Monday, July 22
mukesh kumar 1

Mukesh Kumar claimed his maiden wicket as the Windies managed to reach a score of 117/2.

In Port of Spain, debutant Mukesh Kumar showcased his skillful and consistent channel bowling, earning him his first international wicket in cricket. The moment of success brought cheers to the Indian camp as West Indies reached a score of 117/2 before rain interrupted play, leading to an early lunch break on the third day of the second Test.

West Indies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite remained steadfast at the crease with an unbeaten 49 runs, facing 161 balls and frustrating the Indian bowlers. Despite the persistent efforts, the Indian bowlers struggled to trouble the West Indies batters, who comfortably added 31 more runs in the 10-odd overs played on the third morning.

It was Mukesh Kumar’s precision in bowling a line right on off-stump or just outside it that earned him success. He delivered a fuller ball that did not allow enough room for fellow debutant Kirk McKenzie (32 off 57 balls) to execute a cut shot. As a result, McKenzie edged the ball to wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan, who completed a regulation catch.

During his 57-ball innings, Kirk McKenzie demonstrated an impressive display of skill, hitting four boundaries and a six with purpose and finesse. However, despite the batsmen’s challenge, the Indian bowlers found it tough to make an impact on a pitch that offered little assistance to either spinners or pacers.

Among the bowlers, the seasoned Saurashtra left-arm pacer, Jaydev Unadkat, seemed eager to make a mark and take some wickets. Unfortunately, he has struggled so far, conceding 31 runs in nine overs without any breakthroughs. His performances have raised concerns about his effectiveness in the Indian bowling attack. Even more troubling is the fact that he hasn’t posed significant challenges to Kraigg Brathwaite, who boasts a compact and solid defensive game. Unadkat’s lack of pace and failure to generate movement off the surface made him the most manageable bowler for the West Indies batsmen to face.

As India’s next series is scheduled in South Africa, Unadkat’s current performance in the West Indies, where he has remained wicket-less in two Tests, may jeopardize his position in the squad. In contrast, Mukesh Kumar, the debutant from Bengal, has shown a subtle variation in length, bowling slightly fuller, which has set him apart. Despite bowling at a similar pace, Mukesh has managed to trouble the batsmen more effectively than Unadkat. This distinction in their bowling approaches may prove critical for their future prospects in the Indian cricket team.