India Playing XI vs West Indies: The Sportsrush present before you India’s Test Playing XI for the upcoming tour of West Indies.
After 225 days of playing white-ball cricket, the Indian cricket team will finally return to cricket’s ancestral format when they on West Indies in a two-match Test series starting from August 22. The first of the two Tests will be played at Sir Vivian Richard Stadium, North Sound, Antigua.
The Indian selectors have announced a 16-member squad to board the flight to the Caribbean. While pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar and veteran wicket-keeper batsman Parthiv Patel were dropped, injured wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha had been declared fit and is a part of the Indian team after almost 18 months.
It is worth mentioning that the imminent series will commence the ICC Test Championship for both the teams. In what is likely to bring a whole different angle to Test cricket, it will be intriguing to see if it brings a change in the number of people watching the match.
India Playing XI vs West Indies
Despite his inclusion being questionable, opening batsman Lokesh Rahul looks set to open the batting despite his recent woes in Test cricket. The 27-year old cricketer would be keen to make amends for another poor Test series would put his Test position in danger.
Mayank Agarwal, who impressed one and all in his debut series in Australia, would be looking to continue on the gains. In Cheteshwar Pujara, India have a solid No. 3 who can make life difficult for the West Indian bowlers.
I hope the selectors make it clear who the no 1 keeper for the tests is. Saha is clearly the better keeper, was the incumbent when injured. But if Pant is the keeper they want to go with, there is little to be gained by having Saha hanging around.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) July 21, 2019
India captain and vice-captain duo of Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane respectively will also continue to bat at their batting positions of No. 4 and 5. Rahane, whose form has been up and down in the last year, is another contender who needs to be among the runs before questions start to raise on his position.
A serious conundrum for India will be whether to play Rohit Sharma or an extra bowler for the firs Test. If Sharma is rested, expected off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to bat at No. 6 as he usually does in the past. In 13 matches at No. 6, Ashwin has scored 531 runs at an average of 35.40 and a strike rate of 48.36 including two centuries and half-centuries each. It is worth mentioning that Ashwin has the highest Test batting average at No. 6.
Despite the presence of the 34-year old Saha, India should continue to persist with rookie Rishabh Pant. The fact that the southpaw is only the second overseas wicket-keeper batsman to score Test hundreds in England and Australia each is enough for him to deserve selection. In nine Tests so far, Pant has scored 696 runs at an average of 49.71 and a strike rate of 73.80 including two centuries and half-centuries.
Left-arm orthodox spinner Ravindra Jadeja looks set to pin down Kuldeep Yadav for the second spinner’s spot. Among the fast bowlers, the Indian triad of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma will continue to test the opposition batsmen. The combination played a vital role in India winning their first Test series in Australia earlier this year.
India Predicted Playing XI vs West Indies – 1) Mayank Agarwal 2) Lokesh Rahul 3) Cheteshwar Pujara 4) Virat Kohli (c) 5) Ajinkya Rahane 6) Ravichandran Ashwin 7) Rishabh Pant 8) Ravindra Jadeja 9) Mohammed Shami 10) Ishant Sharma 11) Jasprit Bumrah