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A Test series begins with both teams (India and West Indies) excited for a new beginning. There will also be interest in some of the new players who are due to make their debut in red-ball cricket. These are two low-key matches taking place at a time when the biggest market in the cricket world will be fast asleep, yet there is a chance that the gains achieved in the Caribbean over the next few weeks could echo through the annals of time.
India is in a period of transition. The West Indies are in disbelief. Two great cricketing nations looking to regain their best form have looked to the upstarts among their ranks to lead the way.
Yashasvi Jaiswal is 21 years old. He is getting ready to start the batting for India in his Test debut. Alick Athanaze is 24 years old. He is preparing to live up to Brian Lara’s confidence in him. Others are also competing to prove themselves. Ajinkya Rahane’s name includes the words vice-captain, but he knows that only consistent runs will keep him in the side. Rahkeem Cornwall has unlimited potential, and while he has lived up to some of it with his off-spin, a batting average of 18 from nine Tests does not reflect how brilliant he can be.
The type of pitches utilised in these games will be heavily scrutinised. For the first time in over six years, a Test match will be played at Dominica’s Windsor Park. And, considering the disparity between the two pace assaults – West Indies can draw on faster, taller, and more experienced fast bowlers throughout the series – they have a great chance. Not to mention that seamer-friendly conditions may assist negate India’s biggest ball threats, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
Since April 2002, the West Indies have not defeated India in a Test series. They’ll be determined to fix that.
Focus Key Players of India and West Indies teams
This appears to be an important turning point for Rohit Sharma in India and West Indies Series. In T20 cricket, he appears to have already been phased out. And how India performs under his captaincy in the forthcoming One-Day International World Cup may well determine how long he stays in that format. So Tests are suddenly looking like his most consistent source of game time, especially after that blockbuster tour of England in 2021, where his defence was nearly as good as his offence. India takes pride in winning away from home, and Rohit has the opportunity to build the groundwork for that as an opening batter.
Tagenarine Chanderpaul began his Test career by taking on Australia’s bowling attack on their own turf. It didn’t take long for him to apply what he learned on that tour, striking a double-century in his third match. The 27-year-old has his father’s perspective and, more crucially, his hunger. Now we’ll see if he shares Shivnarine’s affinity for Indian bowlers (seven century at an average of 63.85).
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India and West Indies Team news
Shubman Gill was always meant to fall into India’s middle order in Test cricket, and this could be India and West Indies tour when he does just that. He’ll eventually be No. 4, but for now, No. 3 will suffice. Jaiswal, who averages 80 from 15 first-class games and has a knack for transforming fifties (2) into hundreds (9), will bat first alongside Rohit. Picking the pace attack, on the other hand, is far more difficult, with only Siraj guaranteed a position.
- India Team against West Indies (Probable)
Rohit Sharma (capt), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, KS Bharat/Ishan Kishan (wk), R Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat/Navdeep Saini/Mukesh Kumar, Mohammed Siraj
- West Indies Team against India (Probable)
Kraigg Brathwaite (capt), Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Raymon Reifer, Jermaine Blackwood, Alick Athanaze, Jason Holder, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua de Silva (wk), Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph, Shannon Gabriel
Pitch and conditions
It has been a long time since the West Indies were a haven for fast bowlers. Both locations for India and West Indies series are noted for creating slow pitches, which result in attritional cricket. Weather-wise, rain is expected on the first, second, and fifth days of the Test.
West Indies: LLWDL (last five completed matches, most recent first)