West Indies vs India, 1st Test: Preview, Dream11 and more
The Indian cricket team takes on West Indies in the first Test of the two-match series to be held in Antigua from Thursday onwards. The number one ranked side in the world, will want to find the perfect balance against the Windies. This series also marks both the teams' start in the ICC World Test Championship. Here we present the complete match preview.
ICC Test Championship: Both sides will aim to start well
With the ICC Test Championship on offer, it's important for both teams to start well. This could be the extra factor for these sides to bring in that intensity level. The Test Championship 2019-21 started with The Ashes 2019 on August 1. Both teams have a chance to grab 120 points from the series. So there's everything to play for.
India could opt for five bowlers in the first Test
It remains to be seen what combination India go with in the first Test. They could be tempted to play three pacers. Jasprit Bumrah is set to return. He holds the key for this Indian side. Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav are likely to give Bumrah company. India might also play two spin all-rounders in the form of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
India face a selection dilemma over Rohit and Rahane
India's batting will revolve around Cheteshwar Pujara and skipper Virat Kohli. These two hold the aces for the team with their grit and consistency. However, there is a huge selection dilemma over vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane or Rohit Sharma. If India play five bowlers, then one out of the two could sit out. Rahane's dismal form could make way for Rohit here.
Windies pin their hopes on Jason Holder
Windies did well against England in the last Test series at home earlier this year. That will help the team believe to get the job done. Jason Holder is the main threat for Windies and the skipper has led his side well. Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer will need to lead the charge in batting. The bowling will be led by experienced Kemar Roach.
Dream11: Kohli, Holder get the leadership nods
Mayank Agarwal and make-shift opener Cheteshwar Pujara lead the batting upfront. Pujara in particular can be immense for India. Kohli gets the captaincy nod and is the crux of the batting. Shimron Hetmyer lends a crucial voice. Shane Dowrich is the wicket-keeper batsman. R Ashwin, Holder (vice-captain) and Keemo Paul are the three all-rounders. Roach, Bumrah and Ishant Sharma constitute the bowling department.
Venue, pitch report, TV listing and timing
The match is set to be held at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North South, Antigua. The pitch at this venue had faced intense scrutiny last time around. One expects the bowlers to play a key role. The batsmen need to be patient. The match will be telecast live on the Sony Ten Network. It's scheduled for a 7:00 PM IST start.