, but unfortunately he got out — Pujara was run out — at the wrong time. Had he stayed till the end, he would have scored 100 more runs in the next two sessions,” he said.
“It’s unfortunate, but I think he’ll be happy that he is doing his processes right. The outcome is sometimes not in our hands,” he added.
At stumps, India were at 358/5, a lead of 162 runs, with Ajinkya Rahane (42) and stumper Wriddhiman Saha (17) setting up a 31-run unbroken stand for the sixth wicket.