With all the fuss about the Morgan Report I had forgot a bit about India going for a whitewash against the Windies. It doesn’t look like they will. At stumps on the second day the West Indies are 575-9. Since the war, no side has lost after scoring more 575 or more in the first innings of a Test match. In fact, on only two occasions has a team has lost after scoring 550 or more in the first innings of a Test match. Both were at Adelaide and both were in this century. Australia lost to India in 2003 and I see no need, even after winning by an innings at Adelaide last year, to mention the other one. The second tied Test in Madras in 1986 also featured Australia scoring 574-4 declared in their first innings. Pakistan also once lost a match against Australia after scoring 574-8 declared in the second innings of the match. Since the war almost exactly half of matches in which the side batting first have gone past 549 have been drawn, 61 out of 123.

It’s only the second time the West Indies have gone past 550 since declaring on 749-9 against England in February of 2009 and the first time in over a year. (Compare this to England who since the same match in Bridgetown have gone past 550 seven times and four times in the past year.) It’s not wholly surprising; it looks a flat deck and we’ve seen that India’s bowling can be suspect when there’s not a lot of help from the pitch. Still, it’s very good for the West Indies that they managed to build on their second innings fight from the last Test and have put themselves in a position where they should certainly draw the Test match. (Though I don’t see them winning it.)

Whilst it is only the second time that the Windies batsman have passed 550 in almost three years, it is the eighth time that Indian bowlers have conceded that many in that time span. That is far and away the most of any team in that time span; the next most is Sri Lanka with five. The fact that India were the number one team in the world for much of that time highlights the absence of a clearly dominant side. (Which is not necessarily a bad thing.)

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