While stroke-making was laborious on a sluggish surface in North Sound and the West Indies bowlers illustrated a hitherto invisible purpose and precision, it was indiscriminate shot-selection that primarily undid the Indian batsmen. Here’s how they contrived to unravel:
Virat Kohli: On the hard, bouncy tracks of Australia, he is as ruthless an exponent of pull as any in the world. But the track here was anything but true. His West Indian counterpart Jason Holder had already fired a memo with a bouncer that hurried him. But Kohli didn’t heed, and brandished the pull just three balls later. This time, though, he was a tad too early into the short. That it was pitched outside the off-stump and rose above his shoulder made it all the more difficult to control the shot. Consequently, he top-edged.
Dinesh Karthik: From the first delivery he faced, Karthik looked woefully out of sorts, struggling to even middle the ball, leave alone time it. Then, in a jailbreak-bid, he attempted a fatal pull shot, which was almost a carbon copy of Kohli’s dismissal. That Karthik was late on a shot on a dull pitch, where every other batsman had to wait an eternity for the ball to arrive, just summed up his wretched form.
Ravindra Jadeja: With 16 required off 15 balls and MS Dhoni for company, the situational logic demanded strike rotation. But Jadeja, as he is prone to, sought the outlandish. So, like when was batting on 90 in the Mohali Test against England, he tried to clear the long-on with a hideous cross-batted swipe. Like in Mohali, the ball comfortably nestled into the palms of long-on.
Ajinkya Rahane: The sweep is one of his percentage shots in Tests. But this time, he overbalanced himself, almost fell over in the follow through, and feathered an edge to the keeper. But in the first place, the shot was risk-fraught, as it was against the spin on a tacky strip, where the ball stopped quite often.
Kedar Jadhav: Back home, he is reputed for his sturdy defence. But this time, he stabbed at the off-break, with little front-foot stride. The ball bounced more than he expected, tickled his glove and ricocheted off the pads to the keeper.