Denesh Ramdin has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately © Getty Images
Denesh Ramdin has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately © Getty Images

Both Sri Lanka and the West Indies are looking forward to the Sobers-Tissera trophy as they start to build on their poor performances in the year 2015. The series kicks off with the teams returning to white clothing for an intriguing Test series which starts on Wednesday at the Galle international stadium. The West Indian team is trying to focus on picking themselves up from the turmoil happening back home. The West Indian team is led by all-rounder Jason Holder, who has a lot to prove — including his place in the team — and gain the confidence of fans and critics alike. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: Sri Lanka vs West Indies 2015, 1st Test at Galle

West Indies have had a very rough 2015 with internal politics belittling the cricket. From former coach Ottis Gibson being sacked to Phil Simmons being suspended, West Indies cricket has suffered a lot in the process. Gibson was sacked after a poor show in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, where they finished fourth from group B. Simmons is suspended by West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) pending inquiry into his allegation of “interference from outside” in the selection process. The WICB appointed Eldine Baptiste as the interim coach for the Sri Lankan tour. READ: Jason Holder’s appointment as West Indies Test captain ahead of Sri Lanka tour gamble worth taking

The West Indies team who look to upstage the hosts Sri Lanka after their series loss to India will need players like Holder, Kemar Roach, Darren bravo, Marlon Samuels, and Jerome Taylor to put their best feet forward. With new players such as Jomel Warrican, Shane Dowrich, and Shai Hope being drafted in, the West Indies will be filled with new hope and enthusiasm. The West Indian XI were caught napping against the spinners against Sri Lanka Board President’s XI, and got bundled out for 209 as the wicket was not easy to bat on in the first innings. Their bowlers leaked runs at the rate of knots, with only Roach, Samuels, and Holder managing to put a lid on things. Here is a speculative look at the XI that the West Indies can field against Sri Lanka in the first Test at Galle: READ: Last chance for Shai Hope to repay selector’s faith

Top order: Kraigg Brathwaite was the only batsman to put up a fight against the Board President’s XI, and looks to be a surety with Rajindra Chandrika being the other opening choice. Chandrika made his Test debut against Australia earlier in the year, but was largely ineffective. Darren Bravo is set to make the No. 3 slot his own, as a left-hander in the top three will give West Indies another dimension. Bravo will want to prove himself as a permanent member of the side. READ: Sri Lanka v West Indies 2015, 1st Test at Galle: Hosts’ likely XI

Middle order: Marlon Samuels will look to carry on his good performances for the West Indies. His off-breaks will always be handy in subcontinent conditions. Jermaine Blackwood is hoping to cement his place in the team after good performances against Australia. Denesh Ramdin, who will also play as wicketkeeper, will look to concentrate only on cricket after being everywhere in the news and for all the wrong reasons. Coming in next will be captain Jason Holder, who will be trying to make a point as a player as much as he will be as a captain.

Bowlers: Kemar Roach and Jerome Taylor will be the main fast bowlers for the West Indies along with Holder handling the pace department. The visitors will want their spinners to do a bulk of the damage as pitches will be helpful to spin. Devendra Bishoo would want to make this place his own as the team’s main spinner, and he will be supported by left-arm orthodox bowler Jomel Warrican. READ: Chance for Devendra Bishoo to seal himself as first-choice Test spinner

West Indies likely XI for 1st Test against Sri Lanka: Kraigg Brathwaite, Rajindra Chandrika, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Jermaine Blackwood, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Jason Holder (c), Devendra Bishoo, Kemar Roach, Jerome Taylor and Jomel Warrican. READ: Jomel Warrican needs to carry domestic brilliance over to international scene

(Vishal Mehra is a reporter at CricketCountry.)