Shimoga: Seven batsmen fell victim to slow left-arm bowling, the only successful suit on the second day between India A and West Indies A in Shimoga. Resuming at 283 for 6, West Indies A added 123, but lost all four remaining wickets to Bhargav Bhatt who bagged career-best figures of 7 for 113. In response, India A lost their three Test starts cheaply – Gautam Gamhbir, Virender Sehwag and Cheteshwar Pujara all to left-arm spin – but VA Jagadeesh and Abhishek Nayar kept up their good form to take India to within 66 of the follow-on mark.
The day began with Leon Johnson becoming the third West Indies half-centurion to fall before reaching a hundred. After he offered Bhatt a return catch on 91, the left-arm spinner ran through the tail, leaving Nikita Miller unbeaten on 64. There wasn’t much fanfare around the achievement; not all of the players waited around to let him lead the field.
Gambhir and Jagadeesh came out to open the innings after the lunch break. Jagadeesh batted serenely, waiting for the loose balls to go after, but he saw the three bigger batsmen all fall to aggressive shots off spin. In Nayar, though, he found an ally who was in good touch: both of them did well against New Zealand A. Nayar, batting ahead of Mohammad Kaif, took the attack to the spinners when the follow-on was a distinct possibility. All varieties of the sweep and the loft over mid-on remained his favourite shots, and his fifty coming off 28 balls was in complete contrast to Jagadeesh’s, which came off 98 balls.
Out of the unbeaten 77-run fourth-wicket stand, Nayar scored 56, even though he did slow down as stumps approached. Jagadeesh displayed compact technique, and expressed desire to convert the start into a hundred, which will play on his mind because in his last first-class innings he was dismissed for 91, against New Zealand A.
India A 191 for 3 (Jagadeesh 79*, Nayar 56*) trail West Indies A 406 (Johnson 91, Miller 64*, Vhatt 7-113) by 215 runs