Windies tour of India, 2018
India vs Windies, 1st Test
After winning the Asia Cup, the Men in Blue turn home to host a 2-match test series against the touring Windies with the first match starting on Thursday at Rajkot.
After a 1-4 disappointment against England, this 2-match series offers Virat Kohli’s men a chance to start from scratch as they aim to find solutions to the lingering problems that derailed Team Indi’s charge in England. Firstly, who are India’s openers? After banishing an out-of-form Murali Vijay mid-way through the England tour and dropping Shikhar Dhawan ahead of the impending Australian tour.
Venue:- Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot
Match Timing:- Thursday, October 04, 2018, 09:30 AM IST
As announced by the Indian team Pritwi Shaw will make his debut in the first Test while Mayank Agarwal will have to wait for his opportunities. The Test series will also offer a chance to Ravindra Jadeja to sharpen his sword as India’s premier all-rounder in the absence of the injured Hardik Pandya for the impending tour of England.
The Windies, meanwhile, are searching for an elusive Test win against the Indians, something which they haven’t experienced since 2002. Their last 2-match tour of India back in 2013 was a celebration of Sachin Tendulkar’s career as the legend bowed out of the game after 24 pulsating years of International cricket. Just like India, they are in search of a stable opening combination. With the 36-year-old Devon Smith failing to make the most of his opportunities in the home season against Sri Lana and Bangladesh. Kieron Powell looked solid in his 102-ball-44 in the practise match but a swashbuckling 98-ball-102 by Sunil Ambris offers them another option to try at the top.
But, after a lot of years, we are talking about a potential pace attack of the Windies. In the 2018 home season, the Windies trio of Roach, Gabriel and skipper Jason Holder accounted for 84 of the 96 wickets. They will miss the services of Kemar Roach at Rajkot, but it wouldn’t be a bad thing if Indian batters are presented with a stern examination by the quicks ahead of the Australian tour.
Pitch Conditions:- Rajkot is normally a batting paradise with truckloads of run on it. However, in a bid to prepare for the Australian tour, the Indian team mangement has asked for a bit of grass and pace on the track.
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Virat Kohli (c), Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shardul Thakur, KL Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj
Jason Holder (c), Devendra Bishoo, Kraigg Brathwaite, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Jahmar Hamilton, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Sherman Lewis, Keemo Paul, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Jomel Warrican, Sunil Ambris
Here’s how the two sides may lineup for the first test
Wicket-keeper – Rishabh Pant
Batsmen – Virat Kohli, Prithwi Shaw, KL Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara
All-rounders – Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja
Bowlers – Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur
Wicket-keeper – Shane Dowrich
Batsmen – Shimron Hetmyer, Kraigg Brathwaite, Kieran Powell, Shai Hope (D:-Sunil Ambris)
All-rounders – Jason Holder, Roston Chase
Bowlers – Shannon Gabriel, Devendra Bishoo, Keemo Paul, Sherman Lewis/Jomel Warrican
Wicket-keeper:- Shane Dowrich scored an enterprising 69-ball-65 in the practise match while Rishabh Pant is fresh from a swashbuckling hundred in the Oval Test. You can choose any one of them as your wicket-keeping option.
Batsmen:- With the Rajkot pitch expected to offer a lot of runs, expect the Indian batsmen to come up with the goods. You can choose Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and the local boy Cheteshwar Pujara while Prithwi Shaw can be a wild card. From the Windies, you can opt for Kraigg Brathwaite and Shai Hope.
All-rounders:– On slow and low tracks, Ashwin and Jadeja will be the best picks, while from the Windies you may opt for Jason Holder.
Bowlers:- As the Test wore on, reverse-swing will come into play from the third day. You can opt for Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Shanon Gabriel besides Devendra Bishoo who is the lone spinner for the Windies.
Captain & Vice-captain picks:– Virat Kohli, Ashwin, Pujara, Jadeja and Jason Holder.
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