After a gap of eight months, India will finally step up on the ground in white jersey as they start their two matches test series against West Indies, tomorrow. This will also mark the beginning of Test Championship campaign for the Men in Blue.
The last time India played a test match was against Australia. This was the first time that the Men in Blue got better of the Baggy Greens in test series away from home. Will they continue the same momentum against Windies?
Well, the chances are quite good as India is currently the best test playing nation in the world. The Men in Blue are currently the leaders of ICC test ranking, while Windies are at eighth position.
India have lost just two out of their last 14 test series. Only South Africa and England are the two sides who got better of the Men in Blue. West Indies, on the other hand, have won 3 out of their last 10 test series.
The last time India played Windies away from home was back in 2016. The Men in Blue won two out of the four test matches as the remaining two matches ended in a draw.
The two tests count for 60 points each in the Test Championship. Sri Lanka are currently on the top of the table as they defeated New Zealand in their first test. If India wins this match then they are most likely going to be in the top three of the table.
West Indies: Jason Holder (c), Kraigg Brathwaite, Shai Hope, Darren Bravo, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Kemar Roach
India: Virat Kohli (c), Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, C Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah
Shai Hope vs Jasprit Bumrah
This is going to be an interesting battle as two talented players from respective sides will fight against each other to help their side in winning the match.
Shai Hope has a poor record in tests against India. The Windies batsman has scored 91 runs in two matches with an average of 22.75.
Jasprit Bumrah, on the other hand, has never played against Windies in tests. The Indian pacer has picked 49 wickets in his 10 tests that he has played in his career so far. If Bumrah picks up a wicket in this match, then he will become the fastest Indian pacer to pick 50 wickets in tests.
Hope always try to build his innings and help his side in getting a big score, however, against India his game has been different. This is one of the major reasons why he has failed against the Asian side. The batsman has to keep his composure and try to stay on the crease as long as possible. This will not only boost his confidence but also provide stability to Windies in the middle order.
This will be a great chance for Hope to improve his performance against India. Also, one good inning will help him in getting back his form, however, facing Bumrah is going to be a major task for him.
Kemar Roach vs Cheteshwar Pujara
After a gap of eight years, Kemar Roach will play in the test match against India. The Windies bowler has picked two wickets in the only test match that he has played against India in his career.
Leaving India, Roach has played quite a few games against the other test playing nations. The Windies pacer has picked 184 wickets in 53 tests. He is currently at 11th rank in the ICC test ranking
Cheteshwar Pujara, on the other hand, has been the best test batsman for India in recent years. The Indian batsman has scored 288 runs in seven tests with an average of 48.00 against Windies.
Pujara also scored an unbeaten century in the recently concluded practice match of India in West Indies. This indicates, what is going to happen on the pitch, tomorrow.
Roach will try his best to get rid of Pujara early in the innings because, if the Indian batsman settles down, then it will be hard for the Windies’ bowlers to send him back to pavilion.
This encounter is going to be interesting as the West Indies defeated England in the recent test series at home. That means winning away from home for India won’t be as easy as it was to win T20 and ODI series.
The Men in Blue, however, have a better batting line-up than the Windies. Also, the Indian bowlers have better accuracy and are more lethal in comparison to the home side.
So, considering all the aspects. Cricwizz believes that India will end on top in this fixture. It won’t be a one-sided victory as the Indian batsmen will most likely have a hard time against the Windies’ bowlers.