The most controversial of these has been India consistent refusal to subscribe to the decision referral scheme. Again for this series, India have refused the ICC option of having a third umpire, aided by technology, be involved in referrals from players and the umpires in the middle in making decisions about dismissals. Leading the way, in a rather more outspoken manner than has been the usual for his career, has been Sachin Tendulkar, who believes until all the technology available is used, then sound decisions cannot be made. India have experienced the downside of not using the referral system on the third day in Kingston with Raina, Dhoni and Harbhajan all out to decision which appeared to have been very likely to have been overturned if appeals had been available.
The other matter, was the pressure which has been rising from below in the Indian camp as a group of young high quality batsmen have been staking their claim on Test spots held by players in the twilight of their career. Chief among the targeted seniors has been 38 year old Rahul Dravid, the oldest man playing Test cricket, who despite scoring his last Test hundred just last November, was said to be struggling after a rare lean series against South Africa - a series where his top score was 43 and the South Africa quicks appeared to worry him on their home soil. His answer here was a dour hundred - his 32nd - to follow an unusually snappy 40 in the first innings. His was the backbone to an Indian innings which has almost certainly set up victory. If this is twilight then as all photographs would tell you, its when you take the best pictures.
The pitch is teaming with demons, with bouncers and shooters seemingly coming from the same spots. Bishoo made his leg spinners leap so high that wicketkeeper Baugh was, at times, jumping to take them. Kohli left early, given out gloving a short ball from Edwards down the leg side but there was much about the decision that was unconvincing in replay. Raina looked impressive again adding 48 with Dravid and was duped when he swept at a ball from Bishoo and was given out caught in close when replays showed only pads involved. Dhoni took a short, aggressive approach, convinced that the wicket wasn't good enough to defend on and top edged a cut shot from Bishoo to be caught square on the off side. Replays indicated it was a return crease no ball ... if the umpire had referred it. Harbhajan and Kumar went soon after lunch: the former to a very suspect lbw decision which would have cleared the stumps and the latter to wild slog.
It was Mishra who stayed with Dravid for most of the remaining session adding 56 runs for the 9th wicket. With play extended because nine wickets were down, Dravid was the last out, mishitting a Steve Waugh special to mid on.
With 336 to get, the Windies openers set out at run a ball pace, taking Sharma at five an over although Kumar kept them quieter. Barath, in particular, looked as though he was late for a mate's wedding. Chasing an outswinger from Kumar, he snicked to Raina at third slip, who held a good catch after an earlier indiscretion. In the very next over, the hopelessly out of form Sarwan played a lazy shot outside off stump to only his second ball and was caught by an amazing diving catch from Kohli. Great catch, bad shot. Sarwan's last 11 innings have averaged 16 and he has less than 400 runs from his last 18 innings and one of those was his even 100 in England last May. Lendl Simmons, was unlucky. Looking more like the double hundred form he showed for Trinidad & Tobago last March he had stroked the ball with confidence and defended a few shockers off the pitch. He got the complete peach from Sharma and lost the top of off stump. Enter Chanderpaul and the West Indies hope for victory.
Darren Bravo helped him add 51 unbeaten but with 195 to get, the rain and the pitch are likely to have the last word. Whilst India quicks have so far held sway, Mishra and Harbhajan will be unplayable between showers tomorrow.
The West Indies selectors must remove Sarwon and are likely to return Samuels. Their problems lie in the lack of young batsmen with credibility to step up. There are older experienced heads who have been tried before such as Wavell Hinds and Darren Ganga but even though that might be seen as going back, the form and experience of Ganga, in particular, couldn't be better. He again captained his Trindad team impeccably in the last summer and finished with a match saving hundred, batting at four against Jamaica, who went on to be champions. If there is a young man who might bolt from the blue, maybe its Andre Fletcher, the 23 year old from the Windward Island who's great talent is batting but he also bowls and keeps wicket and had successive hundreds against Trinidad and Barbados at first class level this past summer. He had a few outings against Pakistan and India in one day games but it seems the longer game is his standard.
They could do worse.
PostScript: According to Wavell Hinds, Vice President of the West Indies Players Association, his good friend Chris Gayle has said he is prepared to meet with the West Indies Board and have "real talks" about their differences and "if necessary" apologise for things he said in his own radio interview back in March. I wonder what the President of the players association, Dinanath Ramnarine thinks of that? Currently he is considering legal action against the CEO o the West Indies Board, Ernest Hillaire.