It’s just gone lunchtime in Delhi and the West Indies are struggling with the score on 109-7 in their second innings. It’s a lead of 204, but even that is mostly down to some brilliant counterattacking from Chanderpaul. Still, they need more. At the start of the day I thought they would want about 250 to be favourites. Obviously that is well out of the question now, but they could theoretically defend a lower total than that. The pitch is slow and will take a lot of turn, and the Indian batsmen haven’t posted a good score in a Test match since scoring 364 in the first innings at Cape Town in January. Dravid is in the sort of form that he could almost chase down 200 by himself though. Obviously the Indian batsman play spin well, but they will have to keep their heads; something only Dravid did in the first innings.
All things considered, I can’t see the West Indies defending less than about 250. Certainly anything under 225 is very gettable for India. The West Indies need Chanderpaul to stay in as long as possible. For me, the magic number is 154. Once they get to that, India will have to chase 250 to win and that is never straightforward. On paper they have the batsmen to do it, but those batsmen have misfired all year. The West Indies bowlers have already performed very well to give them a vital first innings lead, but they’ll have to do so again to turn that into a victory.