With the defeat in the test series against England, India lost its supremacy in the ICC test ratings. Virat Kohli’s men are striving hard to regain it by winning the home test series against West Indies. The selection will be crucial to deciding the result of the game since the grounds at Rajkot are known to be favorable for batsmen.
For the first two test matches, India dropped Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Dinesh Karthik, and Karun Nair. Despite poor form, KL Rahul was included in the team to open the innings along with the debutant Prithvi Shaw. Prithvi Shaw is the youngest test debutant to play for the team at the age of 18 after Ishant Sharma. Ishant Sharma was injured and Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah were rested for this game.
There are many questions India need to answer by facing the West Indies with all the potential, to enhance their confidence levels for the upcoming tour to Australia. Jason Holder is a veteran with all in-experienced players but they could not be taken for granted. Virat’s men need to address the batting failures to get a good record before the tour to Australia.
Kemar Roach will be away for the first test and Jason Holder and Shannon Gabriel are crucial pacers for West Indies along with uncapped player Sherman Lewis. Keemo Paul will be another option for them.
The West Indies were in the 8th rank in the ICC ratings but were in a good position by drawing series against Sri Lanka by 1-1, and slamming Bangladesh by 2-0. Though they were considered as weak opponents, the hundred by Sunil Ambris in the warm-up match alarmed the Indian selectors to choose a formidable team. Paul, one of the best all-rounders for the team and Devendra Bishoo, the spinner were included in the team in the absence of players like Alzari Joseph and Kemar Roach.
Ravichandran Ashwin was out of the team due to fitness constraints and Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami were included in the team. Hanuma Vihari, who got the national call-up once again, will be out of the team for this game taking place to Cheteshwar Pujara.
Probable XI of West Indies
Kraig Braithwaite, Keiran Powell, Shai Hope, Devendra Bishoo, Jason Holder(captain), Shimron Hetmeyer, Roston Chase, Sunil Ambris, Shane Dowrich, and Keemo Paul