Jasprit Bumrah, take a bow!
The trot towards the bowling crease, the five-step acceleration, the flaying limbs and the open-chested thrust—it’s surreal to acknowledge how Bumrah manages this ridiculously good consistency at the highest level.
A maiden century from an all class Hanuma Vihari, a maiden half-century from an atypical Ishant Sharma, a fifer for the laborious captain Jason Holder and yet, Day 2 of the second Test match between India and West Indies was all about one man: Jasprit Bumrah.
Bumrah shredded the West Indies batting to rip apart six of the seven wickets that fell in the session. And this sensational exhibition of fast bowling saw Bumrah become just the third Indian to take a hat-trick and a five-wicket haul inside six overs. Beat that!
He was unplayable, period! Bumrah continued from where he left off in Antigua and was right on the money from the start. The Windies batsmen couldn’t wrap their heads around the searing pace that was jagging in and out.
Opener John Campbell was the first to fall. He was struggling against Bumrah’s full deliveries but was trapped on the back foot to a delivery that was a tad shorter. The seam movement did the rest: kissed the edge off Campbell’s bat and flew to Pant’s left.
But it was his next over that etched Bumrah’s name in the record books. The second delivery of his fourth over did Darren Bravo in a similar fashion. It was swinging away from the middle stump; Bravo had no choice but to play at that: a low catch at the second slip ended his short stay. He trapped Shamarh Brooks with an in-swinger the very next ball--even a review couldn’t save him. Two of two. The hat-trick delivery. Three slips, two gullys. A short leg. And two catchers behind square.
Bumrah goes for his trusted full delivery, a big in swinger that rapped Roston Chase on the front toe. The appeal was turned down, and Bumrah wasn’t convinced. Nonetheless, Kohli was spirited—he went up straightaway. Three reds! And just like that the unconventional 25-year-old pacer the third Indian to pick up a Test hat-trick after Harbhajan Singh and Irfan Pathan, with figures reading 4-1-4-4.
He then completed successive five-fors when Kraigg Brathwaite edged a full delivery behind a few overs later. But then he had to walk off the field the very next over due to cramps. He came back five overs later, but then Shami went through the gate of Shimron Hetmeyer to deny Bumrah the possibility of joining the ranks of Anil Kumble or Jim Laker—a 10-wicket haul!
He got wicket the first ball off his last spell, with the West Indies captain skying a wide delivery. It’s quite magical if you look at the stats: Bumrah has so far taken 11 wickets for just 23 runs across two Tests! A wicket for every two runs conceded!
Well, what do you know: the death over specialist has become a white-ball demon!
Earlier, Vihari scored a career-best 111 off 225 balls with the help of 16 boundaries. Together with Ishant (57 off 80 balls), who scored his maiden fifty, Vihari shared 112 runs off 28.3 overs for the eighth wicket.
While Vihari looked rock solid, Ishant gave him the perfect support from the other end, as the duo frustrated the West Indian bowlers for a long time—it took the hosts 140.1 overs to bowl out the visitors.
Resuming at overnight 264 for five, India lost Rishabh Pant (27) the very first ball of the day. Pant was cleaned up by Holder (5/77) with an inswinger as the batsman leaned for a drive.
Vihari, who came on to bat at the overnight score of 42, stuck to his task and held one end together. Vihari and Ravindra Jadeja played according to the situation to nullify any threat from the West Indies bowlers.
Jadeja (16) did all the hardwork but gave away his wicket when it mattered, top-edging a Rahkeem Cornwall (3/105) delivery to Bravo at mid-on while going for a big slog. An over later, Vihari got a big reprieve when he was dropped by Campbell off Cornwall in the first slip.
Vihari, who scored 93 in Antigua, reached his maiden Test ton in 200 balls, with the help of a single off Roach in the 133rd over. Ishant was not to be left behind as he followed his senior batsman by reaching his first Test half-century, off 69 balls, with a single off Cornwall.