Antigua, Aug 19 (IANS) After Cheteshwar Pujara, it was the turn of Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav to announce their return to Test cricket after a long hiatus as both picked up three wickets each to bundle out West Indies A for 181 before India extended their lead to 200 runs at stumps on Day 2 in the three-day practice match at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua.
Alongwith Ishant and Umesh, chinaman Kuldeep Yadav also came to the party on Sunday as he too scalped three wickets and made a strong case before the first Test.
For West Indies A, opener Kavem Hodge turned out to be the lone survivor as he played a gritty 51-run knock in what was otherwise a disappointing batting performance by the hosts.
Apart from Hodge and Jahmar Hamilton (33), none of the batters stayed at the wicket for long and were unable to stitch any significant partnerships. Ishant got the early breakthroughs for Virat Kohli, Umesh struck through the middle and Kuldeep claimed wickets towards the end. All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who has been nominated for the Arjuna Award, too made his mark with the run out of Jason Mohammed.
Six of the eight bowlers in the Indian squad rolled their arms over except ace off-spinner R. Ashwin and pacer Mohammed Shami. Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini and Jadeja went wicketless in their combined 29 overs but made sure they got the full match practice before the Men in Blue begin their World Test Championship from Thursday.
Coming out to bat again, Mayank Agarwal, who opened the innings alongside Ajinkya Rahane, failed yet again in the match to leave a mark he managed only 12 runs before becoming the scalp of Romario Shepherd, who had him caught behind.
Rahane and Hanuma Vihari batted through the rest of the day and made sure India didn’t suffer from any other damage. At stumps, India were 84/1 with Rahane and Vihari unbeaten on 20 and 48 respectively.
Brief Scores: India 297/5 declared & 84/1 (Hanuma Vihari 48*, Ajinkya Rahane 20*) lead West Indies A 181 (Kavem Hodge 51, Jahmar Hamilton 33; Umesh Yadav 3/19, Ishant Sharma 3/21) by 200 runs.