The West Indies vs India Test Series will comprise of 4 Tests and will commence on the 21st of July
Indian cricket team with the new partnership of Kohli-Kumble is embarking upon a new journey, a journey of overseas tours, a battle in which the previous captain MSD lost the plot in the recent past. Both Kohli and Kumble are tough task masters, and won’t be willing to compromise for anything but the best. Kumble in West Indies triggers the memories of Brain Lara’s wicket which he took with a broken jaw and a bandaged face. He had been the workhorse of Indian team for more than a decade. Can he turn around India’s fortune overseas as a coach? There is a renewed sense of hope and anticipation among Indian fans after a series of poor overseas tours.
West Indies is a team that has been hugely successful in the shorter format of the game. Coming to test matches, Chanderpaul is the only batsman.. Oh Wait. Shivnarine Chanderpaul is not playing anymore. He has retired from international cricket six months ago. He has been the evergreen reliable man for West Indies for close to two decades and it will be quite a task to get someone to do the same. The West Indies team looks highly inexperienced in both the batting and bowling departments.
Statistics of last few relevant matches:
|India against Top seven test playing nations (Outside subcontinent)|
|West Indies against Top seven test playing nations (at Home)||2||5|
The stats of both the teams look similar and it will be interesting to see which team ends up with better figures at the end of this series. However, it is important to note that West Indies has played only eight matches at home since 2013.
In their last test series in Australia, West Indies fared poorly and lost the three match series 0-2. The rains saved the humiliation of West Indies as it prevented a series whitewash. The bowling failed as a unit, as it found really difficult to make Australia all out in flat tracks. The team as a whole lacked experience and confidence. The previous tour of Sri Lanka was no different either with West Indies losing both their test matches of the series.
Contrastingly, India has been pretty ruthless in their most recent test series at sub-continent. They managed to win five out of the last seven test matches. In the four match series against South Africa, India won 3-0. The South African batting line up fell like a pack of cards playing against the spinners, Ashwin and Jadeja.
India’s previous test series in West Indies:
The last time India toured West Indies was in 2011. India won the three match test series (1-0). India won the first game at Kingston by 63 runs. The second game at Bridgetown was a draw, despite the hosts looking vulnerable. In the third test at Roseu, West Indies’ perpetual savior, Shivnarine Chanderpaul did his usual act and prevented India’s victory.
Ajinkya Rahane (India): In the recent nets session conducted by Kumble, among all Indian batsmen only Jinks managed to bat for an hour without losing his wicket. Coming in at late middle order, comparisons of Rahane with VVS is inevitable and he has done his part of justice thus far, especially in away test tours. With a career average of 45 and 2 successive centuries in his last 2 innings, he looks more matured and set for the big stage.
Darren Bravo (West Indies): While Bravo has shown his intent multiple times, he generally fails to convert his good starts into big innings. Despite having a career batting average of 41.5, he has gotten zero man of the match awards in his international career. Will the absence of Chanderpaul create a spark and make him a match winner rather than being just a good batsman?
Based on the net sessions, it appears that Rohit, Umesh, Bhuvaneshwar and Thakur won’t be part of the final XI. However, a couple of dilemma exist for the Indian team: whether to go for KL Rahul or Shikhar Dhawan to partner Murali Vijay and which one to include among Binny, Mishra and Jadeja.
West Indies’ bowling department looks inexperienced due to the retirement of Jerome Taylor and absence of Kemar Roach owing to fitness issues. While the bowling department fared poorly in their last test series, it has been changed completely except for the captain Jason Holder and all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite.
India Squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (WK), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur, Stuart Binny, and Amit Mishra.
West Indies Squad (for first test) : Jason Holder (captain), Kraigg Brathwaite (vc), Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Rajendra Chandrika, Roston Chase, Shane Dorwich (wk), Shannon Gabriel, Leon Johnson and Marlon Samuels.
Pitch Report and Schedule:
All the pitches in West Indies are expected to be really slow. The Indians would have gotten a taste already in their practice matches. Patience is the key for both batsmen and bowlers.
|Test Match no.||Date||Venue||Time|
|1||July 21st 2016||North Sound||14:00 GMT|
|2||July 30th 2016||Kingston||15:00 GMT|
|3||August 9th 2016||Gros Islet||14:00 GMT|
|4||August 18th 2016||Port of Spain||14:00 GMT|