I expect Ashwin and Jadeja to bowl a lot of overs on Day 5: Aakash Chopra

I expect Ashwin and Jadeja to bowl a lot of overs on Day 5
Ravichandran Ashwin (R) and Ravindra Jadeja (L)

NEW DELHI: The stage is set for an interesting finish on Day five of the 2nd Test in Port of Spain as the West Indies still require 289 runs for victory with eight wickets in hand.

Set a target of 365 runs on a rain-curtailed penultimate day on Sunday, the hosts reached 76/2 at close with Tagenarine Chanderpaul (24 runs) and Jermaine Blackwood (20 runs) holding fort.

Earlier, fast bowler Mohammed Siraj did the star turn with the ball, claiming 5/60 that went a long way in bowling out the Windies for 255 in the 1st innings. Thereafter, skipper Rohit Sharma (57) and wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan (52 not out) played whirlwind knocks to help India declare their second innings at 181/2.

So, what’s the strategy that the hosts should adopt in the prevailing circumstances? Former India opener Aakash Chopra, a JioCinema expert, said: “It depends on what they’re actually thinking about. If they want to win this game, then they have to play a slightly aggressive brand of cricket. But if they’re just thinking of drawing this game, they view it as a victory then more of the same. That’s what they have done. So, I once again expect them to block a lot of deliveries and wait for loose balls to score runs. Not a great strategy but that’s what West Indies is likely to do.”

As things stand, the Indian spin duo of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are likely to play a key role on the final day. “Ashwin has already picked up a couple of tickets. Jadeja, on a Day Five surface, is always a threat. So, I expect them to bowl a lot of overs in tandem in the second or the third session if the game goes that far because the Indian team will also start thinking about the number of overs remaining and how many overs they can get in because these two spinners can actually put in their overs in double quick time. So, yes, expecting a few wickets from them,” said Chopra.

He also feels that the wicket still has some support for the batsmen. “This pitch is not your conventional Day Five surface which is deteriorating really fast. It is a surface where if you apply yourself as a batter there are no demons in it. May be, one good ball once in a while, but that should actually not give you sleepless nights,” he said.