India are in a real position of strength heading into Day 3 of the first Test match against the West Indies after Virat Kohli and R Ashwin sparkled with the bat on the second day in Antigua. With a massive first innings total on the board and one West Indies opener back in the hut, India will want to keep the pressure on the home team come Saturday.
After winning the toss, Kohli's plan would have been to see his batsmen get India to a total of over 500. With the captain himself leading from the front, India did that and more, declaring their first innings at 566/8. With one West Indies batsman in Rajendra Chandrika already dismissed â€“ off an outside edge from a peach of a delivery from Mohammed Shami â€“ Day 3 for India will be about pressing forward with their advantage.
To do that, all five India bowlers need to step up, just one or two will not do. The wicket is still quite flat and more suited to the batsmen, which means a lot of sweat and toil will be necessary if India are to break through this West Indies batting lineup.
The wickets of Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels will be key, and with Ashwin already looking menacing in the three overs that he bowled in the final hour on Day 2, the off-spinner will fancy his chances. Brathwaite was a little troubled by Ashwin and while Bravo comes with a lot more experience, the two batsmen will need to have their concentration levels at optimum levels throughout their innings to survive the spin test.
Mishra did not get a bowl on Friday, but the leg-spinner is bound to come into play on Day 3 and it will be interesting to see just how much spin the veteran gets. Fellow leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo picked up three wickets for the West Indies in the first innings, but Mishra will hope for a better result in lesser overs than the 43 the former bowled.
Before the spinners come into play, though, the fast bowlers â€“ Ishant Sharma, Shami and Umesh Yadav â€“ will also need to do their jobs well. With the ball still relatively new, there will be pressure on the seamers to pick up a couple of wickets just to allow Ashwin and Mishra to take full advantage.
The West Indies plan will be to stay patient, frustrate the India bowlers for as long as possible and when they eventually tire take full toll.
Where to Watch Live
India vs West Indies 1st Test match, Day 3 is scheduled for a 10 a.m. local time (3 p.m. BST, 7.30 p.m. IST) start. Live streaming and TV information is below.
India: TV: Ten 2, Ten 3 and Ten 1 HD. Live Streaming: Ten Sports Live.
Australia: TV: Fox Sports 5. Live Streaming: Foxtel.
USA: TV: Willow TV. Live Streaming: Willow TV online.
South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa: TV: SuperSport 2. Live Streaming: SuperSport.