India, fresh from a record seventh Asia Cup win last week will be back in the thick of action as the Windies come calling for a full blown bilateral series – the first since the Caribbean side abandoned their 2014 trip due to a players’ pay dispute with the national cricket board. Starting October 4th, West Indies will square off in a two-Test, five-ODI and three-T20I series against a team that sees the return of captain Virat Kohli after being rested for the Asia Cup and the dropping of Shikhar Dhawan and Karun Nair.
A motivated Windies, having lost only one Test in 2018 head to the home of the No. 1 Test team in the world after having beaten Bangladesh 2-0 in a home Test series in September. On the other hand, India will be looking to get back to Test action as soon as possible after having lost 4-1 on their tour of England. Can the Windies spring a surprise?
First Test: October 4th – 8th, Rajkot
Second Test: October 12th – 16th, Hyderabad
First ODI: October 21st, Guwahati
Second ODI: October 24th, Indore
Third ODI: October 27th, Pune
Fourth ODI: October 29th, Mumbai
Fifth ODI: November 1st, Thiruvananthapuram
First T20: November 4th, Kolkata
Second T20: November 6th, Lucknow
Third T20: November 11th, Chennai
Keeping in mind the tough Australian tour next month, India’s cricketers will look for confidence-boosting home victories and though they start as favourites against the eighth-ranked West Indies, India may not find it as easy as it looks on paper – with series defeats this year in England and South Africa revealing some serious chinks in their armour, at least away from home.
India, under a talismanic captain have new faces in uncapped batsman Mayank Agarwal and fast bowler Mohammed Siraj. Siraj will bolster the pace attack led by Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav who could trouble the relatively young West Indian batting line-up. Meanwhile, spinners Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav are a formidable force on home turf.
The Jason Holder-led West Indies are arriving off the back of a successful home season where they drew a Test series against Sri Lanka and drubbed Bangladesh 2-0. Batsman Sunil Ambris has already made his case for a place in the playing XI after his unbeaten 114 in the tourists’ only warm-up game in India. The erstwhile cricket powerhouse have been bolstered by the return of experienced quick bowler Kemar Roach who will join fellow pacemen Holder and Shannon Gabriel. Holder also has leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo who could prove to be key on turning Indian tracks.
India squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Lokesh Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur
West Indies squad: Jason Holder (captain), Sunil Ambris, Devendra Bishoo, Kraigg Brathwaite, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich (wicketkeeper), Shannon Gabriel, Jahmar Hamilton, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Sherman Lewis, Keemo Paul, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Jomel Warrican, Alzarri Joseph
Did you know:
– The last time Windies won a Test match in India was in 1994 in Mohali and the last time they beat India anywhere was in 2002 in Kingston. They have beaten all the opponents at least once since
– R Ashwin averages 56.66 against Windies with the bat – the highest for him against an opponent – and all his four Test 100s have come against them. With the ball he has taken 51 wickets in nine Tests against WI at 22.15
– Prithvi Shaw will be the youngest specialist batsman to make Test debut for India since Sachin Tendulkar made his in Karchi in 1989
The focus shifts to white-ball cricket for a five-match ODI series from October 21st to November 1st. The first ODI takes place at the Barsapara Cricket Ground in Guwahati on October 21st before moving to Central India as the Holkar Stadium in Indore hosts the second ODI on October 24th. Although according to the latest reports, BCCI might be looking to change the venue to Baroda following a tussle with the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association over issuing complimentary tickets. The two teams will then travel to Pune for the fourth ODI on October 27th, after which they will make a short trip to Mumbai to play the fifth ODI on October 29th. The final ODI takes place at the Greenfield Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram.
The three T20 international matches between the two teams will take place between November 4th and 11th. The first T20I at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata before moving to the Ekana International Stadium in Lucknow. The third and last T20I will be played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on November 11th.
As the selectors announced the team for the Test series over the weekend, some of the biggest newsmakers were Shikhar Dhawan and Karun Nair, both of whom where left out from the team. This means that India will have to try a fifth opening combination of the year with either Mayank Aggarwal or Prithvi Shaw making their Test debut when they open the batting alongside KL Rahul. The start of the series is going to set the tone for the rest of the year as without three of its first choice bowlers – Jasprit Bumrah,Bhuvneshwar Kumar have been rested and Ishant Sharma picked up an ankle injury during the fifth test in Oval earlier in September makes way for Mohammad Siraj who has been called up to the Test side for the first time. Siraj’s selection comes at the back of what was a brilliant series against Australia A where the 24-year-old bagged 40 wickets in nine innings including a 11 wicket haul.
Get Set For Some Real Surprises This Series Folks!
Are You Ready? Who is your Super 8?
Leagues up in the Lobby, Go get ’em champs!