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 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.

West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards believes veteran T20 player Kieron Pollard would make a better option for team captain than current skipper Carlos Brathwaite.

The 31-year-old Brathwaite was named captain of the squad in 2016, following the controversial dismal of World Cup-winning captain Darren Sammy and his heroics against England in the final.  The Barbadian has, however, struggled since taking charge of the unit, winning just 11 and losing 17 of his matches in charge of the team for a 36 percent win rate.

Despite being out of the squad for a couple of years, Pollard has continued to be one of the game’s most reliable players, recently returning to score 115 in a three-match series against India.  The Windies, however, lost the series 3-0.

“Given his experience in that format, I would have liked to see Kieron Pollard as the best choice for our T20 captain. But he is not, for there are some reasons for that. During the CPL, he is the best with the bat and his fielding talent,” Richards recently told the India Times.

“There is no disrespect to Carlos Brathwaite, but he probably would have been part of the team still. It was a political scenario after Darren Sammy exited the captaincy. Brathwaite is magnificent as an individual and highly competitive, but I know a lot of players in that team who believe Pollard would have been a great choice as captain.”

 

 

Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel got West Indies off to a promising start on a rain-affected day one of the Test series against India before Ajinkya Rahane steadied the ship with a half-century at North Sound.

Roach took 3-43 and fellow paceman Gabriel (2-49) also shone in Antigua, where the tourists recovered from 25-3 to 203-6 at stumps on Thursday.

Rahane made a patient 81 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium to rescue the top-ranked side, who left out spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and batsman Rohit Sharma.

KL Rahul chipped in with 44 on an opening day in which only 68.5 overs were bowled due to the weather, which brought play to a premature end.

India were in trouble on 7-2 after the lively Roach struck twice in the fifth over, snaring Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara caught behind with a hostile display of bowling with the new ball.

Gabriel then claimed the prized scalp of India captain Virat Kohli, who was taken by debutant Shamarh Brooks in the gully for just nine to leave the tourists deeper in the mire.

Rahul and Rahane prevented any further damage from being done before lunch, digging in as the Windies attack continued to probe.

Rahul hung in there following an edgy start and Miguel Cummins was unable to cling on to a difficult chance to see the back of Rahane, who drove with increasing assurance.

Roston Chase (1-42) ended a fourth-wicket stand of 68 by getting Rahul caught behind down the leg side and India were 134-4 when tea was taken early due to rain.

Hanuma Vihari, playing in only his fifth Test, struck five boundaries in his 32 before edging Roach behind and Rahane missed out on a century when he chopped on attempting to punch Gabriel through the off side.

Rishabh Pant was unbeaten on 20 and Ravindra Jadeja dug in for three before stumps were called after the rain returned.

West Indies will be without all-rounder Keemo Paul for the first Test against India, with Miguel Cummins called up as his replacement.

Paul has been ruled out with an injury to his left ankle and the 21-year-old will remain in Antigua to continue his rehabilitation.

Experienced Cummins, who made his Test debut in a series against India three years ago, taking a career-best 6-48 in the second innings of the second match, features in the 13-man squad in Paul's absence.

"With Keemo ruled out for this match, it’s good to have someone with Miguel's quality back in the squad, as he brings experience to the team," Windies interim head coach Floyd Reifer said.

"Watching him in the last A Team series against India A and the training sessions his lengths have improved. He's a very hard worker and a wicket-taker. I'm sure, if given the opportunity to play, he will make a valuable contribution in our bid to win this series."

The Windies have not won a Test series against India since 2002 and are winless in the past 21 Tests between the teams.

India head into the two-match series, which begins on Thursday, having won three Twenty20s and two ODIs throughout their tour so far.

Fast bowler Miguel Cummins will replace an injured Keemo Paul in the West Indies squad selected for the first Test against India in Antigua from August 22-26.

England have confirmed their home international schedule for 2020, with Australia, West Indies and Pakistan set to tour the country.

Australia lead the Ashes 1-0 after the first two Tests and will return to England for a pair of limited-overs series next year.

They will face England in Twenty20 matches at Durham, Old Trafford and Headingley. Those will be followed by a trio of ODIs at Lord's, Southampton and Bristol.

The series will mark the first white-ball matches between England and Australia since Eoin Morgan's men beat the old enemy in the semi-finals of their victorious Cricket World Cup campaign.

England open their home 2020 season with a three-Test series against West Indies starting on June 4 at The Oval. West Indies beat England 2-1 in the Caribbean this year, with Joe Root's men having won by the same scoreline on their own patch in 2017.

The six matches against Australia follow before England take on Pakistan in three Tests, which begin at Lord's on July 30.

With the T20 World Cup kicking off in October 2020, a subsequent three-game series with Pakistan in that format should serve as valuable preparation for the tournament.

England round off their home schedule for the year with three ODIs against Ireland, the first taking place on September 10 at Trent Bridge. That series forms part of the new World Cup Super League, which will serve as the main route to qualification for the 2023 World Cup in India.

West Indies skipper, Jason Holder, is still the number-one Test all-rounder in the world even as his side is set to take on the might of India on Thursday.

Holder became the leading all-rounder in the five-day game last January after scoring an incredible double hundred against England before going on to take two wickets in a game the West Indies would win by 381 runs.

Among West Indies pacers, Holder is the highest ranked at eight, with Kemar Roach second at 11th.

Shannon Gabriel is ranked a place below Roach at number 12.

The Test-bowling rankings are led by Australia’a Pat Cummins, while South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada is second, followed by injured England paceman, Jimmy Anderson.

The West Indies are not as well off in the batting rankings, with opener Kraigg Brathwaite leading the way at 36th. Holder’s contribution with the bat comes next with the all rounder standing at 37th.

Roston Chase at 41, Shane Dowrich at 46, and Shimron Hetmyer at 48 are next.

Those ranking are led by India skipper Virat Kohli, while Australian Steve Smith comes next at second after his Lord’s heroics. New Zealand’s Kane Williamson is third.

Regional all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall is confident of making an impact for the West Indies in the Test format, having performed consistently at the four-day format for several seasons.

The selection of the 26-year-old Cornwall raised a few brows earlier this month, as many doubt the athlete’s physical conditioning for the longest format. 

Regionally, however, there is very little doubting Cornwall’s record.  The all-rounder was the leading wicket-taker, with 54, in last season’s regional first-class tournament and followed that up with a haul of 23 wickets in List A and first-class games against England Lions earlier in 2018.  In the recent series against the touring India A, Cornwall took an impressive nine wickets in six matches.

"I believe the Test format suits my game because of the consistency a player needs over a long period of time to be successful, and I've enjoyed that challenge so far in my career playing first-class cricket," Cornwall told the Cricket West Indies website.

"The feeling [on getting called up] is great - it's something I've been pushing to achieve for a long time,” he added.

"I've been putting in a lot of work over the last couple of months. I've always pushed myself. I feel I can go on and I think the on-field results I've achieved have shown the progress I'm making."

If selected, Cornwall could make his debut against India when the series bowls off at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Thursday.

West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards has admitted to feeling let down by the Ricky Skerritt-led Cricket West Indies (CWI), following its controversial decision to dismiss the coaching staff ahead of the ICC World Cup.

Less than a month after taking the reins of the association from the four-term president Dave Cameron, the decision was taken to dismiss interim coach Richard Pybus and the entire selection panel.

 The decision was particularly debatable with the ICC World Cup just a few weeks away and the interim-coach and team having put on an outstanding performance against England, the world’s number one team, and eventual World Cup winners only a month prior.

Despite being a huge supporter of the Skerritt slate ahead of it being elected, Richards strongly believed it was a major misstep.

“To be fair I did put my everything behind my support for the individual who is at the helm, but I wasn’t happy with the so-called coming into that particular position and just the way in which subtle little changes were made to get certain individuals in place for them to be managers and coaches of the tour to the World Cup.  I didn’t like the start and I made my point, Richards said.

“I didn’t like the start. I am hoping that the finish is much better than the start.”

West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards insists that star batsman Chris Gayle could be allowed to retire on his own terms provided he continues to perform at a high level.

The 39-year-old Windies star was thought to have retired following the third One Day International (ODI) against India earlier this week.  Ahead of the match, talk in some quarters surrounded the batsman continued presence in the team, particularly after a poor performance at the ICC World Cup and a combined total of 15 in the two prior games.

The big left-hander, however, gave a stirring response to his critics with a smashing 72 off just 41 deliveries.  In addition, Gayle insisted that he had not announced his retirement following the series, creating a conundrum for the selectors in upcoming ODI series. West Indies bowling legend Curtly Ambrose had suggested that Gayle should step aside to allow the team to focus on new talent, with the next World Cup in mind.  Richards, however, believes Gayle could still be a valuable contributor to the Windies squad.

“Over the years Chris has been a brilliant batsman.  The only worrying thing I have would have with Chris now is if we cannot see the performances that we did in Port of Spain,” Richards said in an exclusive SportsMax Zone interview.  

“We can agree that one particular thing is that he is not as mobile in the field as when he was younger but if he can put in those types of performances, that in my opinion would suggest that we can still have him around to add that type of experience,” he added.

“I love to see class, I appreciate class and Chris brings this.  If he cannot perform like he did on a consistent basis well then we can start thinking other things like whether he should be there or not.”    

Brian Lara and Ramnaresh Sarwan, two of the best West Indies batsmen of the last two decades, will join the team’s preparation ahead of the upcoming MyTeam11 Test Series against India.

Windies captain Jason Holder has bemoaned the team’s inability to take crucial chances following yet another loss to India in the second One Day International (ODI) at Queen’s Park Oval.

India took a 2-0 lead, on the back of a brilliant 114 from Virat Kohli, after securing a 6-wickets win via the DLS method on Tuesday.  Anchored by 72 from talisman Chris Gayle the Windies put up a competitive 240 and got off to a good start after dismissing Rohit Sharma with 25 runs on the board.

  Kohli, batting on 11, was surprised by a Keemo Paul with a delivery that went past him as he tried to make room to play on the leg side and caught an inside edge, he was, however, dropped behind by Shai Hope.

"We have got to hold our chances and we didn't hold them today. [Kohli] made us pay for it," Holder said.

"Credit to him he batted really well and he won the game for India in the end.  They got off to a really good start and so did we. I think it was a really, really good wicket for cricket. Conditions got a little tougher in the afternoon after the rain fell. The ball was a bit wet and the outfield was obviously very wet, too. It didn't work for us today."

Page 1 of 38
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.