India aim to gain the maximum in warm-up Test
The Indian cricket team will switch its attention towards red-ball cricket with a three-day warm-game against West Indies Cricket Board XI in Antigua on Saturday. After winning both the T20I and the ODI series, India are up for a two-match Test series against the Windies. This tour match ahead of the Test series will be a strong platform to get tuned. Here's more.
Virat Kohli is likely to be rested after he picked up a thumb injury in the third ODI against WI. He was superb in the ODIs and slammed two tons. The focus in this warm-up tie will be on India's other senior players. Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara will be wanting to get going. Rohit Sharma will be eyeing to cement his place.
Rahane was recently seen in the English County, but he couldn't quite get going. He scored 307 runs in seven games with a hundred and a fifty at an average of 23.61. The 31-year-old hasn't been at his sublime best for a while now. He would be wanting to use this warm-up game to do well in the Test series.
KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal are set to open the batting for India in the upcoming Test series. Therefore, this match holds utmost significance in terms of getting the desired start upfront. Rahul, in particular, hasn't quite got rolling in Tests and with Hanuma Vihari therein as well, he cannot afford to throw opportunities away. Mayank's solid approach could help him score runs.
India's premier two spinners will be back to work together. R Ashwin had a superb County campaign and could have a strong say. Ravindra Jadeja has been a feature across formats of late and he is a dangerous customer. One will also see Jasprit Bumrah make a return after being rested post the World Cup. Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav would want to impress.
With the ICC World Test Championship having started earlier this month, India will be determined to get off to a strong start. The Championship is a two-year cycle, the first of which started on August 1. The group phase will run until March 31, 2021. The top two teams will contest a final. Number one ranked India have an important time ahead.
India could be tempted to go in with six batsmen and five bowlers. With Ashwin and Jadeja offering substance with the bat down the order, India will have that extra advantage. So in this case, we might see someone like a Rohit sit out. Also, India will be wanting to see both wicket-keepers. So it's a crucial toss-up between Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant.