Following on, Sammy's men show some spunk in the second innings
The journey from diffidence to optimism occurred too late for the West Indies.
An inept first innings inflicted irreparable damage to the team's prospects of saving the second Test. An improved display in the second innings hardly masked its inadequacies as the visitors struggled for breath on the third day against India here at the Eden Gardens.
Darren Sammy's men have scored 195 for three in the second innings but are still trailing India by 283 runs. The meltdown in the first innings, which ended at 153 and gifted India a 478-run lead, will haunt them for the remainder of the match.
After suffering the follow-on, the West Indies extended its timidity into the second outing when Umesh Yadav nailed Kraigg Brathwaite.
Adrian Barath struggled initially as his first few scoring shots were snicks that raced behind the stumps. Thankfully for the West Indies, the opener found his moorings and along with Kirk Edwards, showed that all that the visiting batsmen needed to change was their thought patterns against spin.
Barath (62) cut and drove Pragyan Ojha, while Edwards (60) was the more decisive partner, stepping out to the spinners and being quick off his legs to flick Yadav and Ishant Sharma. The duo's 93-run second-wicket partnership took shape while Dhoni tended to spread the field despite the cushion of a massive lead.
Barath survived a close call for a leg before wicket appeal from R. Ashwin and the West Indies marched towards tea at 116 for one. Later Ishant bowled a spell that lured indecisive wafts and he eventually scalped Barath. The edge was smartly taken by V.V.S. Laxman, diving to his left at first slip.
Darren Bravo walked in and planted an assured front foot forward to strike in the arc between sweeper-cover and long-on. The southpaw slammed a six each off Ojha, Ashwin and Virender Sehwag but India tightened its hold on the contest when Ishant's delivery straightened and trapped Edwards.
Chanderpaul preferred aggression to obduracy in the last few overs and along with Bravo, has the onerous task of tweaking in a miracle on Thursday.
In the morning, the West Indies first innings was a recurrent theme of retreating batsmen.
Right from the moment Ojha bagged his 50th Test wicket, pinging Edwards on the pads, rooted feet, tame bats and indecisive minds marred the visitor's stint at the crease.
The West Indies lasted a mere 140 minutes, adding just 119 to its overnight 34 for two.
The West Indies needed a defining knock and partnerships but the men, who could do that, be it a Bravo or a Chanderpaul, failed. Bravo drove stylishly but a cameo was all that he could offer to Sammy's men.
The visitor also suffered a body-blow when Ashwin snapped up Chanderpaul. The highest partnership in the visitors' scorecard was the 46-run fifth-wicket alliance between Bravo and Marlon Samuels, and that told a tale.
Both, however, heard the sound of tumbling stumps in a span of 15 deliveries with Yadav finding his rewards for pace allied with accuracy. Bravo inner-edged and Samuels played inside the line while batting consultant Desmond Haynes and manager Richie Richardson, with their combined tally of 13,436 Test runs, sat glum.
Ojha (four for 64), who started the day by turning one square past Edwards, mopped up the tail. The left-arm spinner even found menace in his boots as he deflected Carlton Baugh's shot onto the stumps leaving Kemar Roach stranded.
Sammy and Fidel Edwards then swung their bats, as they oscillated between hope and hara-kiri until the final pause at lunch, leaving the match with just one certainty — an Indian triumph, a verdict that should happen in due course.
India — 1st innings:631 for seven decl.
West Indies — 1st innings:A. Barath c Sehwag b Yadav 1(4b), K. Brathwaite c Gambhir b Ashwin 17(31b, 2x4), K. Edwards lbw b Ojha 16(47b, 2x4), D. Bravo b Yadav 30(56b, 6x4), S. Chanderpaul lbw b Ashwin 4(6b, 1x4), M. Samuels b Yadav 25(51b, 3x4), C. Baugh lbw b Ojha 13(27b, 1x4), D. Sammy c Dhoni b Ojha 18(14b, 2x4, 1x6), K. Roach (run out) 2(8b), F. Edwards lbw b Ojha 16(16b, 3x4), D. Bishoo (not out) 8(28b, 1x4); Extras (lb-3): 3; Total (in 48 overs): 153.
Fall of wickets:1-3 (Barath), 2-30 (Brathwaite), 3-42 (Edwards), 4-46 (Chanderpaul), 5-92 (Bravo), 6-99 (Samuels), 7-120 (Sammy), 8-129 (Roach), 9-129 (Baugh).
India bowling:Ojha 22-5-64-4, Yadav 7-1-23-3, Ashwin 14-3-49-2, Ishant 5-2-14-0.
West Indies — 2nd innings:A. Barath c Laxman b Ishant 62(105b, 10x4), K. Brathwaite c Dhoni b Yadav 9(15b, 1x4), K. Edwards lbw b Ishant 60(128b, 6x4, 1x6), D. Bravo (batting) 38(84b, 1x4, 3x6), S. Chanderpaul (batting) 21(40b, 3x4); Extras (b-1, lb-3, w-1): 5; Total (for three wkts. in 62 overs): 195.
Fall of wickets:1-23 (Brathwaite), 2-116 (Barath), 3-161 (Edwards).
India bowling:Yadav 10-1-36-1, Ishant 14-3-41-2, Ojha 11-3-37-0, Ashwin 20-1-51-0, Yuvraj 3-0-14-0, Sehwag 4-0-12-0.
Keywords: India-West Indies Test match