Barbados, Jul 1: Is Ishant Sharma finally on the way to fulfill the tremendous potential that he had shown on the 2007-08 tour of Australia? This is probably the only question that can come out of the third day's play of the Second Test between India and West Indies. The answer to that will probably be, too early to say but he sure is showing signs of becoming a very good fast bowler.
On yet another rain-curtailed day, it was not only Ishant who ran away with all the glory, there was Marlon Samuels too, who is back in the reckoning after some tardy indiscretion at the start of his very promising career.
Effectively, more than the controversy over a wrong replay and the gloomy weather, the day belonged to these two young cricketers who have been earmarked for greater things but had gone off track due to their own misdemeanours. Samuels, who came out to bat alongside Shivnarine Chanderpaul, was undoubtedly the pick of the West Indian batsmen. On a day when Ishant Sharma appeared to be the best bowler in the world, Samuels played with an assurance that belied his long absence from the international circuit.
Wickets tumbled, but nothing seemed to bother him. He had probably taken a leaf out of VVS Laxman's innings and decided just to bat without being preoccupied with anything and that should be the way for the other bastmen in the West Indies line-up who it seems to appear are too focused on the result than putting up an effort.
Mithun joined Ishant and Praveen on a bowler's paradise at Barbados and snarled Chanderpaul for 37. It seemed like the West Indian veteran's way of grinding it out, was not paying any dividends as runs just appeared to have dried up. It is not to say that his approach is to be faulted because that is what has made him so successful over the years. But with changing times and evolving strategies bowlers around the world seem to have got his measure and for him to succeed again, there needs to be a rethink on his part.
Soon after Chanderpaul's dismissal Harbhajan Singh came into the party and hunted down Baugh for 2. The West Indian wicket-keeper was caught by Rahul Dravid of Bhajji's bowling.