2nd Test: Unchanged India seek 2-0 outcome over West Indies
India have won their last three Tests in Hyderabad by massive margins. @AFP

A Test between the top-ranked team and the one at eighth place would appear to reveal an utter mismatch, and a statement on the adverse health of the game. Indeed, the manner in which Virat Kohli’s team thrashed West Indies by an innings and 272 runs – their biggest ever victory in Tests – at Rajkot, against the backdrop of a thin turnout across three days says that it was just that.

India got back to winnings ways at home after two successive overseas Test series defeats on the road, and nobody blinked. Kohli got his 24th Test century, the teenaged batting prodigy Prithvi Shaw breezed his way to a debut hundred and R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav spun their way to wickets as West Indies, missing their two most experience bowlers, were run ragged.

Jason Holder, who missed the first Test, and Kemar Roach are back for this must-win game  but the big question is: where will the runs come from? The Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium at Uppal on the outskirts of Hyderabad has proven a graveyard for touring teams, and West Indies now have to brace for impact at a venue where the hosts have never been beaten and have won their last three Test matches by an innings and 115 runs, an innings and 135 runs and 208 runs respectively.

They do not have additional batting options to choose from, which means that the core group of players who succeeded in England and at home versus Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have to stand up. There is talent in the lineup, and West Indies’ batsmen need to get it right on a friendly Hyderabad track to give India a challenge in what is their last Test before the first one in Australia on December 6.

Date: October 12

Venue: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad

Time: 09:30 IST

Weather: Partly cloudy with a high of 34 degrees

Team News

India 

An unchanged 12-man squad  indicates that India will field the same XI as at Rajkot.

Probable XI: 1 KL Rahul, 2 Prithvi Shaw, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli (capt), 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 Rishabh Pant (wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Umesh Yadav

West Indies 

Roach’s availability means that Keemo Paul, who went wicketless in the first Test, will drop out. Holder stated on Wednesday that Shannon Gabriel is an injury concern and that the management would take a call on his participation on Friday before the toss. Left-armer Jomel Warrican is the other spinner West Indies can call on if they decided to drop Devendra Bishoo, who conceded 217 runs in 53 overs at Rajkot. Given the lack of options, Sunil Ambris should keep his place despite scores of 0 and 12 at Rajkot.

Shannon Gabriel is in doubt for the second Test.
Shannon Gabriel is in doubt for the second Test. © CWI Media

Probable XI: 1 Kraigg Brathwaite, 2 Kieran Powell, 3 Shai Hope, 4 Shimron Hetmeyer, 5 Roston Chase, 6 Sunil Ambris, 7 Shane Dowrich (wk), 8 Jason Holder (capt), 9 Kemar Roach, 10 Devendra Bishoo/Jomel Warrican, 11 Shannon Gabriel/Sherman Lewis

Statistics

- Cheteshwar Pujara has racked up 500 in four Test innings at Uppal.

- In three Tests at Uppal, R Ashwin has 24 wickets at 15 runs apiece and a strike-rate of 36.4.

- Kieran Powell needs 35 runs to get to 2,000 in Tests.

Quotes

“A lot of things have been said about this Test team particularly, which I’m not in agreement with. We’ve beaten top sides in the last two-three years that we’ve played. We’ve maybe not won as many series as we would like, but within the last year, I think we’ve won two out of four or five series we’ve played. So I don’t understand why people would be this harsh towards us.” – Holder

“I don’t think Shaw should be rushed into anything yet. This guy is supremely talented and he has got great ability as everyone saw. We definitely think he has it in him to play at the highest level and he can repeat what he did in the first game.” – Kohli