Windies must show some fight or risk being humiliated
It’s the No. 8 ranked test side hosting the No. 1 ranked test side in the world, India is a dominant outfit when it comes to red ball cricket with a strong competitive nature regardless of the venue. The theme of this upcoming test series is all about fast bowling, these Caribbean wickets aid genuine pace just like they did back in the mid-70’s, 80’s & 90’s when the likes of Malcolm Marshall, Curtly Ambrose, Joel Garner, Michael Holding, Courtney Walsh and Andy Roberts would terrorize opposition teams. Unfortunately the Windies can’t go back in time and pick from that menacing attack, however Jason Holder’s form in 2018 with the ball in test cricket was relatively-impressive. India aren’t without their danger men also, Jasprit Bumrah could take some huge bags of wickets in this series if he hits those unplayable areas and Mohammed Shami is a proven performer with an impressive record in this format as well.
It will be up to Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell to weather the storm early in the innings against a potent new-ball attack for India. Digging out in-swinging and out-swinging yorkers could prove a difficult task against two very talented bowlers in Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami who are more than capable of causing a batting collapse. This is where the Windies must show some fight, in the past it’s been Kraigg Brathwaite who is one of the more experienced batsmen in this test side having played 56 matches who has been a anchor on numerous occasions at the top. One of the key players in this two-match series against India will be all-rounder Roston Chase. Also utilized as the specialist spinner for the West Indies, it will be his batting in the middle order that will be most-required in this series. Chase has a solid record in test cricket when it comes to converting starts into 50’s & 100’s with 7 and 5 apiece. The return of skipper Jason Holder should bolster the bowling attack, most-likely teaming up with Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel to form that fast bowling-trio.
The visitors have some selection dilemma’s ahead of this first test at North Sound. With young-gun Prithvi Shaw out of action until mid-November, the decision to stick with Mayank Agarwal at the top of the order alongside KL Rahul was made a bit easier. A century in the warm-up game against West Indies A has Cheteshwar Pujara primed for another successful series at No. 3, followed by skipper Virat Kohli who is in red-hot form on this tour already. Now it’s just a matter of picking the rest of the team starting at No. 5. Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane hasn’t exactly cemented his spot in the side as of yet, however he appears the likeliest option in this series to bat one spot below the Indian captain. A tough decision must be made at No. 6 where there’s a potential three-alternatives for that one position. Rohit Sharma’s composed-68 in the warm-up match was quickly-matched by Hanuma Vihari who posted scores of 37* & 64 in the same game. Then there’s Rishabh Pant who is a bundle of energy but is by no means guaranteed to play with the return of Wriddhiman Saha. India will also have to select one specialist spinner if they are to go in with a seam-friendly attack which is most-likely at this stage. Ravindra Jadeja is also a candidate to bat at No. 6 or 7 which could allow them to play two spinners instead of one.
FCN’s BEST FANTASY XI – 1st test, West Indies vs India
- KL Rahul (batsman) IND
- Kraigg Brathwaite (batsman) WI
- Cheteshwar Pujara (batsman) IND
- Virat Kohli (batsman) IND
- Shai Hope (wicketkeeper) WI
- Roston Chase (all-rounder) WI
- Jason Holder (all-rounder) WI
- Mohammed Shami (bowler) IND
- Kemar Roach (bowler) WI
- Jasprit Bumrah (bowler) IND
- Ishant Sharma (bowler) IND
West Indies (possible) – 1. Kraigg Brathwaite 2. John Campbell 3. Shai Hope 4. Darren Bravo 5. Roston Chase 6. Shimron Hetmyer 7. Shane Dowrich (wk) 8. Jason Holder (c) 9. Rahkeem Cornwall 10. Kemar Roach 11. Shannon Gabriel.
India (possible) – 1. Mayank Agarwal 2. KL Rahul 3. Cheteshwar Pujara 4. Virat Kohli (c) 5. Ajinkya Rahane 6. Hanuma Vihari/Rohit Sharma/Ravindra Jadeja 7. Rishabh Pant/Wriddhiman Saha (wk) 8. Kuldeep Yadav 9. Mohammed Shami 10. Ishant Sharma 11. Jasprit Bumrah.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.